Even a three-year stint away couldn’t stop the passion Bob Nystrom felt for serving a school district and community he had grown up in. A passion that led the former eight-year school board member to be the first to file for candidacy in this year’s upcoming ISD 181 school board elections as filings opened Tuesday.
“I served (on Brainerd School Board) for eight years and at that time I thought I had done everything I could,” said Nystrom, raised in Brainerd and now a resident of Baxter who served from 2002-2009. “But those three years off have allowed me to rest and rewind and find I still have a passion to serve the children of our community.
“I thought after my kids were out of school here I would lose that passion and really it has come back. How could it not, with all three of my kids graduates of this district, myself and my mother did too a long time ago.”
Nystrom said that along with the passion he has for serving on the school board, he is keenly aware of how important the school district is to the community.
“The school district is an integral asset and really a jewel in this community,” he said. “As we see dwindling enrollment and more limited resources, we have to find more creative ways to provide the best education we can.
“As you know on the (school) board, you’re one voice among six and we all need to operate as a board but what I am hoping to bring is a way to best utilize the more limited resources the school district currently has and how we can best use that to serve our taxpayers, the students, teachers and staff.”
Following his eight-year term, Nystrom ran against Jim Hunt, Tom Peterson and Theresa Knierim in 2009. Hunt won the two-year race with 1,553 votes, about 55 percent, and Nystrom came in second with 666 votes, or 24 percent.
Hunt announced last week that he will not run for re-election with his term coming to an end Dec. 31, 2012. Fellow school board members Reed Campbell and Kent Montgomery are not as sure as Hunt whether they will be returning to the school board next term. Both Campbell and Montgomery’s seats on the school board are also up Dec. 31, 2012.