Clear Lake School Board election preview — incumbents Bergvig, Brownlee challenged by Southgate (VIDEO)

CLEAR LAKE — The two incumbents running for re-election for the Clear Lake School Board, Chyrl Bergvig and Tony Brownlee, are being challenged by Greg Southgate.

The three during a candidate forum sponsored by the Clear Lake Chamber of Commerce and Clear Lake Mirror-Reporter last week were asked what are the three most important responsibilities of a school board member and how does that role differ from the role of the superintendent or administration.

Southgate responded that the three most important responsibilities were “trust, trust, and trust.” “The community has to place their trust in us to know that we know our one agenda is doing the very best for this community, for these students, for all our educators, for our teachers, for our paras. That’s how it differs from the superintendent’s role. The superintendent’s role is there to enact and deliver policies to the teachers. It’s our job to be a rubber to make sure that we have successful policies, that we have policies that make sense.”

Bergvig says a big part of the responsibilities of a school board member is knowing the district’s financial situation.  “We spend the money, and if we spend too much, then other areas are hurt that we don’t want hurt. We also need to be in close communication with the superintendent going both ways, whenever it’s necessary, and just make sure that the school is running well, and I think our school district is run very well. We have inservices and allow money to be spent for those kinds of things to educate our teachers, paras and administrators.”

Brownlee says besides overseeing the district’s finances, the board has set goals for the future of the district. He says the other responsibility is to work with the superintendent.   “Some might say to hold the superintendent accountable. Others may say to support the superintendent and to clear roadblocks. I think you have to do both. I think it’s a partnership. I think these are hard jobs, and I think as a board that’s what we have to do. Often times you’ll get questions about if you can do this as a board member, and I think it’s important for the board to know what their duties are versus maybe what the administrators and the teachers jobs are, so walking that line is important too.”

You can watch video from last week’s candidate forum below.