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Meet The School Board Candidates

Quintet Vying for Three Seats On Emmetsburg School Board

September 7, 2017
by Dan Voigt , Emmetsburg News

The upcoming school board elections on Tuesday, Sept. 12, will feature a contested race for three seats on the Emmetsburg Community School Board. As a way to allow voters to be more informed and familiar with the candidates, The Democrat reached out to each of the five announced candidates with a series of three questions. Each candidate was given the same three questions to respond to, as well as an opportunity to offer a brief biographical sketch of themselves.

The responses of each candidate to the three questions are published in this issue of The Democrat.

School Board Candidate Questions

Article Photos


The questions posed to the five announced candidates are as follows:

1. Why are you qualified to serve as a member of the school board?

2. What do you like the most about the Emmetsburg Community School District?

3. What would be your priorities as a school board member and how would you accomplish them?

All patrons of the Emmetsburg Community School District who are eligible to vote in the School Board elections will cast their ballots at the Palo Alto County Election Center on South Broadway in Emmetsburg. The polls will be open from 12 noon to 8 p.m. on Sept. 12.

Jane Hoyman was born and raised near Ruthven and graduated from the Emmetsburg Community Schools. Jane is very active in the Partners In Education and PATHS organizations in Emmetsburg. Jane is married to Steve Hoyman and is the incumbent board candidate who was appointed to fill a vacancy on the Emmetsburg School Board in January of 2017 to fill the unexpired term of Kim Campbell. 1. I'm a citizen in the Emmetsburg School District who cares deeply about the success of our students, staff, schools, and community. I'm a graduate of EHS and have several children currently enrolled in the district. I possess a B.A. degree in Communication Disorders from UNI, a nursing degree from ILCC, a massage therapy certificate from MTIC in Colorado, and a lay ministry certificate from the Iowa Methodist Conference. Ultimately, I enjoy learning! My recent appointment to the school board in early 2017 has also provided the opportunity to experience firsthand the challenges facing a board member.

2. Our kids! Whichever school function you choose to attend (athletic events, vocal/band concerts, quiz bowl tournaments, speech contests, dance performances, etc) you'll witness kids "giving their all" to be the best they can be.

3. a.Assist in creating a new vision for the district by encouraging our superintendent to follow-up on her ideas to meet with all stakeholders (students/parents/teachers/public/board) to identify and prioritize goals.

b.Build positive momentum for the district by empowering others to actively engage in the upcoming visioning process which will define the future education of our kids and the success of our community.

c.Support our administration and teachers in their quest to inspire students to become life-long learners by approving curriculum and resources, such as, that ignite each student's passion for knowledge.

d.Improve communication between school board members and the public by supporting the initiation of a post-board meeting blog to share pertinent information.

Aaron Dietrich - I was born and raised in Emmetsburg. I attended college at The University of South Dakota where I played football, graduated with a BS in Liberal Studies, and met my wife, Laura. I moved to Kansas City after graduation and started a construction company. In 2012 we found out we would be having our first child and decided to move back to Emmetsburg to raise our family in the community I grew up in. I am still running my construction company and alsofarming. We now have 2 children, Emma (4) and Jorja (1). I am glad to have made the move back to my hometown, and I hope it offers my kids the same benefits and skills to be successful in life.

I believe I am qualified to run for school board because I have owned and operated a successful construction company for 14 years. This has given me the knowledge to budget, work with others, meet deadlines, and do the things necessary to be successful. I also have a knowledge of construction projects and what they need to be accomplished, and I believe that is part of the school board's duty.

I like Emmetsburg's School District because of its history of producing great students, our great sports traditions, and our great music tradition. Also because I attended school here, and I wanted my kids to attend here too.

I have no specific priorities I am running for. I am running because I want to see the school to continue to succeed, and grow, so my kids can have a great future and be successful in life.

Jill (Kerber) Graham was born and raised in Emmetsburg, Iowa and educated in Emmetsburg Schools, graduating from EHS in the class of 1987. She went on to receive her Bachelors of Science degree with honors in Animal Science from Cornell University and her Masters of Science in Swine Nutrition from The University of Minnesota before returning back home to Emmetsburg to join her father, John and her brother, Jeff in the family feed and livestock business. Jill has called Emmetsburg her home for all of her life. She has two children, Kiersten Aldous of Laverne, Iowa and Levi Aldous, a sophomore at EHS. She and her husband Larry also have three granddaughters and are expecting a fourth granddaughter and a grandson later this fall and winter. After 19 years as an owner, officer and department head at Kerber Milling Co., Jill went on to pursue a career in Livestock Feed Product Sales. Jill is currently a technical sales manager focused on swine customers with Hamlet Protein an International Ag Business specializing in young animal nutrition with offices in Horsens, Denmark and Findlay, OH. Jill enjoys time with family, boating, biking and quilting.

1. I'm passionate about and proud of our community. Excellence in our school facilities, academics and extra-curricular activities are a big part of that pride. I truly appreciate the education and experiences at EHS that prepared me to give back not only in my career but in my community and with my family. Community pride and E'hawk pride would be my guide in serving on school board.

Throughout my career I have served on numerous industry boards and committees. I currently serve Iowa Pork Producers Association on the Public Policy Committee as well as District 2 Nominating Committee, an elected position. I was previously elected to serve on Nominating Committee for the National Pork Board. My past and present community involvement includes PIE, ECDC and Little E'hawk Wrestling Club Boards. The many experiences in business and on committees in managing budgets, employee engagement and retention, conflict resolution and decision making have prepared me well to be an active contributor on the school board. The sum of these experiences will allow me to bring knowledge, skills and creativity to a role on the Board.

2. I appreciate that Emmetsburg Community School System has the reputation of being a relatively small school with a very big tradition. That tradition is diverse and stems from community support, collaboration with the college and other school systems and strength in academics, athletics, music and other electives such as speech and FFA to name just a few. I come from the perspective of having had some very talented teachers and coaches who also became mentors in life and leadership. And my father would share that sentiment. When John Kerber graduated from EHS in 1954, his entire debate team went on to college and graduate degrees at prestigious Universities such as Harvard, Yale and Cornell University. I believe that common goals will drive our School System to continue this tradition and that we will continue to find the resources to achieve great things for ALL students.

3. - To promote excellence in education at all levels and for all children. To continue the positive trend for higher testing scores, but to also challenge the best students to even higher levels of academic achievement

- To provide exceptional leadership and a positive, energetic attitude as a Board member to guide administrators through a spirit of cooperation, communication and collaboration.

- To share knowledge and experiences earned through 2 decades of business management, employee development and service.

Katheen Roethler - My name is Kathleen Roethler. I am from Ft. Dodge, IA and have lived in Emmetsburg since 1972. My husband Bob was a Guidance Counselor and wrestling coach in the Emmetsburg School district from 1972 to 1980. I have worked for Smarts Broadcast Systems since 1984 as office manager. My son, Robert, graduated from Emmetsburg and now lives and coaches wrestling in Johnston, IA. I have two grandchildren, Emma, 14 and Mason, 10. I was a previous school board member from 2011-2015.

1. I gained valuable knowledge and experience as a previous school board member (2011-2015). I understand the importance of leading respectfully, responsibly and with transparency.

2. The Emmetsburg Community School District has an excellent Administration and a dedicated teaching and support staff who are committed to the education and the physical and emotional well being of our students. Our various facilities are second to none. It is my desire to ensure that these facilities meet all the needs of our students and community now and for the future.

3. a. Students first. My highest priority is to ensure that all students receive a quality education so each may achieve to the best of their ability.

b. Safety. The safety of our students and school personnel is paramount.

c. Quality education. I will work to ensure Emmetsburg Community School District affords every student the opportunity to receive a quality education that will prepare them to become contributing members of society.

d. Respect and Integrity. School board members, administration and staff must all strive to be exemplary role models ensuring that we lead by example in a positive manner reinforcing the principles of our district.

e. Responsible spending. As a fiscal steward I am responsible to the taxpayers for their investment in the school district. I will ensure that all funds will be distributed in a transparent manner.

f. Proactive. I have a vision for the future of our school district that encompasses necessary changes to ensure that Emmetsburg Community Schools is a district to be emulated.

This agenda can be met by working closely with our Administration, our teachers and support staff and being fiscally responsible with our taxpayers money.

Linda Mathis Tienter - My name is Linda Mathis Tienter and I grew up in Emmetsburg. My father, the late Virgil Mathis, was a biology instructor in the Emmetsburg High School and Junior College from 1947-180 (33 years). I was also a teacher myself for 27 years and taught in one room rural schools in Platte, South Dakota, third grade in Hempstead, Texas and also in a Tribal School on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. After retiring in 2005, I decided to move back to Emmetsburg.

1. In 2007, I ran as a candidate for the Emmetsburg School Board. I was elected and served a four-year term, participating in the District Leadership Team and Negotiations Committee. I was also a member of the PAK Empowerment Board representing Palo Alto County. The board gave out grants and tuition assistance money from the state to local daycares and preschools in the area.

I am dedicated to public service that can have a positive influence on young lives. I focus on making decisions in the best interest of all children.

2. I like most the fact that the Public and Catholic High Schools came together. They united in 1968 and I am old enough to remember it. All that talent from both schools, along with good coaches, propelled the sports program. My brother Steve, played E-Hawk football that year, so he was there for the merge.

3. My priorities as a school board member would be in the spending of funds. I would start with the basics of education, and the importance of reading in K-3 grades. I read in the paper that the West Elementary and the Middle School were both rated as "Needing Improvement", so I think the issue needs to be addressed.

It is the responsibility of the school board to see that a conducive learning environment is provided for all students. This includes determining class size for maximum learning, which is extremely important in the lower grades. If a student doesn't learn to read well in the primary grades (1st-3rd), he or she is going to struggle all the way through school.

My goals are to see: a) Re-establishment of the Reading Recovery Program which was axed during a budget shortfall. At the time, parents and teachers (along with myself) tried to save this program, but there was not enough support. Karen Brown helped many struggling readers (in 1st grade) to succeed and I want people to know this. You can't take away the proper tools and expect the outcomes to be the same.

b) Several weeks of all-day summer school to help students struggling in reading and math catch up.

c) Fewer meetings for teachers, so they have more contact time with students.

d) Administration living in the school district, so they contribute directly to the tax-base and local economy.



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