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Four Seek Wolf Point School Board Positions

Four candidates are seeking positions on the Wolf Point School board. Candidates seeking a three-year term as at-large district trustee are incumbent Mark Zilkoski and Kaci Wallette. Candidates seeking a three-year term as district 2 trustee are incumbent Linda L. Hansen and Lonnie Headdress Sr. Ballots may be returned to the Wolf Point School District office prior to poll closing time on Election Day, Tuesday, May 7, at 8 p.m. The district office is located at 213 6th Ave. South.

 

 

 

Kaci Wallette
Current occupation: I currently serve as a councilwoman for the Fort Peck Tribal Executive Board and am also a casual part-time registered nurse at the Poplar Community Hospital.
Family members: My family members are my son, Tade, who is currently a junior at Wolf Point High School, and my daughter, Kashlyn, who is a fifth grader at Northside Elementary School.
Reason(s) for running: The reason I chose to run for the school board is I feel my voice can be used to enhance better communication and collaboration between the Wolf Point School District and the Fort Peck Tribes. I feel that we both hold the education of our youth as a high priority and that there are a few hurdles to overcome to make sure all youth in the school district are afforded an equal opportunity to utilize the WPSD to the best of their ability. I know that we have some top notch educators in our school district that have great ideas that will help increase attendance and graduation rates. I want to support these educators in any way possible if I get elected.
Title VI Investigation: My thoughts on the current investigation are mixed. I am a product of the Wolf Point school system and have nothing but accolades in regards the education and support I received when I went through the system and I am now a parent of two students who are getting a fine education from the Wolf Point schools. I can only speak for myself as a student and parent. I was not personally present to witness any of these allegations that were filed against the WPSD nor was I serving on the Fort Peck Tribal Council that decided to pursue litigation against the school district. The plain fact of the matter is that there is no perfect school system and if this investigation does find merit in any of these allegations, I hope that the proper steps to right the past wrongs will be taken.
School week length: I am a proponent to keep the four-day school week. I feel that it has been beneficial to my family as I can schedule their medical appointments and other family duties that would otherwise affect my children’s attendance. I also think it has helped with the school recruitment of teachers, as I have a family member who relocated back in 2015. The four-day school week played a big part in her decision to move back to teach here. I attended the community meeting that was held a few weeks ago and it was interesting to learn that the four-day school week has an extra educational hour per week compared to the five-day school week and thus allows the teachers bigger blocks of time to teach the core subjects as compared the five-day school week.
One fun fact about yourself: A fun fact about me that I like making people laugh, I would have loved to be a stand up comedian in another lifetime.

Mark Zilkoski
Current occupation: Been in Wolf Point since 1992.
Family members: Wife Myrle is school counselor; nine children and 22 grandchildren.
Reason(s) you’re running: I believe I bring to the board knowledge as an educator (I taught for eight years), a father (eight of my children attended school here), grandfather (I have a senior granddaughter graduating this year and more grandchildren on the way). I have 22 or 23 years experience on another school board and experience on other types of boards as well. I feel that this helps me to be part of the team that oversees and manage districts affairs, teachers and other employees and personnel as well as school property and monies that the district is entrusted with.
Goals: My goal as a board member is I think the goal of every school board member which is to help establish policies and regulations which govern our schools and set direction based on the communities diverse beliefs and values. I believe our community would like our schools to ensure the best education possible to each student, hopefully creating an environment that challenges those who want to be challenged and to make sure the teachers and administrators prepare ALL students after graduation to a enter successfully a changing world. This involves ensuring accountability in finances and personnel, affording support, and to be an advocate for the children, the teachers and the district as a whole .
Title VI: Since this is ongoing (and as of this moment I am on the board) and I was interviewed today as a board member, I need to decline comment at this time.
School week length: I was pleased to see and hear from a number of people regarding the pros and cons of a four-day versus a five school week during the public forum. Although there were certainly a number of wonderful ideas presented, unfortunately there was nothing measurable. Although one teacher did a great job of getting the students involved in compiling some data. Kudos to that teacher: that is an example of what education can be about! I would favor the system with the most positive impact in terms of academics and social concerns, attendance and graduation rates, and/or the system than can be shown that has the least in terms of measurable attributes. I have looked at data from Harvard and Oklahoma and although some insight was provided, it was not necessarily germane to,our community. We are currently compiling some data which will hopefully provide some measurable outcomes.
See next week’s issue of The Herald-News for candidate profiles for Headdress and Hansen.