Their faces have been seen at Brainerd School Board and committee meetings since winning the November election. But come January, Bob Nystrom and Sue Kern will no longer be a part of the audience, officially becoming members of the Brainerd School Board after being elected to two of three open seats. Current school board member Reed Campbell ran for re-election and retained his seat on the board. “I am very excited to be newly elected to the school board,” said Sue Kern, who tallied 6,309 votes on Nov. 6. “I am excited to serve our community, our students and our staff.
“That’s what I am looking forward to and my main focus is just to serve.”
Kern, a mother of three, ages 31, 28 and 14, who all went through the Brainerd School District, said her main interests on the board will be fiscal representation and curriculum.
An entirely new experience to her, Kern said that by attending meetings and talking with current board members she is learning that there is more to the whole sphere of what the school board does. She added that, “I’m excited about that.”
And because she has no prior experience with the school board or working in the district, Kern said she thinks that is part of the reason that voters elected her to the open seat.
“I believe they (voters) wanted someone who was conservative as well as someone from the community and not just a previous school employee.”
In the other seat, Nystrom is someone who does have experience with the Brainerd School Board. A business owner for 18 years, Nystrom previously served on the school board from 2002-2009, losing his bid for election in 2009.
“I bring a lot of experience,” Nystrom said of what he is going to offer to the school board. “I served eight years on the school board and I ran a business for 18 (years) so I can bring business concepts to the board.
“The big thing I want to do is continue excellence of tradition we’ve had in public education here...Everyone deserves a proper education and I am going to work hard for those kids that need that extra help and push. We already have a great staff and the tradition goes back many years and I am happy to be on the board to continue that.”
Nystrom said he wants to maintain the programs already in place and work on finding those extra dollars now needed without state funding. He added that he would also like to be involved on the legislative level and assist Brainerd Superintendent Steve Razidlo represent schools, such as Brainerd, from outstate Minnesota.
And for all the 8,936 people that voted for him on election night?
“I want to thank the people who voted for me,” said Nystrom. “It was really a thrill to see so many people vote for me and I promise I won’t let you down and I will work hard.”