ARMA — USD 246 School Board candidates recently shared their reasons for running for the school board in the upcoming November elections. 

There are six candidates who are running for the USD 246 Board of Education, Andrea Allen, Joe Polhlopek, Mathew Zamora, Teresa Yarnell, Christopher Jackson and Daniel Boley. These candidates weighed in on their reasons for running in response to inquiries from the Morning Sun. 

According to Allen being a school board member is a “collaborative, shared responsibility,” she said.  

“As a member of the USD 246 school board, my wish is that we strive to understand and accept the different learning styles and disabilities of each of our students, so that each student may be successful in their own right,” Allen said. “It’s important to have a strong board of education. As individuals we have no power. By taking a team approach, board members share responsibility and accountability for achieving district goals. 

“As a trustee of the community that elects me, I will remain open and approachable, giving our community a voice.” 

Boley agreed that being on a school board is a collaborative effort. 

“Most people argue they are running for elected positions to make change and this is a very viable reason,” he said. “Making those changes can be a strenuous and stagnant process, if you don’t have a willing team that can agree on the end result.

“I am running for USD 246 school board because I know I can work alongside other board members to rejuvenate and propel forward this school district.

“My life experiences leading very successful businesses, building cohesive teams, working with prominent community leaders throughout the four state area, coaching youth sports, military background and having five children currently enrolled who need the right stimulation to learn; are all influential pieces for my entrance into this election.  I am here to reinforce the solid foundation of USD 246 and grow before the effects are irreversible.”

For the past 16 years Zamora has been part of the district as a parent. 

“USD 246 has had a significant impact on my children teaching them life lessons with its education,” he said. “I feel it is important for me to run for the Board of Education so that I am not sitting on the sidelines and have a positive voice for not only my child but the children of the district. 

“We as parents try to mold our children to be kind, wise and upstanding citizens. What better way to to serve, than to join others in shaping education with the goals and traditions that have played such a important role in my childrens lives. 

“I look forward to listening and hearing the parents of USD 246. It is important to bring their thoughts and concerns to the Board of Education as they arise. If elected, hope to have the opportunity to make a difference.”

Polhlopek, who has been on the board for almost four years, said he believes that students should be encouraged to further their education, especially into trade school. 

“What I’d like to see our students to come out to be productive citizens whether it’s a four-year university or going on to a two year program and get a certification or trade. 

“I believe the trades are going to be hurting for people — the trades are hurting now — and there’s nothing wrong with a good trade.” 

Polhlopek said one of the reasons he stays on the board is that there are “good teachers and students,” in the district. Polhlopek said he plans to continue to listen to and give different opinions. 

For the past 16 years Zamora has been part of the district as a parent. 

“USD 246 has had a significant impact on my children teaching them life lessons with its education,” he said. “I feel it is important for me to run for the Board of Education so that I am not sitting on the sidelines and have a positive voice for not only my child but the children of the district. 

“We as parents try to mold our children to be kind, wise and upstanding citizens. What better way to to serve, than to join others in shaping education with the goals and traditions that have played such a important role in my childrens lives. 

“I look forward to listening and hearing the parents of USD 246. It is important to bring their thoughts and concerns to the Board of Education as they arise. If elected, hope to have the opportunity to make a difference.”

Another parent, Jackson, has been involved with youth through his church for many years. Jackson said he is running for the board of education to continue to help area youth. 

“We [he and his wife] have worked with youth, talked to youth and worked with kids,” he said. “I like being involved and help when and how I can.”

Yarnell could not be reached for comment.