SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — In just two weeks, early voting will begin for this year’s Sioux Falls School Board election. Election day is May 18. Two spots will be open. There are five candidates: Cory Begley, Marc Murren, Paulette Ludens, Kate Parker and Anthony Pizer.
Begley is on active duty with the South Dakota Army National Guard.
“Was looking for my next opportunity to be able to serve the public, thought this would be a great chance to, community engagement’s big with me and believing that the community needs to be involved in the public school district, and also to support the teachers,” Begley said. “My wife is a teacher in the Sioux Falls School District.”
Murren and Ludens are each retired with ties to the district. Murren taught and coached at Washington High School. Ludens works part-time driving a bus for the district.
“I just really wanted to give back to the community, so I checked out what was open, maybe some boards I could be on, and I saw that there were two openings on the school board,” Ludens said.
“I love kids, I love students, I think education’s probably the most important role to success. And I’m not talking about higher ed, whatever,” Murren said. “I’m just talking about a basic, good high school education. And I believe in young people.”
Given the size of the Sioux Falls School District as well as its proximity to other communities, this district’s influence can extend beyond Sioux Falls. The three candidates addressed what has their attention with the school district.
“Two of the biggest things that I’m looking at is our transportation,” Begley said. “Bringing more transportation to our students, decreasing the walk zones, things on that line, and then fiscal responsibility.”
“I’m a big believer in reading education, stressing reading at all levels K through 12, but especially the primary grades, of course, that’s where it gets a good start, and I’d like to see some things that we could do to help people read better,” Murren said.
“As I’m driving school bus again, I’ve had a lot of interaction with the teachers and students, and I’ve been questioning them,” Ludens said. “What’s good, what do you like, what would you like to change, so they’re excited about the new schools.”
KELOLAND News is planning to profile Parker and Pizer on Tuesday. May 3 is not only when people can vote early, but it’s also the voter registration deadline.