Havre Daily News
Havre voters will have a few choices in the May 2 Havre Public Schools board member election. Two elementary district seats are up for grabs and an incumbent high school district representative will run unopposed.
Incumbent Todd Hanson will vie for re-election against three newcomers: Montana State University-Northern education professor Curtis Smeby, financial planner Gus Sharp and resident Shad Huston, in a race for the two elementary district seats. Incumbent Judy Bricker did not file for re-election.
Incumbent Aileen Couch will run unopposed for her seat as representative of Havre High School district.
All positions are three-year terms. The deadline for filing was Thursday.
Smeby said he is running for the seat because he feels it is his turn to serve the Havre community.
Sharp said the main reason he filed for election was to make sure the board is working in the best interest of the kids in the schools. He also wants to make sure teachers are taken care of and give something back to the school system and community.
He said it is important to get the best teachers available and to do so, the schools need to attract and retain teachers with good pay and benefits.
Smeby's son attended Havre High School for one year and is now attending college in Canada. Smeby said he had a good experiece while dealing with teachers and administrators in Havre.
“I am not coming with an agenda. I'm not sure I want to change anything,” Smeby said today.
Huston and Couch could not be reached for comment today.
Hanson, a local businessman who is working to renovate the historic post office and federal courthouse formerly known as the Heritage Center, said if he could change one thing about the school board or its meetings, it would be the public's attendance and participation.
“The board is not just a mechanism if you have a problem or concern. It is an opportunity to see American civics in action,” Hanson said.
He said he encourages the community to become involved in the meetings to ensure the board is working in their best interest.
Hanson said he has enjoyed his three-year term as a school board member and said he wants to continue to serve as a board member so he can help current projects come to fruition, including work on Indian Education for All and No Child Left Behind.
Smeby said he is familiar with many of the issues that board members face and supports the two technology levies to maintain and upgrade computers that are also on the ballot this year.
Hanson said he is able to represent the community well because he has children in the HPS system. He has three children attending Havre schools, including two sophomores in high school and a fifth-grader at Sunnyside Intermediate School.
Sharp has had six of his children graduate from Havre High School and has another who is a junior at HHS.
He said he can use his skills as an investment advisor and financial planner to help the board use its money efficiently.
The election will be held May 2 at the Havre High School gymnasium from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.