The Moose Lake School Board delayed appointing a new board member at the special meeting of the board on Monday, July 1. The three candidates will be interviewed before the next meeting of the board on Monday, July 15.
Three people had sent in letters of interest by the deadline at the end of June: Audrey Gentry, Byron Kuster and Thomas Paull.
Gentry said that she grew up in Kettle River and that her dad had been on the Moose Lake School Board. Her mother was an elementary teacher in the Moose Lake school system.
Her children graduated from Moose Lake High School (MLHS), and now her grandchildren are enrolled in MLHS.
She brings more than 30 years of elementary teaching experience, and has received several awards and honors. She has also served on several committees and boards.
“Education is my passion,” she wrote. “We need to provide the best possible education for our young people in spite of state testing … which I oppose …but, know is a necessary evil. The school board needs to lead by example for innovative thinking. The board can inspire, facilitate, collaborate, and help rural areas be a place others would desire to live due to the educational excellence. I’d like to be part of this movement!”
Byron Kuster said that he has lived in the Moose Lake School District for the past 20 years. His wife and step-daughters graduated from the Moose Lake school, and he now has two grandchildren that are enrolled in Moose Lake Elementary School and two more enrolled in the ECFE program. He said that he has taken community education classes and attended many events at the school.
Kuster is an adult literacy instructor and has worked extensively with under-educated adults. He has served on the Moose Lake-Windemere Sanitary Sewer Board for the past 16 years and has learned long-term planning, budgeting and problem solving.
“I am interested in being a member of the board because I believe that the public school system is extremely important to society, and because I want to help shape the school district that I live in and that my grandchildren attend,” he wrote. “I will be retiring soon as a teacher within the Minnesota Department of Corrections, and I am also looking for some new challenges where I can utilize my 25-year background in education.”
Paull has lived in the Moose Lake School District for 20 years. He is currently employed by the city of Moose Lake as the Administrative Flood Manager and as the Vice Chair of the Regional Long Term Recovery Committee. He is also chair of t he Southern Carlton, Pine and Aitkin County Unmet Needs Committee. He is a member of the Moose Lake Fire Department and Mercy Hospital Ambulance. He has four children attending the Moose Lake school.
Paull has been an insurance adjuster for 20 years, a position that gave him a clear understanding of what it takes to be fiscally responsible and how to provide quality customer service. He wrote that he has had the opportunity to connect with many students through coaching several sports.
“High quality and diverse educational opportunities, provided by talented and connected staff, is the key to a successful future for our youth and our society,” he wrote. “I have been impressed with the quality of education provided by the Moose Lake School District and I, as a school board member, would strive to ensure that the District continues to provide the best possible opportunities for our students.”
In other business, the board agreed by consensus to have the siding replaced on the shed at the practice field on County Road 10. Superintendent Robert Indihar reported that it was found that the roof and walls of the shed were sturdy, and that the cost of taking the materials away in a roll-off box was more expensive than replacing the siding.