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Nashua School Board Candidates

Editor’s Note

The following are statements from the four Nashua School Board trustee candidates who are running to serve on the Nashua School Board. All four candidates have provided permission to The Glasgow Courier to run these statements and have been published in their entirety.

These four candidates are running for two open seats on the School Board. The incumbents are Sharon Merideth and Tim Bellon while Mark Bengochea and Kayla Thievin would be new to the position if elected.

This election is an all-mail-ballot election. The ballots must be received back in the election office, located in the Valley County Courthouse by Tuesday, May 7, 5 p.m. Ballots postmarked May 7 but not received until after will not be counted. Ballots have been mailed and arrived to Nashua residents early last week.

Tim Bellon

Hello,

My name is Tim Bellon and I am running for another term on the Nashua K-12 school board. I have been a board member for the last 5 years. I have been a life long resident of Nashua and graduated from Nashua High School in 1991. I farm and ranch south of Nashua with my father, John Bellon. I have a daughter that attends high school in Nashua. I believe, we as a school board, have made a lot of improvements in the last few years and hope to continue making improvements. Our school is an integral part of our community and every students deserves a quality education supported by teachers that care. I would appreciate your support to continue to improve our school.

Thank you,

Tim Bellon

Kayla Thievin

Hi,

My name is Kayla Thievin and I am running for a position on the Nashua School Board. I was born and raised in Scobey, MT then graduated Cum Laude from the University of Montana with a degree in Sociology (criminology emphasis) and a certificate in Psychology (with coursework covering Child and Developmental Psychology.) After almost a decade of working in Missoula, MT for the Transportation Security Administration, where I was a Supervisory Security Officer and responsible for 65+ employees, I decided to follow the love of my life to Nashua, where for the past 10+ years, I help my husband, Tyler, with our farming operation when I’m not busy chasing after our 4 kids (6, 4, 2, and 9 months.)

I believe our public school should be like a delicately balanced ecosystem, where in order to thrive- teachers, students, parents, staff, and patrons need to be valued and respected. Proper education, safety, and wellbeing must be prioritized, and any issues must be properly addressed and resolved in a reasonable amount of time.

Unfortunately, the current leadership has proven tragic for the reputation of this school. Some teachers and staff are frustrated with not being valued or regarded when they’ve brought up concerns and have thoughts about leaving or have already left completely. Many parents are unhappy, have transferred their children out, or are choosing to not send them to Nashua’s school to begin with. There’s a large and growing number of individuals who have been vocal about the members currently up for re-election and the superintendent/principal, for not adequately and respectfully addressing concerns brought to them, as well as, not placing value on the safety and inclusion of students or the quality of education being received. A change in the members who are Trustees must be made to ensure the survival of Nashua’s public school.

I am confident, if elected, I can begin the hard work of building back the trust and reputation that this school deserves. My mission is to create an environment where teachers and staff are happy to work, parents feel positive about sending their kids, and students are proud to attend.

Thank you for your consideration, Kayla Thievin

Mark Bengochea

Hello Everyone

My name is Mark Bengochea and I’m running for the Nashua School Board.

I’m a lifelong member of the community. My brother, sister and I graduated from Nashua High School in the 80’s. I have two sons that graduated from Nashua in 2011 and 2013.

I’ve served three terms on the School Board prior to this. I was chairman for six years and negotiator for five.

I want to see our students excel in Nashua. I believe it’s important to recruit and retain great staff members.

Thank you

Mark Bengochea

Sharon Merideth

Greetings to all, I am Sharon Merideth.

I began on the Nashua school board in 2018, and have been the chair since May of 2020. I am running for a 3rd term to continue to represent the best interest of the students, staff, community and property of the Nashua school district.

I grew up in Virginia, then joined the US Navy and became a cryptologist, serving for 10 1/2 years. I met my husband Mike (alumni 1987) during the later part of this and we then moved to Montana.

I spent 22 years with the USPS, retiring as the Postmaster. I currently have 2 grandchildren attending our school. 

Since being the school board chair in Nashua, I have dealt with covid and all the regulations during it, pushing to keep the school doors open and kids in their seats at every turn. I have stepped up to fill athletic voids during volleyball, I have voluntarily been a line judge numerous times as well as working the shot clock during basketball numerous times over the past 2 years. I also fill over 2000 easter eggs annually for our elementary students to have an easter egg hunt at school.  I have also worked with the superintendent to fill voids in the teaching positions in our school.

I have attended numerous Montana school board association training sessions and gained the much needed knowledge about regulations and policies within today’s public schools. Growing and adapting to the current, then future situations is a necessity to be a school board member. We have to keep our small rural school open, our children deserve the best education and experience they can get. The current board is well trained and acutely aware of the needs of our community.

We work to find solutions to every problem brought to us, it has been a pleasure to work with all of them and I hope to continue service in the future in the same capacity.

Thank you for your continued support.

 

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