Board of Education for District #297 - Christian Myrah
Wednesday, October 29, 2008 4:53 AM
1.) Please tell us about yourself and why you are running for office.
Occupation: Organic Farmer
Family: Married with three children
I am a 1988 graduate of Spring Grove High School and have a Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics from St. Olaf College. My family and I moved back to Spring Grove in 2006 and prior to that I spent 11 years as a Strike Fighter pilot flying F/A-18s in the U.S. Navy. As a returning native of Spring Grove, with three students currently in the school system, I have a vested interest in our education system. My background is unique and varied and my experience and perspective will complement our school board.
2.) What are top three priorities that you feel need to be addressed?
How can we better serve our students?
How can we better serve our teachers?
How do we deal with the issue of declining enrollment?
3.) How do you think the school can bring more technology to classroom learning?
Technology is great and there is obviously opportunities to use computer-based learning and instruction, but I don't think it should be used just because that technology is out there. We should embrace technology and use it as a tool to our advantage and I think the school is doing a good job of that, but it should not be done to the extent that it detracts from the core knowledge and fundamentals we are teaching our children. There are classroom dynamics and student teacher interaction that simply cannot be replaced by technology.
4.) How do you think the school can better communicate with the community and parents in a timely fashion?
Here is one place we can use technology to help us out. E-mail is a great way to communicate and could be utilized more, and the school Web site is a great reference and source of information. Almost everyone now has cell phones, so most people are reachable to talk or to text at any given time. There is also the U.S. Postal Service and the local paper. We have so many forms of communication in today's world, that there should be no excuse for a lack of communication. The challenge is to figure out what form of communication can most effectively serve our students, faculty, administration, parents, and community.
5.) What short-term (5 years or less) and long-term (more than 5 years) goals would you like to set for the school?
We need to continue to foster a positive working environment for our teachers, which will in turn create a positive learning environment for our kids.
The mission statement for the Spring Grove Public Schools reads like this: "It shall be the mission of Spring Grove Public Schools to help all individuals acquire knowledge, skills and positive attitude toward self and others that will enable them to solve problems, think creatively, continue learning, and develop maximum potential for leading productive, fulfilling lives in a complex and changing society."
This mission statement is a tall order and for the sake of our students we, as a school system, need to continue to execute this mission in the short term and the long term. We need to meet the challenges of operating a school in a small rural community and we need to make decisions that will uphold the spirit of this mission statement.
6.) How do you feel the current school board has been doing?
The current school board is doing a good job. Dealing with declining enrollment isn't easy and I'm sure they realize that at times it takes creativity to keep things operating at the standard of education that we demand of our school.