Bryan Maring

BryanMaringSchool Board Candidate Bryan Maring

Eudora News and Informationwww.eudorareporter.com

With the upcoming elections for City Commission and School Board, we wanted to take time to highlight each candidate in the race.

All candidates were sent a questionnaire to fill out and respond to and stated that their responses to those questions will be presented as sent to us with no editing.

Today, we feature School Board Candidate Bryan Maring

Please tell about your background and qualifications for a position on the School Board.

I graduated from Fort Hays State University with a BA in Secondary Education and MS in Athletic Administration. During my 15 years in education, I taught and coached at several universities and also spent 2 years as a teacher and head football coach at Ellinwood High School in Kansas.  I then decided to join the pharmaceutical industry where I currently am a sales manager of 10 representatives in an area covering the state of Kansas. My unique background in having and education and business experience allows me to understand the challenges in education from a teacher level, and from a business end where you must gain all the information, look at all the options and make the best decision for the school district.

The most important issue facing the school board is funding. Tell us how you would decide on any budget cuts that may need to be made now and in the coming year.

As budget shortfall will be the main challenge all school boards face in the state of Kansas for the next several years, here is how I have made tough decisions in my current role in the business sector:

1. You must have a common goal as a school board by which all decisions must be centered around. I believe that all decisions should be made with the best interest of providing a safe environment for the children to learn, minimum effect on the number of persons involved, and maintaining the highest quality of education.

2. You gather all the facts as it pertains to the decision.

3. Outside the box think of ideas and strategies that could be used meet the goal of the decision (refer to goal in #1).

4. Test the ideas and/or strategies to determine if they could or will work.

5. Make the decision that best meets the goal set by the school board (refer to #1). Decisions are not always easy but having a process by which to make decisions is. Having had to make decisions over the past 10 years in the business environment which had impact on the customers we served and the people who worked for me, I know the importance every decision we will make and will not take those decisions lightly. Every decision has an impact on someone and we need to realize what that impact is and how best to make that impact as positive as it can be.

Do you support raising the local mill rate to cover and underfunding by the state and why or why not?

I do support passing a mill rate to cover the underfunding by the state. The main reason is the importance of making sure we deliver the best education for the children of this community. By voting to increase the mill levy, first the vote will only give the board and district the ability to tap the additional funds as needed. For example, the district and school board may only need 1% or 2% additional, meaning the vote only gives them the flexibility to tap that resource when needed not an overall 3% hike. As a community we are challenged to provide the best education possible to the children of this community and the only way to continue to provide this is to make sure we can have flexibility in funding our schools.

The State Board of Education has adopted and begun implementation of the Common Core Standards in school districts through the state. What is your position on the Common Core Standards and if they were to become optional, would you support keeping or removing them from the curriculum in the Eudora School District?

I believe there needs to be a set of standards by which schools are measured to determine the progress they make in educating our children. Secondly, I believe issues as it pertains to schools should be made at the state and local level and pushed down by federal mandates as part of funding. The challenge around Common Core is it is the current standard which all schools are buying text books, training teachers, and the investment, dollars, is quite substantial. While I may not like every aspect of Common Core I do believe in having a standard to measure the performance of our schools. Talking with educators around the area, it seems there are things people like and dislike. This is with any standard that has ever been rolled out in any industry or education system. If it is repealed by the state legislature, I would take into account the amount of money already spent to by textbooks, new technology programs and train our teachers. With the budget the way it is, I would not support any endeavor to change it if the cost of changing would be spending more money to buy new text books, technologies, and retrain teacher at a high cost thus limiting the opportunity to keep, add, or maintain the current educational standards in our schools.

What other issues do you see as important decisions the School Board will face in the near future?

All the other challenges within our schools will still have a component of the budget challenge.  Additional challenges such as retention of our best teachers, as stated earlier one of our priorities is to provide the highest level of education possible. To do that we must retain our best teachers and keep those top teachers here within our school district.

Why do you want to sit on the School Board?

I have had one daughter graduate from Eudora High School who currently attends Drake University and one daughter who is currently a 7th grade student, I have seen what the Eudora Schools system has done and is doing to help prepare them for their futures. I want to run for School Board because I believe my unique background of education and business can help us through the next couple of years and the tough decisions that need to be made. I believe at Eudora we offer unique opportunities for our students a track through vocational training through our Ed Tech building and a traditional college prep, not many schools give that opportunity to the community. I want to help maintain and grow those opportunities to help students prepare for their career choices. Eudora is a great community, with untapped potential in our children, our schools will help tap into that potential and as school board member I can help making sure those potentials are reached.

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The City elections will be held on Tuesday, April 7. Polls will be open from 7:00 A.M. to 7:00 P.M. Voters can vote early by mail or by going to the Douglas County Courthouse.  For more information on advance voting, you can visit the Douglas County Elections website: https://www.douglascountyks.org/depts/voting-and-elections/advance-voting

Three of the five candidates running for the City Commission will be selected. On the School Board, six candidates are vying for four seats.

We will have more in depth information about polling places as we near Election Day. The remaining candidates will be profiled over the next few days.

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BryanMaringBryan Maring

With the coming School Board and City Commission election in April, we asked each candidate for both School Board and City Commission to answer a few questions to help give voters an insight into who is running.  Each candidate was given the same list of questions to answer and their responses are being printed exactly as received.  We wrap up the School Board candidates today with Bryan Maring.

Please tell about your background.

I’ve worked in the educational system for over 12 years as a college instructor, assistant football coach at Fort Hays State University, & Mesa State College, 2 years at Ellinwood High School as teacher and head football coach, and 1 year at Fort Scott Community College as instructor and coach.  The last 8 years working for Novartis Pharmaceuticals as an area sales manager responsible for area sales in 7 states and 13 specialists.

What qualifications do you feel you have for a seat on the School Board

I believe my qualification for Eudora School Board are unique experiences with over 15 years teaching/coaching at three different levels allows me a unique set of views working in those environments to understand issues from different points of view to bring a different insight to the school board.  In my current position we are faced with many of the same issues of how to do more with fewer and fewer resources.

What do you think is the most important issue that faces the School Board and what do you plan to do in regards to that issue?

The most important issue facing the school board at Eudora School district is working with a reduced budget from years past.  As one who has this same issue each and every year working in my current position the key to maximizing your budget is to prioritize around what you consider to be the most important functions of your school district to fulfill our responsibilities:  the safety/safe environment for our students, hiring best possible teachers to lead our students, and creating opportunities for all students to maximize their strengths.  We want all of our students to graduate from Eudora High School career ready regardless of the career path they might chose.  Our Career Technical Education and College Now options enhance the capacity of our district to meet our students’ needs.

What other issues do you feel the School Board should review or remedy during the next term?

One of the other issues which is facing our school system and others is how do we continue to keep our best teachers and administrators from moving on to other districts.  The reason for most job change is not always financial and as a school district putting a retention strategy in place using other methods to recognize our top teachers, and create different career development pathways to help them reach their career goals, lets them know we care about them and their development.  By investing and recognizing our teachers we can build a stronger relationship which money can not always provide.

Why do you want to sit on the School Board?

The reason I want to sit on the School Board is because we moved to Eudora over 8 years ago and have one child graduating from Eudora High School and one entering middle school next year.  The reason we moved to Eudora was because of their outstanding school system and as a parent who has seen the value of a great education.  I want to help in continuing to improve our educational system and believe my unique experiences and qualifications can be of value to this position.

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Next week, we will bring you Candidate profiles of the candidates for the City Commission race. Candidates for the School Board and City Commission will also have the opportunity to answer more in depth questions during the Meet The Candidates Forum on Tuesday, March 12 at 7:00 PM.  The Forum will be held at Eudora City Hall, 4 East 7th Street and the public is invited to attend. Election Day is Tuesday, April 2.

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Eudora News and Informationwww.eudorareporter.com

The Eudora School Board will have a very similar look to it for the next two years as all the incumbents that ran won their respective seats.  Re-elected to the Eudora School Board were Joe Pyle, Belinda Rehmer and Mark Chrislip. Pyle who, by less than 5 votes (this number is pending the results from Leavenworth County) finished ahead of  Rehmer.

The newcomer to the School Board will be Dr. Daniel Dickerson who will take the seat vacated by Kenny Massey who ran for City Council. Bryan Maring came in fifth place, well behind Dickerson.

Joe Pyle said on his narrow first place win, “I’m humbled by the confidence of all the voters and very grateful. We have a lot of tough decisions ahead of us and I look forward to doing the best I can.”

Belinda Rehmer commented on her victory saying “Apparently people are satisfied with the job we have been doing since all the incumbents were re-elected.  This is vote of confidence we are on the right track with what we are doing.”

The Board will be facing some very tough questions in the days and weeks ahead as the topic of school district financing will be front and center.

Also new to the board will be Joseph Hurla who was unopposed for the seat previously filled by Nancy Jackson who decided not to run for re-election.

Some interesting stats from the race:

Pyle  lead in the west, north and south parts of Eudora while Rehmer was the top vote getter in the Central part of town.  Dickerson took 5th in the Central and South part of town, but made up for those loses on the west side.

North Eudora had the largest percent of vote turnout for the School Board race with 17.3% of the population casting ballots. 15.6% of west voters turned out, while the South has 12.9% and the Central Eudora Precinct had only 12.6%.

We didn’t see who the 15 write-in votes were for, but we are taking a hunch that Mickey Mouse had a good showing.

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1/18/2011 NEWS UPDATE

Mark Chrisplip has filed for reelection for his School Board seat as of this morning.

Eudora News and Informationwww.eudorareporter.com

We wanted to give you a quick rundown as to what we have learned about candidates so far in the upcoming elections.

First the City Council Elections:

Incumbent Ruth Hughs has filed for the campaign. Councilwoman Maria Nelson has stated on the record that she is going to file.

Challenger Jerry Trober has also filed for the election. Jeff Peterson, the other sitting council member has decided not to run.  Three seats are up for election in 2011.

On the School Board:

There are five seats to be put to a vote. 4 regular seats held by board members Mark Chrislip, Kenny Massey, Joe Pyle and Belinda Rehmer are up and Nancy Jackson was appointed to the board, so her seat is also up for reelection this year.

As of late last week, Rehmer was the only incumbent so far to file.  Chrislip  (SEE NEWS UPDATE ABOVE), Massey and Pyle stated they are still “undecided”. Jackson was unavailable to comment and has not returned inquiries.

Also filing for School Board seats are Dr. Daniel Dickerson and Bryan Maring. Dickerson practices at Eudora Family Care and Maring has been an instructor at the University and High school levels.

The filing deadline is January 25th.  As we get closer to the elections, we will have candidate profiles for all the candidates running in the election who choose to respond. EudoraReporter.com will be your one stop location for election coverage in 2011.

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