Four candidates vie for open seat on the Sioux Falls School Board
Sioux Falls voters will fill one open seat on the school board this coming Tuesday.
They will be choosing among four candidates: Randy Dobberpuhl, Dimitrios Gliarmis, Cynthia Mickelson and Carol Robinson.
We had a chance to speak with all of them about why they're running.
School board candidate Randy Dobberpuhl says if he's elected there is one promise he knows he will keep. "Be as open and transparent as possible." Dobberpuhl says he has concerns about the district's Title 1 schools....those are schools that serve low income families here in the city. "We need to focus on some of our Title I buildings where open enrollment seems to be seems to be making those schools decline a little bit." Dobberpuhl also says if he is elected to serve there are two questions he has that he says need to be answered soon if the district is going to successfully manage the growth spurt of incoming students we are continuing to see. "How do we get the graduation rate up? How do we get the absentees lesser....fewer and farther between."
"If we don't know how to best serve them then what are we doing? What better way to solve the problem than to hear it from the horse's mouth." School board candidate Dimitrios Gliarmis attended Sioux Falls public schools and he tells us he wants to make sure Sioux Falls schools are doing everything they can do smooth the educational process for international students. "My big thing is multi cultural students. I think that we have a lot of people coming from other countries who unfortunately are behind right when they get here because they don't know the language." Gliarmis says if he's elected to the school board he wants as much input as possible from students, teachers and the public to create a school system that he says will breed success. "Everyone does better. The community does better. The students do better. The students kids do better and its one of those things that is going to build off of the previous generations."
"We're lucky in Sioux Falls. We have a wonderful community. A charitable community and we just have to make sure our schools are serving all of our children." Candidate Cynthia Mickelson says public school in Sioux Falls is an important piece of our community puzzle and is focusing on what schools can do to change the lives of kids living in low income areas. "A school might be their only shot and its our ability to expose them to maybe other careers, other options to get them into a better life situation." Mickelson says Sioux Falls currently graduates 80% of its students from high school. She says that number needs to be higher and she believes she knows what needs to change. "What seems to be the stumbling block for a lot of these kids? And it's Algebra 2 so I'd like to look an an alternate Algebra 2."
"I am very dedicated to our community. I have experience in the education field. I was a teacher. I'm educated. I have a bachelors in education." School board candidate Carol Robinson tells us she believes the ground level building blocks of education needs to be improved in the Sioux Falls district. "Improve their attendance, improve their basic skill learning while they're in school." And to do that, says Robinson, means making sure students are grouped together based on their educational progress. "That would be through assessments so they're placed in the proper classroom setting and the classroom level so they can learn and achieve from then on."
The opening on the Sioux Falls School Board comes as the term of existing board member Doug Morrison expires next month.