Four are vying for three seats on the Forest Lake School Board.

Jeremiah Boe

Please share a little bit about yourself and your background. 

I am a husband and father of two that currently attend Lino Lakes Elementary. I graduated from Herzing University with an AAS in CAD design. My current job title is a CAD manager.

What are the two most important issues facing the Forest Lake school board and how would you work to address them?

 1. Transportation funding formula from the state. The state currently provides transportation based upon the number of students versus the miles needed to transport the students. I will work with the school board members to determine the best method to approach the State Legislators to change the current formula.

2. The inability to host certain sporting events. Due to the disrepair of sporting facilities, the students that play those sports aren't able to enjoy playing at home. I will work with the school board to exhaust all voluntary fundraising methods to raise the necessary funds needed to repair the neglected facilities.

What’s your position on the proposed levy?

Personally I will be voting for the levy. I cannot bring myself to advocate one way or the other when it involves other people's money. I have been providing as much information about the upcoming levy to help people become educated on the topic and let them decide for them selves the decision that best suites that individual.

Why are you interested in serving on the school board? 

I want to be directly involved in my children's education. I believe that a child's education is the foundation for being a productive individual member of the community.

Alex Keto

Please share a little bit about yourself and your background.

I worked in business for over 40 years. I am now semi-retired, working part-time as a substitute teacher and education assistant. I am married and we have lived in Forest Lake for over 25 years with three children who graduated from Forest Lake. I am a current member of the Community Education Advisory Board. I have volunteered for past referendums/levies, coached traveling basketball, worked as a community basketball referee and was a past president of the Hoop Club. We owned and operated a sub shop in Forest Lake.

What are the two most important issues facing the Forest Lake school board and how would you work to address them? 

First is the gap in state funding created by not keeping up with inflation. It has created a loss of over $2,500 per student in funding for this district.  Ideally we will close that gap by passing the current levy.  If it does not pass the gap will only grow and cuts will need to be made.

Second is the formula that is used for transportation funding for all districts in the state.  The current formula is based on a per student funding.  Other districts with more students but less area to cover get more funding than our district.  I would help lobby for a change to a per mile formula for the funding.

What’s your position on the proposed levy? 

I fully support the current referendum/levy that hopefully will pass in November and provide more funding/opportunities for our students.  When I am elected I would prefer to work on continuing to provide an exceptional educational experience for our students.  However, if it does not pass I will work hard to find ways to make the necessary cuts. As a member of the school board I will strive to provide exceptional educational opportunities for our parents, students and the community at large.

Why are you interested in serving on the school board? 

I was asked by Karen Morehead, a current school board member who is retiring and Gail Theisen, a current board member to run for the board. It would be an honor and privilege to join the board and continue to work with other members to continue to provide and improve a high quality educational experience for the students in our district.

Kate Luthner

Please share a little bit about yourself and your background. 

I grew up in New York and moved to Minnesota in 2002. We choose Forest Lake to buy a home and have a family. I earned my MBA from University of Saint Thomas in 2010. I have business experience working for multinational companies and local businesses; however, since my third child, I am primarily a stay at home mom. 

What are the two most important issues facing the Forest Lake school board and how would you work to address them?

The most important issue is 100 Levy. There are so many things that depend on the proposed levy this election and that decision will be made before I would be on the board. The importance of this community decision cannot be stressed enough. To choose an issue now, not knowing if my role will be to attempt to preserve what is possible if the levy does not pass, or to mindfully choose ways to build back the human resources of the district to best serve all the children if it does, is impossible.  

The second issue, which I will work on regardless of the levy outcome, is involving the community more in board happenings. I have attended meetings for years, and the information and insight I have gained in the audience as a parent and community member has been incredibly valuable. The current board has been welcoming and transparent; however, attendance has been low at open meetings. I would do my best to encourage more community and parental involvement to build morale and interest. 

What’s your position on the proposed levy?

Strong Yes. The district has cut over $7 million, in found money from grants, laid off administration, and found every savings they could to save taxpayers.  It is time to add some funds to the budget that has not seen an increase in 12 years. Given the outstanding results on a next to nothing budget, I am excited to see what could be possible can be done with adequate funding.

Why are you interested in serving on the school board? 

I believe in being an active voice in the world and education is my No. 1 priority. I have three young children and I am a homeowner.  Serving my community and family by being on the school board is my way of taking action to make this district the best possible for us all for years to come. 

Jill Olson

Please share a little bit about yourself and your background. 

I have lived in the Forest Lake School district for over 20 years. I have two sons that graduated from Forest Lake High School. I have tried to be active in the schools since by children started kindergarten. I work full time as a site director for ReproTech, Ltd., a long-term cryostorage facility.

What are the two most important issues facing the Forest Lake school board and how would you work to address them? 

Governmental funding — we need to continue to advocate for our school district at the Capital each and every year to get them to understand our budget issues and our transportation inequity.

Teacher salaries — when governmental funding hasn’t kept up with inflation for 25 years, our salaries are affected and we continue to lose good teachers. I’d like to be able to offer a competitive salary to our wonderful teachers who are still with us and make our district what it is today.

What’s your position on the proposed levy? 

I support the levy because the funding formula is broken in many ways. Across Minnesota, there are many many school districts asking for voter-approved referendums. I feel a strong school district ties in with a strong community, which ties in with a strong population and community pride.

Why are you interested in serving on the school board?

I was elected four years ago, and I would very much like to serve another four-year term on the Forest Lake Area School District School Board. I care about kids and our community and want to do what I can to ensure we provide the best public education possible.

 

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