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School board elections: Swan River

by HILARY MATHESON
Daily Inter Lake | April 20, 2021 12:00 AM

School elections are May 4 with contested trustee races in several school districts.

Information on candidates will be published throughout the week. Candidates were invited to respond to questions emailed by the Daily Inter Lake to provide voters with more information such as a candidate’s background, experience and reason for running.

The following information is for a contested race in Swan River School District. Four candidates are running for two three-year terms including Luke Adamson and Sherianne Schow, both incumbents, Brianna Anderson and Kim Johnston.

Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. May 4 at Swan River School library, 1205 Swan Highway, Bigfork.

Name: Luke Adamson (i)

Occupation: Woodworker/ business owner

Background/experience: Four years on Swan River board; 22 years self-employed in the construction industry; 35 years of volunteer church service, 20 years doing volunteer youth service; two years as a missionary in Brazil; Montana native; father of six.

Why are you running? I am running for another term on the school board because I believe it's my responsibility as an American citizen and as a Montanan to stand up for the principles this country was founded on, and that begins at the most important level, schools.

Name: Sherianne Schow (i)

Occupation: Global Network and community organizer

Background Experience: Elementary and secondary educator; instructional design and curriculum writer with specialization in literacy and language acquisition; locally, I have worked as a substitute teacher for Swan River School as well as a volunteer librarian.

Why are you running? From the eighth-grade Montana trip to basketball games to the Christmas craft days, I have loved being a part of the Swan River School parent community and experiencing the strength that comes from families working together to support school programs. Some of my most rewarding hours have been spent helping children choose books from the library, coaching reading, writing, and projects in each classroom, and engaging in meaningful classroom discussion with Swan River students and faculty. As an incumbent school board supervisor, I am dedicated to supporting parents and families, students and teachers and committed to sharing my experience as an educator and organizer to benefit our Swan River School community.

As the heart of a community, a school has a unique opportunity to invest in the intellectual and social growth of future citizens. I want to help ensure that Swan River School is a safe, productive, and creative environment where children experience productive academic challenges and learn appropriate behaviors that will lead to bright futures. Attention to excellence in academic benchmarks as well as extra-curricular activities will be the my focus to ensure our students stand confident in academics as well as in character.

Name: Brianna Anderson

Occupation: Small business owner

Background/experience: My husband and I have been part of the Bigfork community for almost two decades. I'm a former teacher. I was on the Bigfork Bandits Soccer Board and helped coach. I have volunteered at the theater, decorated Bigfork, cleaned up highways, been a youth group leader and helped at many sporting events in our community.

Why are you running? I have three children who currently attend Swan River School. During these challenging times I think it is important for trustees to be involved in the school on a personal level. The job of a trustee is to represent the families in that district and understand what is occurring at the school. I feel that several of the current trustees are out of touch with the school based on the fact that they don’t have students currently attending the school.

If elected, is there anything you want to see accomplished? Swan River School District is an excellent school for its small rural size. With that being said our valley is growing rapidly in population and I would like to see our school be prepared for potential physical growth as well as academic growth There are many opportunities for grants and funding that the school could use in order to not put the burden on the district taxpayers.

Name: Kimberly Johnston

Background/experience: My professional background includes thirteen years as a registered nurse. I was a captain in the United States Air Force after five years of active duty. I have been a resident of Bigfork for almost six years and currently have three children attending Swan River School. I am the current treasurer of the Swan River Parent Teacher Organization and have been a member for six years. Throughout my volunteer time and involvement with school activities, I have learned about the culture of Swan River and the immense sense of family and community that is unique to our small rural school.

Why are you running? I am running for the school board because I think Swan River is an exceptional school, and I would like to help preserve the current culture of our staff and students. The staff at Swan River encourages high standards for their students both academically and ethically. The parents at Swan River are involved, care about curriculum, and appreciate the atmosphere at Swan River that instills values like making good decisions, encouraging the student's best effort, and being respectful and kind to one another. My goal, should I be elected, would be to help guide decision making to reflect the morals and values of the families who have students enrolled in Swan River. My husband and I will have children enrolled in Swan River School for seven more years, and I hope that in eighth grade, they will still be saying the Pledge of Allegiance every morning and have a sense of pride in their community, feeling united as Swan River students.