The first incumbent candidate has filed for another term on the Beatrice Public Schools Board of Education.

Doris Martin was a journalism teacher at BHS for 32 years and raised two sons who graduated from Beatrice. The former educator is seeking a third term on the School Board.

“Most importantly, I believe firmly in public education and Beatrice Public Schools,” she said. “I have a real fondness for the school in Beatrice and I think that I’ve made a contribution my past two terms, and I hope can continue to make contributions by bringing a unique perspective to the board. Since I’m a former teacher, I always try to see things from a student’s point of view and what impact we have on kids in the classroom.”

Martin currently works for Beatrice Educational Foundation. She serves as the program director for the after school program, and said there has not been a conflict while serving on the School Board.

If re-elected, she said continuing to evaluate how to best use Beatrice’s school facilities would be a priority, one aided by an ongoing comprehensive facility study that’s examining, in part, how to best use the elementary school buildings. She supported building a central elementary school, but said it’s time to move on and look to other options after voters twice denied bond issues for the building.

“The voters were clearly not in favor of that, so I think we need to move forward,” Martin said. “We’re doing a facility study and asking for input from the public as to how they would like us to move forward. One of the big issues when you have three elementary sites is to maintain equal class distribution. I’m a big proponent of small class sizes. That becomes difficult when you’re spread over three locations.

“We do have older buildings and they do need some upkeep and maintenance. We need to find out how to best use them in the classrooms of today. Today, it looks really different. When buildings were constructed in 1950s, how can we best serve kids in current buildings?”

The School Board currently has six members, though beginning in 2019, a seventh will be added, in part to prevent tie votes. The School Board reduced its number of members from nine to six about two years ago. Three current board members are up for re-election, and with a seventh seat being added, there will be four spots up for grabs in the 2018 election.

In addition to Martin, board members Nancy Sedlacek and Jon Zimmerman are up for re-election.

Nonincumbent candidates who have filed for School Board include Monte Lofing, Eugene Fiester and Eric Book.

The election system for the School Board is structured so the top four vote getters will be elected, since there are no wards and anyone residing in the BPS district can run.

If the number of candidates is more than double the number of open seats, the election will be featured on the May 15 primary ballot.

Therefore, if nine or more candidates file for the four open seats, the race will be included on the spring ballot and the top eight vote getters will advance to the Nov. 6 general election, where the four candidates with the most votes will be elected.

If eight or fewer candidates file for School Board seats, they will all automatically advance to the fall ballot.

Reach Scott Koperski at scott.koperski@beatricedailysun.com. Follow him on Twitter @ScottKoperski.

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