South St. Louis County News

St. Louis Call Newspapers

South St. Louis County News

St. Louis Call Newspapers

South St. Louis County News

St. Louis Call Newspapers

UPDATED: Kienstra, Lorenz seek seats on Lindbergh board

Third in a series on nine seeking four seats on Lindbergh board; Lindbergh NEA supporting four candidates in election
Kathy Kienstra
‘Kathy’ Kienstra

Third in a series

Nine candidates, including four backed by the Lindbergh National Education Association, are seeking election to four seats on the Lindbergh Schools Board of Education in the April 4 election.

Three three-year seats are up for election that are currently held by board President Kathleen “Kathy” Kienstra, Vice President Don Bee and Treasurer Vicki Lorenz Englund. Kienstra and Englund are seeking re-election.

Also seeking election to the three-year seats are union-endorsed candidates Matt Alonzo, Cathy Carlock Lorenz and Christy Watz, along with Jennifer Bird and Daniel Sampson. Bee is not seeking re-election.

Union-endorsed candidate Mike Shamia and Martha Duchild are vying for a one-year seat held by Gary Ujka, who is not seeking election.

This article will profile Kienstra and Lorenz. Alonzo, Bird, Englund, Duchild and Shamia previously have been featured.

Sampson and Watz will be profiled in a future issue.

• “There are several important issues in this race. Superintendent Dr. Jim Simpson and his leadership team have consistently raised student outcomes over the past nine years, and we have become a destination district for families with children. The result of this academic success is that we are now managing unprecedented growth. Our BOE and our administrative leadership team have an in-depth understanding of our district finances, which is why our budget is usually balanced within a few percent. We will continue our conservative financial stewardship of district resources. We must preserve the district’s Aa1 bond rating, and keep academic achievement high,” Kienstra said. ” Other issues are the hiring of a new superintendent, opening Dressel School, planning for and managing growth in student enrollment, planning for high school renovations to meet future needs and to address the issue of cyber-bullying and civility among children and adults. Finally, our administrative leadership team and the BOE will continue our robust and frequent communications with our teachers and LNEA leadership. We will always try to do our best to meet teacher’s needs, within our budget, and will continue to do so. These issues are equally important and illustrate why it is imperative to vote for an experienced incumbent to continue to serve on the BOE.”

• “The sustainability of the school district’s financial position. With the additional population growth, I am concerned about (whether) the district can adequately address that growth with our current financial situation,” Lorenz said.

Kienstra, 59, 7365 Navarre Circle, Grantwood Village, is an associate professor, department vice chairwoman and director of the Radiation Therapy Program at Doisy College of Health Sciences, St. Louis University. She and her husband, Mark, have three grown children.

Kienstra, who first was elected in 2008, said she is seeking re-election because “I support children learning and growing to be responsible and successful young adults. As a university professor and a health care professional, I have a unique insight into the skills that young adults need in order to be college or career ready. It is unfortunate that this election has become focused on adult issues such as teacher pay, when it should be focused on issues relating to children. As I have demonstrated as BOE director and currently BOE president, I will continue to work toward maintaining the high quality of Lindbergh academic and character education, and excellent services provided to our district children.

“BOE directors have a responsibility to keep needs of students as a priority in all areas of planning. Student achievement, district growth and fiscal responsibility are all important. I believe my experience is valuable and my continued service will provide consistency in future decision making. I have an independent perspective and a track record of voting for policies that have kept our budget balanced; our taxes low; and have increased student achievement scores for the past nine years. In contrast, the candidates endorsed by the LNEA are proposing massive new spending funded by a substantial increase in property taxes and a spending down of district reserves, threatening our important Aa1 bond rating. I am running to protect the services that keep student achievement high, and our taxes low.”

Lorenz, 46, 10561 Twilight Drive, Concord, is an assistant principal at Parkway Middle School and was a social studies teacher at Lindbergh High School from 1993 to 2004. She and her husband, Craig, have two children.

Lorenz, who has not held elected office, said she is seeking election because “I have a deep connection to the Lindbergh community for the past 46 years. Lindbergh is the best school district in the state of Missouri and the most unique in the United States. We provide an outstanding education to the children of our district and I want to be a part of continuing our ‘This Is Lindbergh’ traditions.”

Kienstra said, “Work to contract should be an individual choice, not a tactic used by teachers that ultimately hurts children. Work to contract is doing the minimum required to get paid. It teaches a self-destructive work ethic to students.

“Students who emulate do-the-minimum behavior will find themselves disadvantaged when they compete in college or business. Teachers should instead model successful behavior. Work to contract does nothing to generate additional revenue to fund teacher salaries. Teachers should also understand that, similar to their work-to-contract strategy, demonizing the BOE and our superintendent on social media and at parent meetings and board meetings will do nothing to generate additional revenue to fund teacher salaries.

“Teachers should also understand that, similar to their work-to-contract strategy, demonizing the BOE and our superintendent on social media and at parent meetings and board meetings will do nothing to generate additional revenue to fund teacher salaries. The BOE asked the LNEA to identify the issues that need to be addressed in order to end the LNEA work-to-contract tactic. The BOE has addressed every issue, and yet the LNEA continues work to contract indefinitely.”

Lorenz said, “I believe that they made the decision that was best for them at the time. In all employment settings besides education, employees would be compensated for their work beyond their scheduled time. I 100-percent agree that the Lindbergh teachers are giving their all to the students they teach every minute of every day.”

Kienstra said, “I am very satisfied with the leadership of Superintendent Jim Simpson. He is a gifted leader who has distinguished himself in K-12 academic performance and in K-12 district finances. Dr. Simpson promotes an understanding of school/community cultures, and he promotes and expects a school-based climate of tolerance, acceptance, civility and respect. Under his leadership, Lindbergh’s student achievement scores have increased to the point that Lindbergh is recognized as one of the highest ranked districts in the state of Missouri. Dr. Simpson invites committees of community residents to examine major issues, and these committees propose their recommendations directly to the BOE. Dr. Simpson and his administrative leadership team have an open-door policy with our residents.”

Lorenz said, “For a superintendent to be considered a great leader, he should be transparent, outgoing and invested in each student in the district. I am looking for a superintendent who will be able to know something about each family in the district. The superintendent should be the district’s No. 1 cheerleader in the community.”

Kienstra said, “Yes. The BOE and Superintendent Dr. Jim Simpson’s outstanding leadership team have a successful track record of using the best available data and educational strategies to determine optimal class size, teacher assignments and hours of operation that will maximize academic outcomes for our students, which is why Lindbergh has become a destination district for families with school age children. Teachers have the responsibility to teach. The BOE has the responsibility for governance. The BOE does not delegate its governance responsibilities to the teachers; and I am sure the teachers do not want BOE directors supervising their teaching.”

Lorenz said, “Collective bargaining should include negotiating salary and benefits. School governance issues should be discussed in committee format with input from all stakeholders in the district. Transparency is key to productive communication and viable decisions.”

Kienstra said, “Yes, Lindbergh has an excellent reputation regarding the Missouri Open Meetings and Records Law. All board meeting announcements and minutes are available on the district website, and we receive a refresher course on the Sunshine Law annually, in addition to voluntarily attending annual MSBA training. I will continue to follow law and policy.”

Lorenz said, “I have never asked for any information from the district or school board. I believe that they try to adhere to the Sunshine Law. As a board member, I will attend the Missouri School Boards’ Association’s training for new board members.”

Kienstra said, “As a health care professional and a university professor, it is clear to me that sex education is necessary in today’s society. Lindbergh Schools has written guidelines, mandated by state law and approved by the Board of Education, that govern how sex education is taught in the classrooms and I would continue to support those written policies. Families are given the option to opt out of these classes if they wish to do so.”

Lorenz said, “A comprehensive health curriculum should be taught to students based on the state of Missouri’s health curriculum model. This curriculum should be differentiated for the age of the children.”

Kienstra said, “That information is already widely available on electronic media. Lindbergh Schools has a policy concerning approval of the selection of materials to be provided in the library, with an appeals process for those who object to materials in the library. I would continue to support the process currently in place.”

Lorenz said, “I believe that school libraries should follow the board approved curriculum.”

Kienstra said, “Yes, I support the district’s highly regarded teacher evaluation system. Here are some facts about the system: Teacher Evaluation System — EPIC.

“Development of the Lindbergh Educator Practice Improvement Cycle was a collaborative process that involved Lindbergh teachers and administrators. Adopted by the Board of Education in June of 2015 after extensive research and piloted by Lindbergh teachers, the instrument is aligned to the Seven Essential Principles of Effective Educator Evaluation that are the foundation of Missouri’s model Educator Evaluation System. While EPIC is based on DESE’s model and is fully compliant with Missouri Senate Bill 291, which directs school districts to adopt an evaluation system based on the Seven Essential Principles, modifications have been made to customize processes specifically for Lindbergh educators. The primary purpose of EPIC is to promote growth in effective practice to ultimately increase student achievement. In the two years since adoption, teachers and principals have given the instrument high marks.”

Lorenz said, “Yes, I support the district’s Performance-Based Teacher Evaluation program. It has been approved by the school board, as well as the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.”

Kienstra said, “We will continue to test current educational approaches; identify new and better data driven strategies; enhance STEM programs — Science, Technology, Engineering and Math; emphasize critical thinking skills; and reinforce character education.We will continue to hire the best administrators and teachers and continue the practice of annual reporting of school specific academic achievement to the BOE through the Learning Report, holding the building principals accountable.

“We recognize that our wonderful families, and the outstanding support they give our students and our teachers, have been key to achieving our top academic ranking. So in addition to the previously listed internal strategies, we will continue to support our wonderful parents and students in every way possible.”

Lorenz said, “Giving teachers and support staff the support they need to move each student forward in their academic and personal goals. Relentless forward progression toward graduation should never waiver. I support birth to post-college education and counseling for our students.”

Kienstra said, “I voted in favor of Prop G; it was necessary to address district growth and fund the construction of Dressel Elementary School.”

Lorenz said, “Yes for Prop G. I have always voted in an affirmative fashion each time the school district asked for the financial help.”

Kienstra said, “I voted in favor of PROP L, which was the 65-cent tax increase to keep Lindbergh Lindbergh. It raised $8 million additional dollars per year so we did not have to lay off dozens of teachers. Also we cut $6.7 million dollars out of our budget prior to running PROP L to get as lean as possible and align with our reduced revenue — revenue reduction due to the great recession of 2008.

“This is an example of when asking the taxpayers for an increase in tax revenue, to pay for operating expenses, should be a path of last resort; and only after all other options have been exhausted. The unprecedented reduction in revenue — to Lindbergh — due to the recession of 2008 was an example of the very rare circumstance where it was appropriate to ask the taxpayers to consider an increase.”

Lorenz said, “Yes for Prop L. I have always voted in an affirmative fashion each time the school district asked for the financial help.”

Kienstra said, “This is a non-political position. A statement of my political party is not required for election to the Lindbergh Schools Board of Education.”

Lorenz said, “This question is not relevant for a school board election. A school board member should be nonpartisan and void of bias regarding decisions that affect student academic and social growth in a school district.”

Kienstra said, “My priority, and the priority of our current board, is to make decisions based on the best interests of students and taxpayers. Keeping students first is a proud tradition for Lindbergh BOE directors, and when students are truly the first priority, there is no political or adversarial agenda, or conflicts of interest. I keep politics out of the board’s decision-making process by being available to listen to every resident who has a comment or concern. Residents who have reached out to me know that I am available in person at board meetings; and I can be contacted by email and regular mail, as well as by telephone.

‘Lindbergh voters have helped keep politics out of the decision making process by electing directors whose background includes qualifications that give insight into issues that enable them to be effective leaders. Such a background may include 1) having had children in elementary, middle, and high school, and having volunteered and supported Lindbergh through those grades; 2) having significantly distinguished themselves academically and professionally; and 3) having a unique perspective that enables them to provide strategic leadership in district finances, district legal issues, education policy, and the skills and technologies that Lindbergh students will need when they graduate; and 4) who have no conflicts of interest and who do not represent special interest groups.

“Several candidates in this election have direct conflicts of interest or may represent special interest groups that would threaten local control and the very basis of what has made Lindbergh so successful. I will continue to work to keep politics out of the decision making process as I have for the past nine years.”

Lorenz said, “By not answering questions from the media regarding my personal political beliefs. In fact, the question asked right before this one from the Call Newspapers was: ‘What political party do you identify yourself with?’”

Kienstra said, “Moody’s has recognized Lindbergh’s long history of financial responsibility by awarding LS an Aa1 rating. We achieved this status by demonstrating conservative financial stewardship of our resources, including maintaining reserves that guarantee that we will be able to repay our bonds in the future.

In order to keep this terrific rating, the reserve fund balance maintained by Lindbergh will change each year. Major components of the reserve fund are:

“1) Whatever additional cash reserve is necessary to maintain the district’s Aa1 bond rating.

“2) Cash reserves necessary to fund growth.

“3) Cash flow reserve needs — this is necessary to avoid borrowing to fund cash flow.

“4) The restricted fund reserve — which is a necessary resource to purchase properties as they are available, such as the homes near Sappington School and Dressel School.

“5) The emergency fund — to cover significant, unforeseen emergency repairs.

“As of the December board meeting budget adjustments, the operating budget for this year is $69.1 million, with almost 77 percent of that being staff salaries and benefits.

“Our June 30 — end of fiscal year — reserve amount is projected to be approximately $20 million. Our low point in reserves comes in mid-December prior to tax receipts coming in. This past December, our reserve balance low point was approximately $3.5 million, which equals 13 business days of expenses. The reserve amount is a lot of money, but not so much when taking our $277,000 per day of expenditures into account.”

Lorenz said, “I believe that a school district should keep around 25 to 30 percent in reserves each year.”

Kienstra said, “Board members should always do their homework and make sure that they are fully informed before answering any questions. Board members can explain their votes to the media if asked. Candid discussion is always encouraged in the boardroom. Once the board reaches a decision, the president typically speaks for the board so that a comprehensive, factual answer can be provided to the media. Of course, district administrators are also available to the media to answer questions.”

Lorenz said, “Board members should be transparent to everyone involved in a decision, not just the media. Once votes are recorded, according to school board policy, the board should speak as one unit regarding a decision.”

Kienstra said, “Charter schools should derive their funding from sources that do not negatively impact current district funding. They should be accountable to publicly elected school boards and should be required to have their students participate in state run assessments so that families and the charter schools can evaluate the success of charter school education, and are therefore subject to the same accountability standards as other Missouri public schools. This position is supported by the MSBA.”

Lorenz said, “Charter schools are a wonderful resource for families that make a decision to educate their children there. I do believe that they should be held accountable to federal/state laws and standards with the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. I do not believe that public funding should be used for the business of charter schools.”

Kienstra said, “Any voucher system should derive its funding from sources that do not negatively impact the current district funding, which, for Lindbergh Schools, is largely from district taxpayers.”

Lorenz said, “I am against vouchers being used for an alternative to the current system. I do believe in public and private schools working together to educate our youth in our communities.”

Kienstra said, “Our most important challenges will be hiring a new superintendent; managing rapid growth; planning high school renovations; opening Dressel Elementary School; redistricting; maintaining high student achievement, and looking for additional revenue to fund teacher pay. We must hire a new CFO who will continue the Lindbergh tradition of financial transparency with 22 years of perfect financial audits; and support the BOE’s fiscally responsible use of taxpayer money, which has enabled Lindbergh to have the best possible bond rating — Aa1 — for a school district. We need to educate adults about appropriate use of social media; specifically that using social media for cyberbullying is inappropriate behavior.”

Lorenz said, “The short term challenges are population growth, the hiring of a new superintendent and the disconnect between the current school board/superintendent and the teachers in the district.”

Kienstra said, “No. At LS, curriculum is successfully covered in the time frame required by the state.”

Lorenz said, “The school year is already extended by offering summer school for extension and remedial courses.”

Kienstra said, “Additional revenue is needed, and the Lindbergh BOE meets with Missouri legislators every year to ask their support to change the state funding formula to ‘hold-harmless’ districts, including Lindbergh. Lindbergh receives about 7 percent of its revenue from the state of Missouri. The average school district receives 35 percent of their funding from the state of Missouri, and some districts receive much more.

“A more equitable funding process could increase our revenue by millions of dollars. Another option would be to follow the process that has been so successful for Lindbergh in the past, which is forming committees that include parents, administrators and school board members to examine revenue sources and propose solutions to the issue. Some candidates are proposing a tax increase for salaries; however, current trends and data indicate that taxpayers will not support such a tax levy.”

Lorenz said, “If additional revenue is deemed to be necessary for the sustainability of the school district, the board should engage in community support to educate regarding the need for a tax increase.”

Kienstra said, “Lindbergh spends most of its budget on staff salaries and benefits. As of the December board meeting budget adjustments, the operating budget for this year is $69.1 million, with almost 77 percent of that being staff salaries and benefits.

“The majority of homeowners in the Lindbergh district do not have school age children, and this unique mix of residents is what makes it possible for families with children to enjoy very low tax rates. Some of our retired, fixed income residents have told me that they cannot afford higher taxes; if their taxes are raised, they may not be able to continue to live in their home. Taxing a fixed-income resident out of their home would be a terrible tragedy. The next owner for that home would likely be a family with school-age children, which would further stretch our financial resources. Some of our retired, fixed-income residents have suggested that if the parents want to increase revenue to fund higher salaries, then perhaps the parents should begin to pay user fees for the resources that their children are using.

“Lindbergh taxpayers traditionally support capital improvement bond issues to repair buildings; install new security and teaching technologies; and build new facilities to accommodate growth. Taxpayers understand that buildings need maintenance, and that our children need a safe place to learn. We hope they will support a future capital improvement bond issue to update the safety of the high school campus to be ready for increased enrollment. The BOE is accountable to the taxpayers, who trust we will carefully spend money as needed to support our students, and that we will operate a balanced budget. I have listened for community feedback since teachers advocated a tax increase to fund higher teacher salaries one year ago, and I have not heard any independent taxpayers demanding that we increase their taxes. Asking taxpayers for a permanent tax increase for daily operating expenses should be used very cautiously; and only when there is no other alternative.

“There is a revenue issue because the state funding formula is insufficiently funded, and the distribution formula is written to the disadvantage of Lindbergh and other school districts with a ‘hold-harmless’ designation. Lindbergh gets about 7 percent of its funding from the state of Missouri, and the average school district receives about 35 percent of its funding from the state. The LNEA cannot solve a revenue issue by demonizing the BOE and our superintendent. Instead, the LNEA should partner with the BOE to lobby our legislators to approve more equitable state funding for public education.

“The LNEA should also partner with the BOE to oppose TIF for residential construction, which brings students to the district without the tax revenue to fund their education. A TIF for residential construction significantly reduces the money that Lindbergh has to pay teacher salaries.”

Lorenz said, “If additional revenue is deemed to be necessary for the advancement of teacher salaries in the school district, the board should engage in community support to educate regarding the need for a tax increase. Historically, Lindbergh teacher salaries have always been slightly higher than average in the St. Louis County area. However in the last few years, that has not been the case, as our salaries now rank lower than most of our benchmark districts. The work done by the Salary Schedule committee demonstrated that fact. We must make sure our teachers’ salaries are competitive enough to attract and retain the best teachers.”

Kienstra said, “Students are the first priority; pull resources from the classroom as a method of last resort; and restore resources to the classroom at the first opportunity. If cuts are needed, these decisions should be data-driven, using recommendations from our administrative leadership team and education professionals, with a priority to maintaining and increasing academic outcomes. It is the responsibility of the BOE to maintain a balanced budget and never deficit spend to fund daily operating expenses.”

Lorenz said, “If cuts are needed to balance the school district’s budget, the school board should create a budget reduction committee seeing input from parents, faculty and staff in the district. I would ask to be a part of that committee.”

Kienstra said, “No.”

Lorenz said, “Yes. I hope to be a part of the change toward more transparency, involving more parental opinions and certainly changing the treatment of the teachers by some board members.”

Kienstra said, “I am not aware of any organizational or group endorsements.”

Lorenz said, “I am proud to say that I am endorsed by the Lindbergh National Education Association.”

Kienstra said, “The district follows federal and state guidelines regarding locker-room access for transgender students. The district provides accessible unisex bathrooms for all students.”

Lorenz said, “The district should adhere to state and federal laws regarding transgender students.”

Kienstra said, “I support the redevelopment of the Crestwood mall site into a vibrant, productive site that benefits the Crestwood community, providing a robust sales and property tax base. TIF is necessary for the commercial part of this redevelopment. TIF should be used as a tool to allow communities to attract permanent infrastructure improvements and to attract high paying commercial jobs.

“At this time, the developer has not announced a single commercial tenant or any high-paying commercial jobs. TIF was never intended to be used for residential development, which the developer is now proposing. I oppose using TIF for high-density residential development, especially for rental properties. This is particularly important because Crestwood is the hottest single family residential real estate market in the region and needs no extra incentives to entice buyers.”

Lorenz said, “Unfortunately, tax incentives needed to be made in order to promote a viable business opportunity; which in the future will help the district with their financial needs. Refer to the money that is now helping the district from the Gravois Bluffs development.”

Kienstra said, “TIFs should be used to improve the employment base of the community by incentivizing an employer to bring in new infrastructure improvements, as well as the associated permanent, high paying commercial jobs. Too often, TIF has been used by municipalities to compete for minimum wage, hourly jobs, with no benefits, which cannot support a household. A TIF can eliminate property taxes for decades, which is a direct loss of revenue to the school district for the life of the TIF.

“With a TIF, a new business may thrive with their tax advantage, and it may cause an offsetting closure of a previously established business that has been paying real estate taxes. One example is a new big-box store with a TIF thrives, while its locally owned competitor is forced to close its doors because they have a higher of cost of doing business, which includes paying taxes. Another popular example might be the closing of Mike Shannon’s restaurant when — TIF-subsidized — Ballpark Village opened.

“A TIF is repaid with sales-tax revenue, and so a TIF should not be used to subsidize the developers and owners of residential housing, especially high density residential apartments. Residential development does not generate the tax revenue necessary to repay the TIF, so residential developments should not be awarded TIF. A residential development subsidized by TIF will bring school-age children into the district, while at the same time depriving the school district of the property tax necessary to pay for the education of the children living in the TIF subsidized housing.”

Lorenz said, “I do not agree with tax-increment financing, but sometimes it is a necessary piece to build businesses that will eventually support the district.”

Kienstra said, “Adapting to growth is one of the most difficult challenges for a school district. From a financial viewpoint, growth is expensive, so our board must continue to be financially conservative, keeping operational costs at a minimum while supporting services that maintain our high academic achievement. We have implemented strategies to manage growth, and we continue to plan immediate- and long-term solutions.”

Lorenz said, “I think that the district should create subcommittees to address the needs of the students. For example, a committee on the financial impact of the growing population, a committee on alternative settings and schedules and a committee to study best practices from other districts in the St. Louis area who have recently experience this situation. These committees should be comprised of many stakeholders and not just administration and board members. The Middle School Demographic Committee that I was a member of in Lindbergh when we opened Truman as a middle school is a great example of this type of committee process.”

Kienstra said, “No.”

Lorenz said, “Deficit spend for recurring expenses; absolutely not. Planning for salary increases in the immediate future; absolutely. I was a member of the superintendent’s Salary Committee this past fall, and we began the process of communicating and providing an extensive amount of data to inform the community and school board for immediate plans.”

Kienstra said, “No.”

Lorenz said, “My sister Cindy is a teacher at Concord Elementary school. She is in her 25th year of teaching in the Lindbergh School District. I am proud to say that my father, Philip D. Carlock, was a former Lindbergh school board member in the 1980s. “

Kienstra said, “The BOE and district administration followed board policy in the negotiation process. Although the policy — Policy HA — is readily available on the district website, teachers had difficulty with its interpretation. The district addressed the interpretation issue by developing a new, comprehensive communication plan, and added faculty development opportunities for teachers that explain school policies and school finance. In response to teacher requests, a salary committee was formed, and a report was given to the BOE. The teachers may propose a new salary schedule based on this data.

“Lindbergh administrative leadership reached out to meet an extraordinary number of times with LNEA leadership. The negotiations teams began meeting in October of 2015, per a settlement agreement after negotiations reached impasse in spring of 2015. Negotiations continued from October 27, 2015, through June 3, 2016, meeting a combined 22 times.

“The board met in dialogue with LNEA four times, in addition to the negotiations meetings. There were also meetings between board members and LNEA members on separate occasions without administration present. Finally, administration and board representatives met eight times during the salary schedule committee project  The presentation to the board would be included as a ninth time for the Salary Schedule Committee  Total meetings — not including meetings without administration — equal 12.

Lindbergh does not have the tax base of wealthier communities such as Clayton, Ladue, Frontenac or Chesterfield, so, unfortunately, there is a practical limit to the money we have available to pay our teachers. Like most Lindbergh families, our district finances must live within our budget. Lindbergh already spends 77 percent of its budget on staff salaries and benefits, and these resources are being stretched further by growth. As I have said at almost every board meeting, I wish we had more money to pay our teachers.”

Lorenz said, “No I do not agree with how they addressed teacher’s concerns …”

Kienstra said, “No.”

Lorenz said, “Of course. I taught social studies at Lindbergh High School from 1993 to 2004. While I taught there, I was a coach and sponsor of many activities. During my tenure, I earned my National Board Teaching Certification and I was blessed to teach with teachers who taught me and students who came back to teach in Lindbergh.”

Kienstra said, “The new superintendent should: Be a great communicator; practice an open-door policy; have an open and collaborative model in the Central Office; cultivate a good relationship with teachers; keep the BOE fully informed; have construction management experience; have financial management experience; (and) demonstrate a proven track record of increasing student achievement.”

Lorenz said, “For a superintendent to be considered a great leader, he should be transparent, outgoing and invested in each student in the district. I am looking for a superintendent who will be able to know something about each family in the district. The superintendent should be the district’s No. 1 cheerleader in the community.”

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