New board members weigh school district issuesTwo new members and incumbent Len Albrecht were elected to the Superior School Board in Tuesday’s election.
By: Emily Kram, Superior Telegram
Two new members and incumbent Len Albrecht were elected to the Superior School Board in Tuesday’s election.
Albrecht was the top vote getter with 2,563 votes. He enters his fifth term as a member of the Superior School Board.
“I’d like to thank everyone who voted for me,” Albrecht said. “I’m happy to be able to serve for three more years.”
Robert Morehouse, with 2,400 votes, and Jonathan Asp, with 1,643 votes, will also join the board this spring.
The three men officially take office on April 23, and the Board reorganization and election of officers will take place May 7.
“I certainly want to thank everyone who voted for me and helped with the campaign,” Morehouse said. “I hope that over time they will find they made a good decision in supporting me.”
Crowd attendance has been up at School Board meetings recently, and Asp and Morehouse know they’ll have to learn quickly to tackle some of the big issues on the horizon.
Both Asp and Morehouse attended Monday’s committee of the whole meeting and were pleased by the crowd turnout. About 70 people attended the meeting to voice their opinions on the school district’s plan to alter school start and dismissal times. The Superior school district faces a $700,000 budget shortfall in the 2012-13 school year and, by streamlining bus routes and changing school start times, hopes to make up about $170,000 of the deficit.
“I thought the crowd turnout was wonderful,” Morehouse said. “I wish they had that at every meeting.”
“I think it’s great,” Asp agreed. “Active participation by the community is something that’s a benefit to the school district."
Asp said he believes all the school board members have their hearts in the right place, and after he is officially sworn in, he hopes to strengthen communication between the board and the public.
Asp also appreciated that the dozen community members who addressed the board Monday kept their tone civil. He said it is important for the public to have a voice in the discussion and to be encouraged to offer ideas.
Morehouse had reservations about the school district’s plan to change school start and dismissal times, and he hopes the board would consider the issues discussed on Monday. The bus time for some elementary school students — as early at 6:55 a.m. — was a particular concern for Morehouse. He also worried that parents would incur greater childcare costs due to the earlier elementary school dismissal times.
Most elementary schools would end the day at 2:40 p.m. under the new plan, while the high school and middle school would not release students until 3:30 p.m. and 3:15 p.m., respectively. The time change could create difficulties for parents who rely on older children to look after their younger siblings.
“We’re trying to do what’s best,” Albrecht said. “People come out and have their say, and we appreciate that. We want to hear what they have to say.”
Albrecht said the board is considering the feedback from Monday’s meeting and will take a close look at the issues raised.
The Superior School Board will take final action on Tuesday at its regular meeting at 7 p.m. in the cafeteria at Lake Superior Elementary School.