Voters’ Guide: Bennington Board of Education

The League of Women Voters of Greater Omaha contacts candidates during each election cycle and invites them to participate in the print and online editions of the Voters’ Guide. Candidates provide their biographical information and their positions on selected issues. Candidates are aware in advance that the biographies and answers will be printed exactly as submitted without edits for content, spelling, punctuation or grammar.

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Bennington Board of Education

Mark A. Byars (R):  http://markbyars.com.  Current Public Office, dates held: Bennington Board of Education, 2015-present.  Education: BS Business Administration, University of Nebraska-Lincoln; MBA, Northwestern University.  Volunteer experience: Various church and school activities, Boy Scouts, Bennington Public Schools Strategic Planning Committee.

Valerie J. Calderon (R):  No response received.

Heather Goertz (NP):  No response received.

Bob Tingelhoff (R):  No response received.

Matthew E.D. Wickham (R):  No response received.

If elected, what two things do you hope to have accomplished by the end of your first year?

Mark A. Byars:  Bennington’s growth presents challenges in long-range planning, in budgeting, and in communicating through rapid change.  First, I will work to ensure our strategic plan continues to deliver our students a high-quality education at good value to taxpayers, the first year – and every year – of my term.  Second, I will work to promote open, constructive communication with all stakeholders in the district to implement our best ideas and improve the community in which we learn and live.

Valerie J. Calderon:  No response received.

Heather Goertz:  No response received.

Bob Tingelhoff:  No response received.

Matthew E.D. Wickham:  No response received.

How can schools use technology to create better equity and educational outcomes?

Mark A. Byars:   A school board plays an important leadership role in creating a culture of safety by implementing practical policies that can be followed and fairly administered.  Threats can be prevented with a collaborative culture that encourages students to treat others with dignity and respect.  The board should emphasize preparedness planning and equip staff with quality training to expertly address threats in progress.  Facility enhancements that fit an educational environment should also be implemented.

Valerie J. Calderon:  No response received.

Heather Goertz:  No response received.

Bob Tingelhoff:  No response received.

Matthew E.D. Wickham:  No response received.

What can be done to ensure the safety of students and teachers in our schools?

Mark A. Byars:  The key role of technology in education is to teach our kids how to critically evaluate the wealth of information at their fingertips and use it constructively to improve their lives and their community.  Technology also offers a cost-efficient means to expand learning beyond the classroom and deliver continuing education to our topnotch teachers.  Most importantly, students can use technology for personalized learning, exploring topics unique to their interests in support of their goals.

Valerie J. Calderon:  No response received.

Heather Goertz:  No response received.

Bob Tingelhoff:  No response received.

Matthew E.D. Wickham:  No response received.

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