1. Describe your background: family, education, occupation, community service, involvement with local schools.
I have lived and raised my family here in Glasgow for more than 45 years. I graduated from GHS in 1972. We were the first class that had the opportunity to go to all three years at the “New High School.” I attended college at the University of Montana and Eastern. I served in the Navy as part of the Seabee Construction Battalion squad. After the Navy, I worked for Pacific Steel in Havre for two years and then became the Assistant Manager of the Glasgow store. I then went to work with my father and brothers and am currently the owner of Rod Ost Trucking and Larslan Water Disposal located in Lustre. While I’ve been self-employed I also farmed for a time in the Larslan area. My three daughters have all graduated from Glasgow, were all involved in sports, speech and drama, swim team and more. It was while my daughters were in school that I served a term on the Board of Trustees. I served with Dr. Wilson and it would be an honor to start this next term in his stead on this board that we once shared. Now, I have three grandchildren in first, third and sixth grade in the Glasgow school system and have two more grandchildren that will be part of our schools in the future. I started the group that came together to form Alumni Park and for many years was part of its continued development and planting. The trees that surround Irle School I purchased and planted with grant funds that were received from a grant that I wrote for that project. I have and will continue to be an active Scottie alum and fan and am so very thankful that I am lucky enough to have the pleasure of seeing my grandchildren in this next generation of Scottie students and athletes.
2. How has your experience prepared you for a trustee position?
I am a Valley County business owner/operator. I have managed corporate employees and staff, budget, inventory and customer service. I have started and served on community groups such as the Alumni Park organization, Glasgow Swim Team, GHS Booster Club and am a current member of the American Legion and Valley County Friends of the Library. I have seen many changes in our community over the last 45 years and as much as our population, business and economics have changed decade to decade our ability to provide the best education for our young people has never swayed with those changes. Our community has always been committed to our young people and their opportunities. This historical perspective gives me an educated advantage as we look at the future.
3. Why are you running for trustee?
I want the very best for ALL the children of the Glasgow Public School system and have a profound vested interest because of my grandchildren and their future. I have a passion for providing the most and best for our young people. I believe that with any decisions that are made on behalf of the community and its taxpayers there is a need for common sense and knowledge of the issues that face the board at the present time. I have been a part of the school board before. I know its operation and procedures and would be able to provide a trustee that can hit the ground running. I can provide the common sense approach. I am an idea person backed with construction experience and am a problem solver who is a good listener and believes in the importance of not being in a hurry to get a project done…but to get it done the best way possible.
4. What are the most important issues for our schools?
Right now the biggest project in front of the board is the $16.8 million dollar school bond to build a new elementary school. Now that the owner’s representative has been chosen the first step has been decided. Now we begin the process to find the design team members and truly start looking at the vision overview of the project with all the details of the building being determined. This is a massive project and I want to make sure that as I mentioned…we’re not in a hurry to get it done, but we get it done maximizing this monetary commitment the taxpayers have made for the next 20 years. The responsibility of this project far exceeds the finite details. We need to be fiscally responsible for the monies that have been entrusted to the School Board and to the children. The impact of the building and the movement and displacement of the children weigh heavy on this project and we must make sure that the children’s routines are stabilized as best possible through the process. I am excited about this project and believe that with my work and contracting experience that again, I can hit the ground running, asking the right questions and listening to the community for their input and concerns. This certainly does not mean that the board will not have other agenda items that will have to be considered, investigated and voted upon and they certainly are important too. Prioritizing, the ability to multi-task, being concentrated and available for input on “all” the board has put in front of it, that’s what I will do.
5. What are your goals for continued high student achievement to support college and career readiness?
I’ve been talking about the Core Values of the Glasgow Public Schools: Community, Strong Work Ethic, Enthusiasm/Optimism, Integrity and Collaboration. These core values are identified in the goals of the Board of Trustees, and therefore are embraced as my goals as the new School Board Trustee. These goals are outlined in the Strategic Plan that was adopted by the Board in January of 2012. The Strategic Plan provides a vision of the future. These goals include support of students in non-conventional areas of graduation; extracurricular activities for all students with clubs and activities that are not in the traditional areas; curriculum opportunities that are enhanced with training and partnerships outside the classroom setting; health education that will provide for better health choices for the rest of their lives. These goals will help to better meet the needs of each individual student. Glasgow schools will strive to provide effective instruction in all academic areas to develop the potential of all students to build lifelong skills and self- confidence to excel. These goals mean that we must provide the best teachers, the best facilities, the best technologies, and the best social environment. If ALL of our youth are given these opportunities in a supportive and positive educational environment, we will meet our goals for high student achievement.
6. How can the school board foster the tradition of school partnership with businesses and the community as a whole?
Communication and collaboration. We must talk to each other and we must work with each other. Not just sometimes, but all the time. It’s not an option. As this building project and any project taken on by the Board moves forward, it is imperative. I would like to develop an additional forum for the businesses and community to reach me outside the meetings of the Board. I will set a specific day each week, which I will advertise to let people know, to reach out to me individually. For several hours on one evening each week, I would invite the public to call me to discuss the issues that are facing the board. Setting an open line ….always….to voice their ideas and concerns. Of course I would invite anyone or any business to contact me anytime, but perhaps with a regular schedule to discuss the Board issues, there will be more of an open dialog that I can then share with the Board at the meetings. I want to know what people feel and think. I want them to know that no matter what it is I will listen and discuss. We’re a small community with big plans for the future, and each and every one of us has something constructive to share….I will listen.