School to host Dist. 25 educ. forum
October 09. 2012 1:45PM
Hoping to shed some light on District 25 candidates’ views on education-related issues, Dell Rapids superintendent Summer Schultz has organized a forum event to take place at the elementary school commons next week.
The event will be Oct. 15, at 6 p.m., and will be moderated by a school official to be determined.
Candidates set to attend as of Monday were Dan Ahlers (D-Dell Rapids), Tim Rave (R-Baltic), Bill Laird (D-Sioux Falls), Scott Ecklund (R-Brandon) and Jon Hansen (R-Dell Rapids).
As for questions for the candidates, Schultz said they will receive two focus areas to speak to prior to the forum, and the public is invited to submit questions prior to the event to be asked by the moderator that Monday night.
The superintendent said questions should ideally be submitted by the day of the forum, though visitors may be able to bring questions to the monitor just prior to the start of the event. “The best way to get a question heard is to get them to us prior to Monday evening,” she said.
These submissions can be made to either Schultz or LuAnn Heidebrink at the district office via email or phone.
The goal of the forum, according to Schultz, is to help voting constituents in the community know where the candidates stand with regards to education.
“Schools are a driving factor in communities,” she said. “We are a huge percentage of employment in District 25, so I think these issues affect a lot of my staff.”
And with the chosen site set for the recently opened Dell Rapids Elementary, the administrator hopes that importance placed on education is evident.
“We make up a large part of District 25, so it’s a great way for my staff to get to know the candidates and (for visitors) to see our new elementary school – so it’s a win-win,” Schultz said. “We want the candidates to know that we’re proud of our schools – that education in South Dakota is a priority. By bringing these candidates into a building that was passed through a bond, it shows them a community that supports its school.”
The two focus areas candidates will be asked to expound on are House Bill 1234, as well as education funding in general. The superintendent said that there may be additional time toward the end of the forum to ask questions not related to education issues.
The rundown of the event will include opening remarks, focus question responses, solicited questions and closing remarks.
Schultz thinks that the staff and students alike will take the opportunity to partake in the discussion and that it will help get young people excited about politics.
“They should learn who their candidates are. They should know who represents them,” she said. “The staff seems really excited for it. We know that how these candidates represent us dictates a lot of things in our lives.”
The Dells superintendent was also quick to clarify – the event is an opportunity for discussion, not a debate. “It’s just a chance for them to speak to education issues.”