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Election Preview: Administration, technology focus at Lyle Schools

Published 6:57pm Friday, November 2, 2012

After more than a year’s worth of issues and two replacement board members, Lyle residents will pick from five candidates to fill three Lyle Public School Board seats and continue the work board members have done this year to steady the district.

Incumbents Jessie Meyer, Dan King and Jerry Sampson are up for reelection, while newcomers Brooke Klabunde and Joel Nelson are seeking their first term. Sampson replaced former board member Scott Nelson, who resigned from the board last November.

Board member Brandon Slowinski’s seat is also up for election, though under different circumstances. Slowinski replaced former board chairman Dean Rohne, who stepped down in January during a much-publicized controversy concerning former superintendent/principal Jim Dusso’s leadership. Though Slowinski was appointed by the board, he must go through a special election to serve the remaining two years of what was once Rohne’s term.

Yet the board and district have by and large put such troubles behind them, as many of the candidates are focused on impending issues such as Lyle’s use of technology in education and seeking a long-term administration.

“Our biggest thing is the administration, getting our administration set,” said Slowinski, who hopes to continue as a board member and serve the community.

“I think it’s worth every minute of my time,” he said.

Lyle was supposed to share a superintendent with Grand Meadow and Glenville/Emmons under a consortium agreement, but the district was forced to make its own way after long-time superintendent Jerry Reshetar resigned from Lyle in early 2011. Though current Lyle superintendent/principal Joe Guanella will serve until June, board members have a choice to make whether to find its own superintendent and principal or to share superintendents once again.

“That’s our biggest thing, is finding the best leadership for our district,” said King. King said he is running for reelection to continue keeping the schools safe and providing quality education for students.

Klabunde, who has four children in the district, says she wants to see the district pursue technological improvements wisely and said she would be able to provide a balanced voice to the board.

“I’ll have an educated, fair opinion and weigh the issues completely before I make a decision,” she said.

For Sampson, who previously served as a board member for seven years in the ‘90s, Lyle’s pursuit of technology is important to make sure Lyle students are ahead of the educational curve.

“Technology seems to be one of the best investments, and that’s where we’re heading, for sure,” Sampson said. “It’s just a matter of doing the most we can with the amount of money we’re given to keep the school solvent.”

—Meyer and Nelson did not return calls for comment.

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