EVART \u2014 The Pioneer reached out to each candidate running for Evart Public Schools board of education seats in the Nov. 8 midterm election with a Q&A form. These are their responses. Candidates on the ballot: Todd Bruggema, Tammy Dellar, Rosie McKinstry, Kelly Millen and Mark Moody. Todd Bruggema Why are you running for a seat on your district's board of education? I have been blessed to have grown up in the Evart community and am a 1983 graduate of Evart Public Schools. It is one of the best small communities in Northern Michigan. I want to give back to the city I love and to help provide opportunities for the students of Evart to be successful. What do you wish to accomplish? My main goal as a school board member would be to provide more transparency between the community and the school board. Together with (the) community, parents, teachers, and administrators, the school board creates a vision for the future of the educational system in our community of Evart. It is the school board\u2019s role to be sure that it is successful. We cannot do that without open communication between the community and the board.\u00a0 \u00a0 \u00a0 \u00a0 What background and skills do you have that would help you in this position? My 30 years working in education as a high school teacher, coach, high school assistant principal and principal have given me the qualifications needed to accomplish the goals of the school board. I have knowledge and experience in developing a yearly budget, negotiating with the teacher\u2019s union, implementing curriculum, and creating policies. Utilizing these skills as a school board member will ensure that our school system is functioning at a high level of efficiency. If elected, what issues in your district would you take on first? If elected to Evart\u2019s school board, I will ask the questions \u201cwhy\u201d and \u201cshow me the evidence or data that supports this.\u201d I will help lead change to provide the best opportunities and practices for our students. I will push to have our teachers collaborate across the district sharing ideas and strategies to bridge the gaps within the curriculum. I want Evart students to explore their interests and to obtain a well-rounded education. Upon graduation our students should be prepared to enter the workforce, military, trade school or college. As a school board member, I will help to provide the best opportunities and practices to our students.\u00a0 Rosie McKinstry Why are you running for a seat on your district's board of education? I am running to be re-elected to the Evart board of education to continue to serve my community and school district. I would appreciate the opportunity to do that. As I am a life-long resident of the Evart community I am devoted to making our schools the best possible for all of our students to prepare them for whatever path they choose after graduation. What do you wish to accomplish? \u00a0I would hope to provide the best education possible for our students ad Evart Public (Schools). These children are our future and giving them the opportunity and guidance to succeed will continue to be a top priority. Students need to know that the district cares about them. What background and skills do you have that would help you in this position? \u00a0My background includes being a resident of Evart my entire life. My parents, my husband and myself, and both of our sons have graduated from EPS. I now have a granddaughter attending Evart Elementary School. I have had and continue having interest in this district and seeing it be the best. I have served on the Evart board of education for 10 years. During that time, I have been on various committees, including those to negotiate contracts for teachers, bus drivers, and support staff and to hire principals. Also, I was on the board during the hiring of a superintendent. In past years I have been involved with the Parents For Kids at EES, working on the Kids Pad at ESS, and a member of Evart Sports Boosters for many years. Being involved both as a community member and a school board member have given me valuable knowledge to continue to serve on the Evart school board. If elected, what issues in your district would you take on first? Safety has to be a top priority. The district must do everything possible to ensure the safety of our students and staff. To provide the best curriculum to our staff to assist in giving the best education. To maintain a balanced budget while using our funds responsibly and to the benefit of the district in the best possible way. Kelly Millen Why are you running for a seat on your district's board of education? I've been on (the Evart board) for 15 years, I feel that I have a passion not only for our children but for our community. I want to make sure to do my part and make sure that the children first and foremost are safe at school, but that they're also up to date with technology so that beyond Evart Public Schools, they can be successful. What do you wish to accomplish? \u00a0I want to maintain the health, safety and education of our students. Safety is foremost in everyone\u2019s minds and school needs to be a safe place, and I want to make sure the children coming in the doors feel and are safe. On the same hand, the parents can feel safe sending their precious cargo to us for the day. What background and skills do you have that would help you in this position? I'm a registered nurse, but I've grown up in a family of educators, both my parents were educators. My husband is an educator, and two of my three sons are educators. Education has always been a passion in our family, teaching and gaining knowledge for ourselves. If elected, what issues in your district would you take on first? An issue at hand right now is the safety of our children. That is always so important, and I feel that with my passion for safety, I can help. I have taken Michigan Association of School Boards classes to know how to become or how to be a successful board member, and what I can and cannot do. We want (students and staff) to be in a safe learning environment where they can then have the freedom to learn. I just have such a passion for these kids, and I just want the best for them. NOTE: Candidates Tammy Dellar and Mark Moody did not respond to requests for answers to the survey.