Four candidates are seeking three open seats on the Spring Grove Board of Education for District #297 for a four-year term, and one is seeking a two-year term as part of a special election. Challenger Stephanie Jaster is facing incumbents Kristy Folz, Christian Myrah and Aaron Solum for the three four-year spots while Eric Bjerke is running unopposed for the two-year seat he currently holds.

All candidates but Aaron Solum responded to the questionnaire from the Spring Grove Herald. Below are their responses listed in alphabetical order. Each response was limited to 150 words.

Kristy Folz, age 42 - Clerk at Mulqueens Hardware and the manager of Spring Grove Ambulance

1.) Please tell us about yourself and why you are running for office?

I have been a resident of Spring Grove for over 10 years. I am married to Paul, and we have three children together -Andy (a 2007 SGHS graduate), Aly a junior at SGHS and Alex a sixth grader.

I am the longest standing member of the Spring Grove School Board, and I am running for re-election because I truly believe in our school and the excellent education it offers our students. I also feel that our children, school and their success are crucial for the future of Spring Grove.

2.) What short-term (5 years or less) and long-term (more than 5 years) goals would you like to see for the school?

Short term - Continued advancement with technology in our school. Improved cooperation between the school, staff and parents. I believe that the key to successful learning is a full partnership between kids, staff and parents. Expand our interactive classes so that we are able to offer a even wider variety of classes for our children.

Long term -Keep our school strong and prospering. We need to continue to advance our school with technology, and advanced education standards, as well as continuing to offer a wide variety of extracurricular activities to keep our school stable and here for many years to come.

3.) Right now enrollment seems to remain strong, what steps do you think the school can take to continue to encourage students to enroll in the school?

I really feel that if we keep doing what we are and stay at the top of education as well as continue to advance things such as computers in the class room, smart boards, and all technology, we will continue to see growth. In this day and age, parents are able to scout schools and send their kids to a school of their choosing. If we continue to strive for the top, we will continue to draw students in. We also have to continue to quietly market our school with positive press stories, as well as continue success in all areas.

4.) What do you think are the district's top-three strengths and why?

Our strengths as I see it, is a top of the line education, an excellent staff, and how well we have done placing ourselves above other area school with our advancements in technology.

5.) What do you think are the district's top-three weaknesses, and how can they be addressed?

I do feel that we need to take a close look at bullying, our policies, and continue to work towards ways to make sure EVERY child feels safe in our school. This is the one area, that I do feel although we do quite a bit to prevent, I think improvement is still needed.

Another area that needs to be looked at is the available area at the school. Parking, bus unloading, as well as playground area is limited. Although we have made some changes in the past two years, I do feel this needs to be improved. And we need to look at any areas around the school that we could acquire to help these problems.

Class offerings is an area that maybe isn't a weakness, but it is an area of growth that is needed. Although we do offer quite a few classes, I would like to see more teachers use the interactive system to increase the type of elective classes offered.

6.) If re-elected, what are the top three issues you want to see addressed in the next four years?

I would like to see an expanded effort put on our bullying policies, but not as much with enforcement. I would like to see prevention and education impressed upon, along with more programs aimed at the students being involved in the prevention of bullying.

I would like to work on a better use of the schools JMC. JMC is the system where parents can sign on and check their kids grades etc. Sometimes this system isn't always updated as quickly as I feel it probably should be, and I would really like to see this as well as the updating of the school website done in a more timely manner.

Continue to grow our school in enrollment, class offerings, extra

curriculars, as well as the use of technology, is something that I

will continue to work on so that our school is here for the "long haul".