Steven Skalman

Occupation: Farmer

What issues caused you to run for Litchfield School Board (list up to three)?

I would love to see the school board, administration and community collaborate on a long-term vision that excites the community. As a parent of school age and preschool age kids I want to offer perspective of what the school system will look like as my kids get older. Practically, I would advocate for an additional meeting specifically to evaluate the long-term vision once a year for the school board.

If elected, how would you gather input from constituents, and how woold that input play a role in your decision-making on the School Board?

I am active on social media and can confidently use those platforms to connect with the community. I would go have lunch with the students and teachers to hear about their successes and challenges. Even with a great administration and six board members, we can’t see all the challenges and opportunities as we make decisions. We'll need community input to help our School Board make wise decisions.

In the event the district is lacking financial resources, what would you recommend? (levy referendum, cuts to staff or programs?)

Every budget has different circumstances so it is hard to say there is a one-size-fits-all solution every time there is a financial shortfall. Practically speaking, since Litchfield recently passed a tax referendum, I think it would be hard to do that again soon. I think it is important to be financially sound in both good times and bad. When you’re wise with your finances in the good times it will make the bad times easier.

Business relies on the K-12 education system for its future workforce. How should the district prepare students for future employment?

We need to continue to encourage programs like the work-study program that the high school already has. We need to get business owners into classrooms to share about the positive things happening in Litchfield. I want our students to hear from the doctors and nurses working in Meeker Memorial Hospital. I want them to hear from engineers from our local manufacturers. I want them to hear from the farmer who is trying to grow a new crop. Give them more vision for the opportunities that Litchfield has and I think that will spark their curiosity for the future.

As an elected official, how can you further growth and propserity in the Litchfield School District?

I would offer two things to help with this. One, is to look for more opportunities for grants, which could be a good additional source of revenue for our district. The second and most important is to maintain strong fiscal discipline through the expanding and contracting economies we may face.