The North Bend Eagle


Seven seek school board spot on November ballot

Published 5/4/22

There are seven candidates running for the three open seats on the District 595 North Bend Central Board of Education. The top six vote getters in the May 10 primary election will advance to the general election in November. The Eagle asked each of the seven candidates two questions:

Nick Emanuel

Jason Hellbusch

Zach Loberg

Andy Swanson

Justin Taylor

Frank Vech

No picture received from Dean Lux

1. What makes or would make you a strong school board member?

2. What do you see as the main issue or priority of the NBC board in the near future? (Other than hiring a superintendent, which will obviously be an immediate priority.)

Answers in the candidate’s words follow in a reverse alphabetical order.

Frank Vech: Being a former student of NBC and having kids in the school system, I want to continue to be a part of and have a voice in the continued success of our schools. I have a firm understanding of the role and responsibilities a board member must have. The board must ensure the students get the best education for the tax dollars spent and be held accountable for the performance of the school.

Issue or priority: It’s important for the leadership and the teachers to have a good, trusting relationship so that communication is transparent. Parents as well need to feel that decisions are being made that support all students and their best interests. As an NBC school board member I will keep an open mind, ask questions and promote dialogue with a goal to listen and discover a solution that serves all interests. The board’s priorities should be to continue demonstrating growth in academic achievement, be the school district of choice for educators, and promote a high quality, safe learning experience for students.

Justin Taylor: After serving one term on the NBC School Board, my main focus has been on being a good advocate for staff, students and tax payers. I like to ensure that every board discussion, decision and action reflects the best interests of every student at NBC. This requires being proficient in gathering and analyzing relevant data and coming to meetings prepared to engage in discussions, ask questions, and seek clarification before casting my vote. I pay high attention to the school budget and finances because I like to know where our tax money is being spent.

Issue or priority: I believe the main priority for NBC is to build a healthy school culture. I want to see a culture where trust is promoted and nurtured by everyone in the district. The school board must work with and understand the community’s values, wishes, and challenges and the board’s actions must be transparent and accountable to the public. Being a board member means serving in trust for the entire community.

Andy Swanson: Civic responsibility - I believe that our local boards, which affect the people and institutions we interact with in our daily lives, are as necessary and important as congress or any other government body. As a citizen who has received so much from this community I want to serve and give back as best I can.
Diversity of ideas – The training I have received and skills developed in my career include things like negotiation, public speaking and conflict resolution. I also have the opportunity to interact daily with successful business owners and farmers throughout eastern Nebraska.
No agenda - Except to make a great school even better and understand how we can best position the district for challenges and opportunities in the upcoming decade based on what we know today.

Issue or priority: Ensuring the needs of students on the edges of our district are balanced with the needs of students at the center of the district. We as a board need to foster a culture of accountability and respect for students, staff and administration.

Dean Lux: I feel that being self employed has taught me to be fiscally responsible, and that is what the taxpayers deserve. Someone they can trust to use their tax dollars wisely.

Issues or priority: This would be accountability from the administration, teachers and students as well as the board members. Another priority would be to continue to improve the facilities and to work harder to keep the great teachers that we have and to replace them with someone as good or better if they so choose to move on.

Zach Loberg: First was the decision to run. I want to help my community and school district. I feel that North Bend and Morse Bluff are great communities. I have learned a lot over the past decade in my career and find that I can use my knowledge to help move NBC forward.

Issue or priority: Accountability. That goes for teachers aides all the way up to the superintendent in the district. Also, the board and the people that voted them in. We all have to be held accountable to make NBC better.

Jason Hellbusch: Having children enrolled at NBC for the last 15-plus years and operating a business locally makes for an excellent candidate. Knowing a lot of different people throughout the community helps convey needs and issues that are important to those individuals. Having knowledge in construction and maintenance is another trait that would serve NBC well. Working with budgets and timelines are another area I’m very familiar with which would also be an asset to the board.

Issues or priority: I would certainly like to see continued updating and growth throughout the high schol and elementary. I believe it is absolutely necessary to give the students, as well as faculty, the most up-to-date technology and tools to keep NBC as a top-rated school. A better relationship with faculty and a better relationship with the community should also be top priority of the board as well. It seems NBC has had some turnover in faculty and we need to do a better job retaining educators.

Nick Emanuel: I am progressive thinking and strategically business minded with a focus on doing the right things. I’m passionate about giving back and improving both our community and school district to ensure we maximize the learning and success of each individual student. I will be committed to making certain all stakeholders are heard across the differing levels of our district. I am a loyal and trustworthy individual who excels in getting the job done at high standards, and will be dedicated to maintaining and improving on the successful tradition of NBC.

Issue or priority: NBC is entering a time for growth and continued improvement of excellence. As we begin a new superintendent era, we have an opportunity to establish a refreshed culture with a focus on trust, respect and accountability for all stakeholders. We can work together to create a safe and thriving environment for both students and teachers to excel. There will be enrollment growth challenges to address, while also staying ahead of evolving technology to keep our students at the forefront of learning advancement.

<<Back to the front page