Joe HurlaSchool Board Member Joe Hurla at the Meet the Candidate Forum in Eudora Tuesday night (photo by Eudorareporter.com photojournalist Mark Moore)

 

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Candidates for the Eudora School Board gathered at City Hall Tuesday night at the Meet the Candidate Forum to field questions about various topics facing the School Board.  The Froum was co-sponsored by Eudorareporter.com and the Eudora Chamber of Commerce.

One of the major discussion points was about the future leader of the School District.  Superintendent Don Grosdidier had previously announced that he will retire at the end of the 2013-2014 school year and it will be up to the next Board to pick the day to day leader of the School District.

“If I could clone Don, I would,” Mike Kelso said. “Our future leader will need to be a dynamic leader that has outstanding leadership and managerial skills that certainly understands the intricacies of everything that goes into making the school budget.”

Board member Eric Votaw added that the District needs a leader similar to Grosdidier.

Eric VotawBoard member Eric Votaw answers a question during the candidate forum. (photo by Eudorareporter.com photojournalist Mark Moore)

“Don has been a true asset to our District,” Votaw said. “We need someone personable, out there visible with the public, a dynamic communicator who is not afraid to stand up and state the positions and make sure we have high quality individuals leading our District and communicating with the parents.”

Board Member Joe Hurla echoed the appreciation of the other Board members on the panel with praise for Grosdidier.

“He is going to be leaving us in a great position,” Hurla stated. “I think we need to do is not only continue what he has done over the last several years but accelerate where this district is headed.  We need someone to come in who has a full and complete understanding of the budgetary situation and be able to apprise us of that and provide us good recommendations.”

The topic of budgets and School District financing were discussed as well.  With the politicians in Topeka wrangling over the state’s budgetary woes and education being the largest portion of the budget, many educators across the state are concerned that cats may make their way to the local level.

While no candidate would identify specific areas they would focus on since no state budgets cuts have been identified or proposed, all were concerned that cuts to K-12 education, the impact would be profound in Eudora.

“We will have to use the same approach that we did the last time,” Votaw said. “We are going to have to look at every single expenditure in the district and start furthest away from the classroom and make sure the last thing we touch are those things that directly impact the classroom.”

“Any fat that was to be trimmed, was trimmed before I was on the board,” Hurla stated. “At this point anything we do, cannot avoid pain but at least minimize pain and protect our core values in our strategic plan.”

Mike KelsoBoard member Mike Kelso Tuesday evening during Meet the Candidates (photo by Eudorareporter.com photojournalist Mark Moore)

Kelso, echoed the sentiments of the other two candidates in attendance at the forum.

“What we would cut if we got cuts tomorrow, I can’t tell you. It wouldn’t be easy to find.” Kelso also pointed out how difficult it would be to make cuts.

“Every cut affects a human life and their well being and their outlook,” Kelso pointed out.

The three current sitting board members up for reelection were in attendance. Bryan Maring the fourth candidate for the Board, bowed out citing a family obligation that came about unexpectedly.

Election day is Tuesday, April 2 where voters will go to the polls to determine which one of the four candidates will fill three seats on the School Board.  Eudorareporter.com will have complete election results that evening.

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