COVID-19, the budget loom ahead for the school board, community
In six weeks, the Churchill County School Board will welcome a new trustee and two incumbents from the 2020 general election.
Former board President Kathryn Whitaker led the five candidates vying for three seats with retired school district administrator and Principal Gregg Malkovich in second and Tricia Strasdin winning her second term.
The next six months will be challenging for the school board which also includes Carmen Schank and current President Matt Hyde. Trustees will continue to grapple with instruction modes during the coronavirus pandemic and then work on and agonize over a new budget.
“The board will need to remain ever-vigilant about keeping students and staff safe in order to keep schools open,” Whitaker said. “The district’s protocols have been providing safeguards to that end. I have personally witnessed how these protocols have protected students, staff, and schools.”
Whitaker said a continued community effort must keep Churchill County schools open and keep everyone safe.
“Anyone feeling sick or exhibiting any symptoms, no matter how small, should stay home.”
Whitaker said she is grateful to the county’s others for their support and trust in her.
“It has been an honor to serve my community, and I look forward to continuing my service with the same dedication and desire to support teachers and promote student achievement for every student in the Churchill County School District,” she added.
COVID-19 is also weighing on Malkovich because he feels the trustee must be vigilant by being informed of all health mandates as well as those given by other government leaders.
“In making decisions for the School District, the first and foremost consideration is the health and safety of students and staff,” he said. “I fully believe that children need to be able to come to school. Their educational and social emotional wellness are fostered well in school. We must follow guidelines to ensure students and staff are healthy and safe in order to keep our schools open for students and families.”
Strasdin agreed with Malkovich’s assessment on pandemic.
“With the worsening of COVID, the board will have to be vigilant,” she said. “Many in our community are understandably growing tired of the pandemic, but that is when we must find a second wind and work hard to avoid school shutdowns.”
Strasdin said she was humbled and honored to be re-elected and the trust given to her to her by the community.
“I am thrilled that the citizens of Churchill County are confident that I can work with the other six board members and the Superintendent of Schools (Dr. Summer Stephens) to ensure that the community’s values are represented and implemented,” Strasdin said. “I am excited to give back to the community and the school district as we move forward to educating our youngest citizens.”