SCHOOL BOARD CANDIDATES: Trout Creek School District

 

April 20, 2023



Name: Zachary Hannum

Education: Noxon Public Schools, Class of 1990. United States Navy operator school, Gulfport, Mississippi. Attended Montana Western.

Occupation: Currently own and operate Montana Trees Inc. a wholesale Nursery stock business based at our home in Trout Creek. Own and operate Montana Nursery, a retail and landscaping business based in Helena, Montana.

What qualities would make you an effective school board member? Growing up in Trout Creek I attended school there myself and my son now attends school there. Not much has changed. The student body and classroom sizes are smaller now. The facilities are almost the same. I feel it is important to volunteer in your community. The students’ educational experience will be more positive with open communication and involving parents. Personally, I am committed to providing accessibility, opportunity, and a positive safe learning environment for every student.

What do you see as the opportunities and challenges in your district? One of the challenges is always funding. Challenges of the students become the challenges of the school board. Whether it is mental health, living environment or opportunity. I believe the school board is fiscally responsible for finding the balance between the needs of the students, staff, and community. I truly see more opportunity than challenges for Trout Creek school. We

have the opportunity to set the standard for what parents expect from our public school system.

Name: Robert Purdy

Education: Some college

Occupation: owner/operator of Trout Creek Motel & Rv Park.

What qualities would make you an effective school board member? We have 2 kids that go to Trout Creek School, I help coach the archery program at the school. I view it as an opportunity to get involved and advocate on behalf of our children and other students in the district.

What do you see as the opportunities and challenges in your district? The challenges are the shortage of teachers and substitute teachers in our district. We need to work on teacher and staff pay, by getting more funding for them. We have opportunities to make Trout Creek School great, with getting enrollment up, providing our students with a great academic plan, providing sports and opportunities for them to grow.

Name: Marian Stonehocker

Education: High school diploma 1 year of college at MSU

Occupation: Retired

What qualities would make you an effective school board member? I feel I make a good candidate for the Trout Creek School Board, beginning with my 30+ years with the Trout Creek School. I was employed as a full time paraprofessional for 16 years. I am a parent of 4, all educated at Trout Creek, and have volunteered and substituted in almost every position in the school. I have seen 8 different administrations in that time as well as numerous changes in school boards. I have a good grasp of the operations of the school, and how the involvement of the community plays an integral part in the success of the school.

What do you see as the opportunities and challenges in your district? Opportunities I would like to nourish are the importance of community and staff in a positive learning environment. That concerns are being heard; encouraging open communications. I would like to see academic achievement as a priority in a foundation of good citizenship, making sure that the learning environment contributes to successful, well rounded adults. Parents lay the foundation. It’s up to the schools to continue to give them tools to live productive lives. Challenges that face a small rural school are many. The fact that approx 80% of the staff have left their positions in the last 2 yrs, bears looking into.

Name: Donald Ekstedt

Education: Nape College

Occupation: Retired

What qualities would make you an effective school board member? Born and raised in Trout Creek 21 years in U.S. Navy 3tours in Viet Nam.I was in middle management in the navy.

What do you see as the opportunities and challenges in your district?This school needs management of recourses.and guidance.

Name: Bryant Eaton

Education: Some college education

Occupation: Residential Construction

What qualities would make you an effective school board member? I grew up in Trout Creek and the Trout Creek School. I’ve lived here my whole life so I want to see this school thrive. I’m a very active volunteer in the school and the community. I want to help by investing my time and energy into the school as others did for me when I was attending the school

What do you see as the opportunities and challenges in your district? Opportunities in our district consist of many opportunities for student development in the class and outside. Our archery team just won state and for a first year program that’s awesome. Smaller classrooms provide more one on one opportunities for students to make sure that the information being taught and provided has a better chance of being retained. Some areas we struggle with in the district is a lack of resources and funds. However I feel like all small districts experience the same thing.

Name: Michael Linderman

What qualities would make you an effective school board member? I have a masters degree in education and have served on the board for over 20 years. I have a long history with the Trout Creek school district and have tremendous historical knowledge.

What do you see as the opportunities and challenges in your district? School districts across the state struggle with issues similar to our district. We have a lack of funding and it is difficult to keep quality staff due to inability to offer competitive wages to surrounding states. We have tremendous opportunities to grow as we bring on new ideas and cultivate an environment of excitement and opportunity.

 

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