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Hancock school board candidates respond to questions

Barry Nelson1 / 4
Fred Crowell2 / 4
Gary Nohl3 / 4
Troy Hausmann4 / 4

Troy Hausmann

I am Troy Hausmann. I live in Hancock and work for Prairie Community Services. My wife, Alice, and I have two children, Amber, 11 and Jordan, 8.

1. I have two daughters attending Hancock Public School. As a parent, I feel it is my duty to be involved in their education and the future of the school.

2. This is the first time I've run for school board. In my occupations, through the years, I have dealt with several governmental agencies and was involved with the State Aquaculture Board.

3. I feel the teachers and staff do a great job but we need to continue to monitore our programs and keep up with the most current technology.

4. I think Hancock has a great problem of a growing sudent body. A lot of area schools are talking of cuts and increasing tax levies to keep schools operating. Hancock needs to expand and I would like to be involved in the process.

5. I would say the quality of education the students receive is the best thing about the Hancock school system. In my observations, it seems the teachers and staff have a positive attitude and the students receive a good educational experience.

Gary Nohl

My name is Gary Nohl. I live with my wife, Heidi, and our three children, Weston, Gracie and Avery in the city of Hancock. I farm with my family outside of town.

1. Being a Hancock graduate and enjoying the small school atmosphere, I would like to see it continued. I feel the previous school board and faculty have done an excellent job in the past providing a good learning environment for the students. I hope to continue to help the board maintain a positive educational experience for all the students in the Hancock School system.

2. Being a father of students in the school, I represent a parent in the community. My concern for my children would be similar to many parents in the community. This would equal me trying to make good decisions and hear the concerns and opinions of others.

3. I have no issues that I am aware of that I feel need to be addressed at this time.

4. If the construction project presented by the board will be for the good of the students and improve their education, it will have a positive effect on the students and community.

5. The Hancock school is a small school which equals good teacher to student relationships and good teacher to parent relationships. In the past the board has been open to suggestions and concerns from parents and community members. I feel the focus at the Hancock school is on trying to provide students with an optimal education.

Fred Crowell

I'm Fred Crowell and my wife is Sarah. We have three children, Kayla 15, Colton 10 and Chloe 9. We live in Hancock at 373 7th St and we moved here in May of 2006 after I received a promotion with Mediacom Communications.

1. I'm running for School board because I believe I can keep this district strong and help it to meet the needs of the future.

2. My work experience has given me the knowledge in budgeting, scheduling and communicating with the public. At Mediacom, I am a Technical Operations Supervisor, in charge of the day-to-day operations the day-to-day operations of 18 towns in West Central and Central Minnesota.

3. One of the things I'd like to achieve as a board member is the start up of a boosters program. This program would benefit all extracurricular activities, not just athletics. My idea is to have a board of director govern the program and divide up all proceeds from donations and fund raising and limit the fund raising to just a few items that every program would sell. The board members would come from all walks of life, not just from district employees.

4. I am in favor of both referendums on the ballots this fall. It is imperative that the first referendum passes to keep the district strong and provide for future demands. In saying that, the second referendum is precisely what I'm talking about when I say the future demands. As the enrollments have been increasing the past few years, we've plainly run out of room. We have to build more classroom space and an elevator. Currently, in my opinion, the school is in violation with the state by not have an elevator. By passing this referendum, we can build more classrooms and renovate for an elevator.

5. One thing that I really love about this district is the opportunities it offers the children. A smaller class with paras in just about every classroom. Before my wife and I moved here, we looked at schools from Alexandria to Benson and Glenwood to Graceville. We talked to realtors and city offices and most of them said Hancock had a wonderful school system. We took a tour and talked to Supt. Martinson and two of the teachers, Mrs. Wink and Mrs. Brown. After our tour, we were sold on Hancock and this is the reason I'd like to become a board member here. I'd like to serve this district as it has served my family and I, with loyalty and integrity. Barry Nelson

My wife, Sandy, and I have two children, Seth, twelfth grade, and Emma, seventh grade in Hancock school. I am a full time farmer. We live just north east of Hancock. I graduated with the class of 1985 from Hancock High school.

1. I'm running for a second term because I want to continue being on the board and because I still have two students at HHS. I also want to help keep HHS a sound and viable district. We have two board members, Randy Reese and Ken Feuchtenberger, not seeking re-election. I would rather not lose two experienced board members at the same time but they have done their part and I respect their decision. They have served well and they both deserve the community's thanks. I'm able to do my part as well, so I will.

2. At the moment, I am the chairman of the school board and the Hancock Co-op board. I am also a current board member for the Stevens County Farm Bureau. I believe I have held at least once, each of the officer positions of the Hancock Lions club over the past 20 years. I have also served several terms on the council at St. John's Lutheran Church in Hancock. I was told when elected for my first term that, it will take a year or two to learn most of how a public school operates. I know I still have much to learn. I believe everyone who can serve their community, should serve their community. I've been fortunate to have good mentors on every board I've been a part of, which is very helpful. I will try to do the same if needed.

3. I would say the school needs this remodel and classroom project to happen. We are short of space for many reasons. Increasing enrollment, higher Special Ed requirements and needs. But what is high on my list is that we want to add more class options in the high school level and this will help to make that happen.

4. We have been talking about the need for space and upgrades to the high school and '60s addition since I was first elected. There are many things that are simply due for upgrade. Nearly half of the project will be refit and the rest will be new construction. We have been all through the facility, from the very top of the gym to the bowels of the boiler room. I believe we have selected a great firm in I&S to help find what needs to be done and design for us the same. The cost to the local tax payers has always been on the top of the list. We did everything possible to do only what is "needed" with very little of what is "wanted". We, as a board, were hoping to get this done for less. We were very happy to hear that the 1920s high school structure was solid and could be remodeled. This saved millions. So the $5.4 mil is much less than our worst fears.

It has been said that we on the board were shocked at the price. The numbers were flying around for quite some time and when they started to settle down, we may have hoped too much for lower numbers, but if we showed concern or disappointment, I know that means everyone of us cares about every dollar, not that we were unaware or ignorant of the possible realities.

There are so many more details that I'm not going to go into here. There will be public meetings and I encourage people to attend if you have questions. To date, this has been an interesting process for me and I think I am not the only board member who has lost sleep over this. I know each of us on the board would be happy to talk to anyone who has questions. Please, ask away! I think the project is needed and that we should vote yes. The people of this community said yes in the past for me to go to school here. I hope we can say yes for our kids and grandkids, and greats, and great greats, well, you all know.

5. I think the best thing about our school is the smaller class sizes. Although, we are getting some back to the sizes we had in the '70s and '80s. Sorry, I don't recall the class sizes before that. I would say the smaller district is good, too, as we don't need an act of congress and planetary alignment to make a change. I'm confident that this school will be around for my lifetime. That's my goal.