Lindbergh Schools voters elect Schuster, Holloway to Board of Education

Schuster, Holloway win seats on Lindbergh school board

By Kari Williams

Karen Schuster and Kate Holloway led the polls in the Lindbergh Board of Education race, replacing Mark Rudoff and Ken Fey, who did not file for re-election.

Schuster led school board candidates in votes in the April 3 election, garnering 2,806 votes, or 32.11 percent.

Holloway narrowly won the second seat on the Board of Education, receiving 2,460 votes, or 28.15 percent, just ahead of George Rezabek’s 2,445 votes, or 27.98 percent.

A fourth candidate, James Goss, received 1,000 votes, or 11.44 percent.

Schuster said she looks forward to learning more about various aspects of the district.

“(I’m looking forward to) getting an even better understanding of what the district is doing for our children from an educational standpoint, learning more about education policies on a statewide basis and how that applies to Lindbergh… (and to) make sure kids are getting a good education,” she said.

However, Schuster said she is not sure if she has a concrete goal for implementing new initiatives or ideas in the district.

“I really do believe that Lindbergh is in a great position and has done such a good job,” Schuster said. “I want to be a part of maintaining that.”

Board President Vic Lenz told the Call Schuster will bring financial expertise to the board.

“She’s a CPA and has worked in the banking field before she was in her current field … (You) always need to have someone with financial expertise on the board …,” he said.

Superintendent Jim Simpson also noted Schuster’s financial background.

“Karen, through her financial training and … when she was with the banking industry will bring that financial training forth and that will be a plus for us,” he said.

For the district to continue thriving both in the classroom and with extracurricular programs, Schuster said she believes the district needs to work with current families, as well as the community as a whole.

“I think we need to work together to make sure facilities are kept up to date, the teachers in place … (are) enthusiastic about those extracurricular things …,” she said, “and the district then has resources available to make sure those types of extracurricular things can happen …”

Holloway also said community involvement is key, and she hopes to act as a liaison between the board and the community.

While campaigning, Holloway said she talked to people to get a feel for their concerns to bring those concerns to the board.

Holloway told the Call her management abilities — from managing a household to helping at her husband’s auto repair shop — will come into play during her time on the board.

“I love public relations. I love interacting with people,” she said. ” … I’m big on community. I think about every aspect and how decisions are made that affect everybody, whether that’s within my household or at the shop or whether I’m involved in an organization, I’m very fair minded.”

Similarly, Holloway said she is looking forward to working with the Lindbergh board and participating in the community.

“I just think it’s an excellent board to be able to work with and expand on my abilities, and maybe discover new ones in the process,” she said.

Keeping Lindbergh’s educational environment strong, where children are positive about learning and in a great environment, is something Holloway said she would like to accomplish while on the board.

“On the campaign trail, I had ideas (about advancing technology), and I see that they’re doing technology with the e-books, the SMARTBoards are in process,” she said, “and I’m definitely supportive of those kinds of things and advancing our opportunities that we can give the students.”

Lenz said Holloway brings the viewpoint of a mother and businessperson to a board that has a strength of working together.

“One of the strengths of the board has been our board works very closely together, and we all do our homework, and we make sure that we communicate and all of those things,” he said. “… (We want to) make sure everybody on the board understands how we have to work together to make decisions and keep Lindbergh where it is.”

Simpson said each board member brings training “in their own right” to the board, and Holloway is no different.

“She brings her own skills with her, and so we’ll find a good fit for her also, and just in general, each board members brings their perspective into the mix, and that’s how we get high quality decisions,” he said.

In the Call’s candidate questionnaire, Schuster stated one of the district’s biggest challenges is “increasing enrollment and increasing expenses coupled with revenue sources that cannot keep pace.”

Schuster said she loves what has been done with community involvement.

“We’ve always been a very cooperative community-type of an experience, and I think that’s important to get a broad range,” she said.

Schuster also said on the revenue side, she believes the district needs to be creative.

“I don’t know where the district stands from an actual policy standpoint, like sponsorship types of revenue … (but) I think we need to consider more creative revenue streams in the future, at least consider them …,” she said.

Looking ahead to what is next for the district, Schuster expects discussion about facilities and field space for athletics.

“(It’s) probably two-fold on the building side from a standpoint of making sure there’s enough space for the kids,” Schuster said. “Obviously, if enrollment continues to increase … (that’s) one of the things I think (we’ll be) looking at. Then I think field space for all the different sports teams is another thing the district is looking at — how do we squeeze the most out of the acreage?”

Holloway had a different approach and said the district has to keep an eye on the Turner v. Clayton court case.

“If that should be implemented, and if that goes forward, on the worst-case scenario … I think that’s definitely an issue that we all need to put our heads together to see how that would play, even if it’s a general scope, if that should happen,” she said.

Simpson said the district is “certainly pleased” with the quality candidates who ran for the Lindbergh board.

“It was very important to public schools to have the community put up dedicated people who will serve on the school board, and we think that the two elected candidates will do a fine job,” he said.