Pierce City School Board Questionnaire: Bryan Stellwagen
Publisherís note: The following Q&A represents the candidate's views verbatim, as submitted via email in response to our questions, and have not been edited. The election will be held April 4, with voters allowed to select three of the four candidates. The top three vote-getters will be elected. - JB
Current Occupation: Planning Manager
Past Experience: 1 term Pierce City School Board member and Board Treasurer. St. Maryís Catholic School Board Member 4 yrs and Board President 1 year.
Education: 1989 PCHS High School Graduate, 1991 Graduate Crowder College (Assoc. in Business Management).
1. Why do you want to win this position?
I originally ran for election to this position because I wanted to give something back to the school from which I had graduated and that is still my reason for wanting to serve a second term. I have enjoyed serving on the Board over the last three years. Itís been a very unique experience.
2. If elected, what is your number on goal on the school board?
My primary goal is to represent the Pierce City community and be an effective member of the Board. I believe that over the last few years there has been a lot of really positive things happen at Pierce City. I think the school board has many more opportunities to continue to make Pierce City Schools a great place for our staff to work and our students to have an excellent educational and social experience.
3. What areas of the school district do you think need improvement?
We need to continue to achieve and maintain high academic scores at all grade levels. While the school board canít directly affect this much it is something that we can, and do, bring attention to and regularly discuss in board meetings. Another area that always needs improvement is our facilities in the district. We are a small school with very limited financial means and, just like on a farm or a house that you own, there is always something that needs fixed. Unfortunately our financial budget limits what we can do from year to year so we have to carefully prioritize what is done and still be able to handle the last minute emergencies that come up like replacing a furnace or a/c unit.
4. What should be done with the old Middle School Building?
The old middle school building has become an eyesore on campus as it continues to deteriorate. The building is not used nor is it safe to enter anymore and it needs to be torn down. This is something I would like to see done in the next two years if we can find a way to cover the cost.
5. Without passing a bond issue, how can the district improve the solvency of its finances?
The first area to look at are the expenses of the district. Several things that could be done to control expenses have been implemented over the last couple of years. The district refinanced our bonding capacity a year or two ago and saved thousands of dollars in interest payments. Any staff positions that open up within the school are carefully looked at by our administrators to make sure filling the positions are absolutely necessary. The four day school week that was implemented a couple of years ago resulted in savings for the school. The LED lighting and solar panel projects that were implemented last year will have significant savings for the school in the future as energy costs continue to increase. This past year the school optimized the bus routes and was able to gain some savings that way. Even the school board has contributed to cost savings by going to electronic board packets for meetings instead of the traditional method of printing and mailing packets to the board members that are sometimes an inch or two thick. These are all great ways to control our finances within the school. I would like to find more ways we can continue to save money within the district by encouraging suggestions from our staff members and the community.