A past member of the Beatrice Public Schools Board of Education is seeking another term on the board.
Monte Lofing filed this week for one of the upcoming vacant seats on the board.
If elected, Lofing said he would seek public input regarding the schools, and said he was opposed to building a centralized elementary school.
“I never really supported it, only because I felt that putting the elementary out there by the high school didn’t seem logical and it was so big,” he said. “I know people want smaller schools and I didn’t feel conformable with that size of school. We have the Beatrice 6 looming over our heads, and it’s going to be real tough to pass a bond. I don’t know what direction to go. I have different ideas, but want to get oriented again and listen to the public.”
Lofing previously served on the BPS Board of Education from 2008 to 2012. This marks the fourth time since that term he’s sought a position on the board, missing out after running in 2012, 2014 and 2016.
“It’s almost like a popularity race, which is kind of sad,” he said. “I’m hoping people would want to see different faces. For some reason, the same old folks get re-elected.”
If elected, Lofing said he wants to take a closer look at bullying in the schools, particularly cyber bullying, and study its lasting impacts.
“One pet peeve of mine, if elected, is bullying,” Lofing said. “I want to know more about cyber bullying. What’s the policy? What do they do about it? Do they report it the minute they do it? Is it addressed?
“Over the past few years, it seems like there’s been a lot of suicides in Beatrice. I’m wondering if some of these former students were bullied, and did this leave an emotional scar and could something have been done to prevent that?”
Lofing is the third to file for a seat on the school board, along with fellow non-incumbents Eugene Fiester and Eric Book.
The School Board currently has six members, though beginning in 2019, a seventh will be added.
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.
Board members whose four-year terms are up include Nancy Sedlacek, Jon Zimmerman and Doris Martin. None of the three have filed for re-election as of Tuesday.
The election system for the School Board is structured so the top four vote-getters will be elected.
If the number of candidates amounts to 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.