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Heartland School Board Candidates in Tuesday Election

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This Tuesday, November 6, voting will take place to fill three positions on the Heartland Community Schools Board. We asked the candidates to send in a short explanation of why they desire to serve the school in this way. Below you will hear from Kent Allen, Tammy Ott, Mark Perez, Steve Stebbing, and Connie Gage.

Remember when voting for the write-in candidates to also darken the oval next to writing in their name.



Kent Allen
(Incumbent, name will appear on ballot)
My wife, Toni, and I live and farm just north of Bradshaw. We have two children, Rachelle is a Senior at the University of Nebraska Lincoln. Our son Bryce is a senior at Heartland Community School.

It has been a privilege to serve the past 8 years on the Heartland School Board. There have been many challenges and many, many successes. I believe that Heartland School is an excellent place for kids to learn and grow.

During my time on the School Board, I have witnessed changes that include implementing new curriculum for Math and Science and Reading. Introducing one on one computer use in High School. Hiring a new Superintendent. Making our policies available to read online. Introducing Robotics competition.  Introducing the offering of Breakfast. As well as many remodeling projects throughout the School Facilities.

Our financial condition is excellent. We have been able to cut our total tax request in recent years, and have one of the lowest mill levies in the State of Nebraska. We do not struggle to pay our bills. This is due to increased property valuations as well as good planning by the Administration and School Board.

My family’s experience at Heartland School has been a positive one. I would like the opportunity to help make that same kind of experience available to all children who attend this institution. Heartland School has the tools and staff to allow each child achieve success.

I would appreciate your vote this Tuesday.
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Tammy Ott (Name will appear on ballot)
I am married to Justin Ott and we have three children that attend Heartland Community Schools. Peyton (18), Carson (14), and Emma (10). I currently work as a Technical Agronomist for Bayer, but have owned my own business as well as worked with grant programs.

Our family moved to Henderson 15 years ago, and I am proud to call this place my home for many reasons. One of those reasons is Heartland Community Schools. I am currently involved at school as a member of Heartland Booster Club and enjoy volunteering as a room parent or with FFA. My children are involved in sports and a wide variety of extracurricular activities that allow us to attend events often.

My desire to become a member of Heartland School Board comes from my passion for quality education and what it means for our students as they become productive members of our communities. We are blessed as a community to have such a strong school district and I would work to maintain the commitment to such high standards. As a member of the Heartland School Board, I feel I would bring a shared vision for academic achievement and strong collaboration with all stakeholders. Collaboration is key to the success in the work that I do every day and is an important aspect of bringing solutions that will continue to strengthen our school district. It is also important to have individuals with different backgrounds representing our students, parents, educators, and our faith-based community. I have children in both elementary and high school and have a strong sense of the rich traditions that make Henderson and Bradshaw such great communities.  My work background will allow me to bring analytical as well as active listening skills. In my current role, I work within an established budget to develop training and support business goals. I am often working within the business function as well as the technical field to come together to find solutions that benefit our grower customer. I feel both of these will be important to not only listen to ideas and concerns to best represent our educational community and parents, but also in approving budgets that have great impact on staff, facilities, professional development, and ultimately, our students.

I would appreciate your vote on Tuesday.
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Mark Perez (Write-in candidate)
My name is Mark Perez and I am running for the Heartland Community School Board. I’ll began by telling you about myself. I was born and raised in Phoenix, Arizona, I am the fourth of 12 children in my family. After graduating from high school I joined the Marine Corp., after basic training I was stationed in Okinawa, Japan. I was deployed to Saudi Arabia during the first Gulf War. I thoroughly enjoyed being in the military and am thankful for God’s protection.
I met my beautiful wife, Stacy while she was living in Phoenix attending Cosmetology School, we were married in February of 1998. We have six children, Mark Jr.- 19 who attends UNL majoring in music education. Kristian- 18 who will start attending Metropolitan Community College in December. Harmon- 16 a Junior, Heath- 15 a Sophomore, Hunter- 12 a 7th grader, and Hayden- 8 a 2nd grader.

We moved to Henderson from Phoenix in 2002, mainly for the reason of living closer to my wife’s parents who pastored at Faith Evangelical Bible Church for many years. While all of our sixteen years have not been in Henderson with two years from 2006-2008 having lived in Hays, Kansas. I had worked as the General Manager of Love’s Travel Stops in Aurora, NE previous to my promotion to District Manager for Love’s, I was in charge of overseeing the operation of 12 stores throughout Kansas. During my time as a District Manager, the company would have several meetings and were implementing a program about “What is your legacy with Love’s Travel Stops”. This program got me to thinking about my legacy with my family instead, with five young kids at home and me only being able to be home on the weekends it made me stop and think about things like, will my kids have many memories of me? When I am at home am I actually making an impact on them both spiritually and physically or am I just too tired by the end of the week to actually really put myself into them? So I asked the company if they could put me into a General Manager role again, it it just so happened that the store in Aurora still had not replaced me, so we were able to move back to Henderson again. We are so thankful that God brought us back here!

I now own my own business (Perez Tree Service LIC) which had been a dream of mine to run my own company. The time I have is now my own, so I am free to schedule jobs when best convenient for me and my family. That also leaves time for me to get more involved in the community, which is something I’ve wanted to do for a while now. I think being involved within the school system is a perfect fit for me because I still have 4 kids attending school here and with my successful managerial background which also includes many years as manager of Target in Arizona and the opening of The Sports Authority Store also in Phoenix, I feel I would be asset to the school board. I think our school board has a great group of men running it and I just love the small community aspect of our school system, it really feels as though we all care for and watch each others backs.
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Steve Stebbing (Write-in candidate)
My name is Steve Stebbing, and I am a write-in school board candidate for Heartland Community Schools (HCS). My family and I have been active in the school district for the past two years and have five students who attend HCS. We are grateful to be a part of an education system with excellent staff, supportive parents and the desire to hold to traditional values while progressively preparing our students for success as citizens of our community, state and country.

As a school board member, I hope to maintain the characteristics that make HCS unique and strong. Yet my focus will also be on improving the overall quality of the school. I will do this through actively listening to all voices that express concerns, evaluating opinions and ideas, and making decisions that best support the vision and goals of HCS. I will use my experience as a father, businessman, and volunteer to advocate on behalf of the students, staff and all others who are involved with or affected by HCS.

Through our children’s active involvement in school and extracurricular activities, as well as coaching student athletes in HCS’ summer strength and conditioning program, I have established valuable relationships with students, teachers, and parents. I am employed at Kroeker & Kroeker Insurance & Real Estate in Henderson, and through this position, have developed a strong rapport with patrons and local businesses. My past volunteer experience includes coaching youth sports, hospital board, economic steering committees, and bank board of directors, and I currently serve on Henderson’s chamber board and design team. In these roles, I have worked on plans to improve and implement policy, evaluated and hired employees, and managed responsible budgets. Both as an employee and in civic duties, I have gained the necessary qualifications to achieve positive results as a school board member at HCS.

I sincerely hope to serve as a member on Heartland Community Schools’ Board of Education. Please vote for me by darkening the oval and writing in my name as a candidate on your ballot. Thank you.
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Connie Gage (Write-in candidate)
A quality education is one of the greatest gifts we can give our children.

Heartland Schools has a history of academic excellence and was a key factor when my husband Gabe and I decided to relocate with our four children back to my hometown of Henderson from Lincoln just over three years ago.

Having seen first hand the disparity of State funding between the two districts, I am even more impressed with the ability of our school to provide a relevant and high quality education for our students. Still I can’t help but wonder what additional opportunities we could provide our students and what they could achieve if our taxes were returned to our school instead of being allocated to other districts.If you allow me the honor of representing you as a school board member, I would strive to continue our history of excellence, and be a strong advocate for our district on behalf of our students, parents, teachers, administrators, and support staff.

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