Fairfield Ledger
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Neighbors Growing Together | Aug 29, 2014

School board elections Tuesday

By DIANE VANCE | Sep 09, 2013
Ryan Kurka

Another write-in candidate for the Fairfield Community School District Board of Education wants the community to know he is willing to serve on the school board.

Ryan Kurka said he’s been interested in serving on the school board before, and wasn’t sure he’d have the time. He is a full-time driver for the Fairfield Fire Department, works construction projects on his own, and along with his wife, Sabrina, is raising two children. One child began fourth grade at Pence Elementary School this year and a younger child entered preschool at Washington Elementary School.

“When I learned not enough people filed as candidates, I decided it was time,” sad Kurka. “It’s good to have a competitive race.

“My wife is very active with Pence Pals, and that’s one reason I’m interested in serving and getting involved in the school district, plus I have two children in the schools,” said Kurka.

Kurka also is a graduate of Fairfield schools.

“I’ve worked construction in town for 18 years, but now I just work for myself,” he said. “I’ve been a full-time driver for the fire department for two years but worked here since 2001. I used to work with the ambulance and I’m still a certified EMT.”

He is glad the bond issue passed in April to renovate Fairfield High School.

“I think the school board needs a variety of people with various experiences and various ages serving,” said Kurka.

Joe Carr is running as a write-in candidate.

“I am running for the school board because I feel an obligation to give something back to the district,” said Carr. “I am grateful for the career I had as an educator, and how well-served my own children have been by our district.”

Carr said no specific issues are prompting him to run for school board.

“I’m a strong proponent of public education and I have great respect for the job our school employees do for our kids,” he said.

“Every school board faces difficult decisions and I think one key for the board is to maintain a balanced approach in its decision making,” said Carr.

He believes the board must find balance in terms of:

• Expecting Fairfield teachers to continually improve yet being realistic with the number of initiatives undertaken simultaneously.

• Being fiscally responsible and fair to the taxpayers while providing rich educational opportunities for students.

• Providing oversight for Fairfield school administration while working with them to move the district forward.

Carr said he would serve on the school board in the same manner he worked as a principal in the district.

“As an administrator, I tried to build consensus as much as possible and listen to all sides and be fair,” said Carr. “That is what I would try to do as a school board member.”

Elections are Tuesday. Polls are open in Jefferson County from noon to 8 p.m. The only issue on the ballot in Jefferson County is electing three board members to the Fairfield school district.

Incumbent Jennifer Anderson’s name is on the ballot. All other candidates must have their name written in on the blank line to be counted in the election. All three seats can be write-ins. The other write-in candidates known to The Ledger are Steve Burgmeier, Kate Van Pelt, John Oleson and Gerald Manley, who were featured in Friday’s Ledger.

Fairfield school board members remaining until their terms expire in 2015 are Amy Miller, Rich Metcalf, Jerry Nelson and Jeremy Miller.

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