The Ekalaka Eagle - Your Community Builder

Letter to the editor

 

April 16, 2021



Dear Editor,

I wanted to take a minute and explain why I have decided to run for another term on the Ekalaka Public Schools School Board.

Let me start by saying how thankful I am for the support and votes for the last nine years while I have been serving on the school board. To say it has been a learning and educational experience is a true understatement.

The three terms I have served have brought about many changes and challenges:

• Building the new elementary school building

• Learning school finances and how monies are allocated and regulated by the state in various ways

• Mill levies and impact on taxpayers

• Staffing and pay in all areas of the school

• Implementation of the four-day school week

• State of Montana laws, rules and regulations pertaining to education and administration thereof

• The Covid-19 pandemic shut down of all schools in the state of Montana during the Spring of 2020

• Navigating getting our kids back in school last Fall so we could get back to traditional learning, socializing and activities for our kids and staff

• Negotiations and mediation with the local teacher’s union on several occasions

• Learning the Vice President position after being elected to that office in May of 2020

• Working toward goals and through various issues as a board

• Serving on the negotiations, hiring, and grounds sub committees

Those are just a few of the high points and topics that come to mind when thinking about the time I have served as a trustee.

As a board we strove to find an administrator that would work with staff, students and the board to work toward making our school system the best it possibly can be in the most fiscally conservative manner. I have enjoyed working with Mr. Ely and all the staff this last year. Getting through and navigating the Covid-19 pandemic has been no easy task and it has made for trying times for the students, administration, staff and school board during this last year, (as it has everywhere).

Volunteering on any board can be a thankless job. I appreciate and commend the three other candidates for running for the board. It requires countless hours of time during monthly, emergency and committee meetings, along with fielding calls from community members and parents concerning issues and questions they may have. Serving on a board in any capacity in our community is praiseworthy and a respectable decision. Being under public scrutiny and helping to make decisions that shape and potentially change the course of people and kids’ lives is not a position to be taken lightly.

We live in a wonderful community and our school system is a large part of that. It has always been my goal to do what is absolute best for the children in our community and work with board members and staff in order to provide the best education and extracurricular activities possible for the kids attending our school.

Seeing the highly successful youth that our school and community produces has made this experience a very rewarding one. I am hoping my three children turn out as well as others our school and community have produced through the years.

I invite any and all to come to school board meetings and really understand the topic and issues at hand during each meeting. They are open to the public and no matter what part you have within our county, it is your right to come and be a part of all school board meetings. My phone is always on and I appreciate hearing any feedback or questions any person has. As a board member I represent taxpayers, voters, parents, staff, and students. Always feel free to reach out to me at 406-975-6227. I try to be open minded and listen to all sides before making decisions. I appreciate hearing from anyone that has something to say and has input no matter the comment or the issue.

Ballots start going out April 15 so watch for them in your mailbox. I would appreciate your vote and will continue to serve and strive to provide the best education and environment possible for the students and staff at Ekalaka Public Schools.

Thanks for your time,

Cass Jesperson

Carter County School Board Trustee

2012-Present

 

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