Hayden School Board candidates to speak at open forum

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— On Tuesday, the four candidates running for three open slots on the Hayden School Board will have their chance to address pressing issues and voice their platforms during an open forum at the Hayden Town Hall.

The event begins at 6 p.m. and will include an hour-long question-and-answer session from 6:30 to 7:30.

Medora Fralick, Timothy Frentress Sr., Brian Hoza and Sharon Johnson are the four candidates who will be answering questions posed by moderator Kevin Kleckler.

Kleckler, the school's vocational education teacher and director of the Babson-Carpenter Career and Technical Education Center, gave the four candidates a series of 12 questions several weeks ago — the same questions he will be asking Tuesday night. The candidates will each be timed in their responses.

“It should be an educated thing, so they’re not thrown off guard,” Kleckler said of giving the candidates the questions ahead of time. “We’re just looking to get people educated on the voting process.”

It is the first year Hayden School District has hosted a school board candidate forum like this, Kleckler said. It was an idea first formulated by current board members. His hope is that the event will stimulate interest, not just among district employees, but also the voting public.

Kleckler said in the 21 years he has been a teacher, it is a rare thing to have contested board seats, something the Steamboat Springs School District has also wrestled with for years.

It may not be the double-digit numbers he would love to see, but Kleckler is optimistic that the approval of the at-large candidate policy is paying off.

“We’re just excited we’ve got people who want to run,” Kleckler said. “These people don’t get paid for this stuff. I wish we had 14 people running, but we’re excited about this.”

Candidates will be questioned on issues ranging from their priorities as potential school board members to their stances on private school tax credits. Most questions focus on the candidates’ ideas for improvement in the school district and the board.

A few questions have ties to potential statewide changes, like the prospect of funding full-day kindergarten.

To reach Ben Ingersoll, call 970-871-4204, email bingersoll@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @BenMIngersoll

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