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Five candidates vie for three spots on Worland school board

 

October 22, 2020



There are three seats open on the Washakie County School District No. 1 Board of Trustees in the upcoming general election. All seats are for four years.

Incumbent David Tommerup is seeking re-election to the board. Also on the ballot are Brett Argeris, Jonathan Hake, Tim Wright and Tami Young.

The other two seats open are currently held by Dean Dupree, who chose not to seek re-election, and Susan Scheuerman, who was appointed earlier this year to fill the vacancy left by Joe Bishop's resignation. Scheuerman announced at the time of her appointment that she was filling in until after the election.

New board members will take office in December.

The general election is Nov. 3. Absentee voting is underway. For details contact the county clerk's office at 347-3131.

Polls will be open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Nov. 3. Voter registration ends Oct. 19, however, voters can register on the day of election at the polls.

Brett Argeris

How long have you lived in Worland?

I was born and raised in Worland. After some time away to complete my education, we returned and have been here for the past 19 years.

What type of work do you do, and where do you work?

I am an orthopedic physician assistant. I provide orthopedic care to patients mainly in the southern half of the Big Horn Basin. Currently, I am employed by Big Horn Medical Clinic with an office here in Worland.

What is your educational background?

After high school, I attended the University of Wyoming on a wrestling scholarship. I graduated from UW with a Bachelor of Science degree in exercise science. I then attended Grand Valley State University in Allendale, Michigan, obtaining a bachelor's degree in health science and completed my education with a bachelor's degree in physician assistant studies from Rocky Mountain College in Billings, Montana.

Do you have children in the public school system?

Yes, a sophomore at WHS.

Why are you running for the Worland School Board?

Being the product of this very school district, I am very appreciative of the education and experience I had growing up. I believe I was well prepared for college and was thankful for the opportunity to earn a scholarship to pay for my initial degree. This community and school district were very supportive.

Now, I believe serving on this board is an opportunity to give back to this district and help provide that same foundation and support to "our" kids in this community.

Do you feel you have the time it takes to serve?

After speaking to previous board members and gaining an understanding of the demands of being on this board, I am confident I can uphold the expectations to be an effective board member.

What are two important issues facing the school district and how would you help address them?

Right now, the ever-changing status of COVID-19 is and will continue to be an important issue. My medical training and experience will be helpful to continue to monitor the situation not only as it impacts the education of our students but also by helping with new ideas on how to improve the process for educational and social growth.

A second issue is a decline in student numbers. I am interested in gaining a better understanding of the impact this has on our district and then addressing those issues to reduce that impact.

Jonathan Hake

How long have you lived in Worland?

More than 20 years.

What type of work do you do, and where do you work?

I'm an Accountant for Admiral Beverage here in Worland.

What is your educational background?

I attended K-12 in Worland and then received a bachelor's degree in accountancy from the University of Wyoming.

Do you have children in the public school system?

I have a son in kindergarten and another in preschool.

Why are you running for the Worland School Board?

I attended school in Washakie County School District #1 and felt I received a quality education. I would like to ensure that my children and their peers receive a similar, if not better education, than the one that I received.

Do you feel you have the time it takes to serve?

Yes.

What are two important issues facing the school district and how would you help address them?

Funding

Enrollment

These two issues go hand-in-hand. In order to make sure we have adequate funding for our school district, we need to focus on our student enrollment. Currently we have a good number of students that aren't enrolled with WCSD #1 and are homeschooling through other avenues. We need to focus on getting as many of the students in our community back into WCSD #1 and retaining them.

David Tommerup

How long have you lived in Worland?

I have lived in Worland for 23 years

What type of work do you do, and where do you work?

I work as a plant manager for a sour gas processing plant east of Worland.

What is your educational background?

I graduated from the University of Montana-Western with an associate's degree in science and business.

Do you have children in the public school system?

I have four children, ages 5, 7, 9 and 10, that attend school here in Worland.

Why are you running for the Worland School Board?

I have been a trustee for 16 years. I enjoy being active in our school system and I want to give all our children the best education and opportunity to grow and become successful and productive adults.

I believe education in more important than ever and being in a rural setting we have the unique ability to prove our students with an education that provides integrity, respect and hard work.

Do you feel you have the time it takes to serve?

What are two important issues facing the school district and how would you help address them?

In the next year we will be facing budget cuts, declining enrollment and, of course, COVID-19.

These issues need to be addressed with consideration of everyone in our community. Whenever faced with cuts, everyone must have buy-in and voices need to be heard from everyone. These times are very frustrating and life-changing for everyone. It is not an easy path, but one I am committed to and will continue to be a strong advocate for my community and especially our students.

I love our community and am very proud of the educational opportunities we provide at Washakie County School District No. 1.

Tim Wright

How long have you lived in Worland?

I have lived in Worland most of my life except the years I attended college.

What type of work do you do, and where do you work?

I am the business manager for McClellan & MacQueen, a local construction company. I have been there for 20 years and I am responsible for the operations, finances and employees. Some of my job duties include evaluating the company performance to make sure our company is running efficiently and productively, implementing business strategies and job performance. These are some of the tasks that also would be used on the board

What is your educational background?

I attended Worland schools from kindergarten through high school. I received my degree in business administration from the University of Wyoming.

Do you have children in the public school system?

I have two daughters, Bailey is an eighth grader and Brooke is a sophomore.

Why are you running for the Worland School Board?

I enjoy helping and being involved with programs that give the kids an opportunity to grow and succeed. I enjoy volunteering my time helping with tasks for Washakie County 4-H, being on the Worland Recreation Board and the Community Center Joint Powers Board. Being involved with and gaining experience from these programs, I feel I would be able to expand my knowledge and time on the school board helping our children's education process.

Do you feel you have the time it takes to serve?

Definitely yes. If you don't have the time, then why run?

What are two important issues facing the school district and how would you help address them?

Two important issues facing the school district is to continue striving for kids' education with open communication and the school budget. I think with the COVID-19, we are seeing weaknesses in the district that were not so prevalent. I don't believe COVID made the problems but brought the problems to light. It is important not to sit and see what happens next and then react. This puts the kids and the district at a disadvantage at the start. By the time we react, we are already behind and things have changed.

It is important that all students have the best opportunity to succeed. This needs to start at the elementary level. We need to continue to have a strong foundation which kids can build on through high school. There needs to be an emphasis on concurrent classes or college courses, pathway success for students who are interested in trades, steps into maximizing the Hathaway Scholarship, additional help to students who are struggling and making sure students are receiving a good education. It is important that we have an open line of communication with administration, teachers, parents and students.

The budget is going to be very difficult with cuts from the state and with student enrollment being down. From my experience with preparing budgets for work and for other boards, I know how important it is to see how cuts affects so many and the importance to look at every item to determine what the result would be. It is important to understand the consequences of each item on the budget and not look just at what needs to be cut now but how the budget cuts could be minimized so there doesn't have to be such a deficit. I believe the administration and educators have works their tails off with the current conditions. They have put a lot of extra time in wanting to give their students the best, which as put a lot of pressure on them. I look forward to the opportunity to serve on the school board.

Tami Young

How long have you lived in Worland?

I grew up in Worland until the ninth grade when my family moved to Casper. I returned to Worland 11 years ago. My mother is a graduate of WHS and my father grew up in Greybull.

What type of work do you do, and where do you work?

My most important job is to be the mother of my children and a supportive wife to my husband. I also work for Olsen Orthodontics as a clinical assistant. Additionally, I run a business from my home and am a certified Emotion Code & Body Code practitioner helping people identify and release trapped emotional baggage from painful life events.

What is your educational background?

I have an associate's degree in photography and a Bachelor of Science in family science and marriage and family therapy. I lived in Argentina for a year and a half and have been speaking fluent Spanish since the age of 21.

I taught a high school English grammar class to 10th-12th graders. Additionally, I have worked in a group home for troubled and at-risk teens and taught life skills classes at the Utah State Prison. I also worked with handicapped adults in a group homesetting for several years. I'm currently the Washakie County Republican State Committeewoman.

Do you have children in the public school system?

I have 4 children who have graduated from WHS and 4 more children in grades 9, 7, 4 and 1.

Why are you running for the Worland School Board?

I'm running for the Worland School Board because I believe it's important for a strong, reliable, conservative spokesperson to be involved in public service leadership to represent taxpayers and parents of our district. I have loved raising my children here in Worland and remind them often how blessed they are/were to be raised here. I've lived in bigger cities, in Argentina, Idaho, Colorado, Utah and New Hampshire and there is nothing that can replace the small-town way of living. It's such a blessing to raise children with more independence and freedom because they live in a smaller, safer town where they can walk or ride their bike to almost anywhere they want. We have great teachers who care about our students and I want to support our teachers and parents. I feel like I have a unique perspective having taught in different settings and raised kids with individual needs. I have children who have gone 100% through the public school system, and I have homeschooled off and on based on a child's specific needs. I also have a handicapped, special needs child which has allowed me to see the needs of students through a variety of lenses.

Do you feel you have the time to serve?

I do feel that I have the time it takes to serve. I run a business from home so I schedule my own hours.

What are two important issues facing the school district and how would you help address them?

Right now the most important issue is getting our kids and teachers back to a normal classroom setting and restoring personal freedoms. I take the same stance as Governor Kristi Noem of South Dakota, and believe we are a sovereign people, smart enough to govern ourselves and know how to best protect ourselves and our families from a virus.

It's also so important to keep our extracurricular activities going at this time. Each of my children have benefited greatly in different ways by being involved in the many activities available in Worland Schools. It's a vital part of social development and provides opportunities to develop resilience and grit in our kids.

Community members I have spoken with have also voiced a growing concern about curriculum. Nationally, it seems to be increasingly moving toward socialistic and sometimes radical ideals. I would support a policy that would allow parents to inspect and review instructional curriculum and methods to ensure they reflect the values of the community.

 
 

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