Clarinda School Board Candidates' Forum

Seven candidates for three spots on the Clarinda School Board addressed a series of questions at a candidates' forum at Clarinda Middle School Thursday evening.

(Clarinda) -- One new face and two incumbents have been elected to Clarinda's School Board.

Unofficial results show incumbents Darin Sunderman and Greg Jones winning reelection with 519 and 343 votes, respectively. Challenger Trish Bergren will join the pair on the board after receiving 311 votes. Ron Beaver (251), Patrick Hickey (227), Paula Gray (201) and Cade Iversen (193) all finished out of the running. In an October 24th forum broadcast live on KMA-FM 99.1 and sponsored by the Clarinda Herald-Journal, Bergren says common sense indicates safety and security should be the top priorities of any future renovations to the district's facilities. She would also like the district to explore better uses of its buildings.

"I know there's been a discussion about moving the 8th grade to the high school," said Bergren. "I don't know if that is what possibly might be needed if we absorb other community school systems. I don't know. I know that it does require quite a bit of research, and to make sure we're making the right move."

Jones says addressing handicapped accessibility is a priority.

"Obviously, we're not very friendly to our grandparents, our visitors to the ballgames at the football field," said Jones. "We don't have very good handicapped accessibility. We don't have very good dropoff and delivery for our kids. Those are all very obvious things. I think parking at the high school and auditorium is another concern. I think our ballfield this year--I think we lost some games this year, and had to move some games out of town, because of the surface, and where we were at with our fields."

Sunderman says the district is taking baby steps in addressing facilities issues. He says one thing that will help the district with future building projects is the its good financial standing.

"In my opinion, we're blessed as a district to have such a strong financial balance sheet," said Sunderman. "So, there are things. This is something that didn't happen in my last eight years on the board. This was handed to us by past boards, past administrations. So, we are fortunate. We do have some dollars without asking for more money. But, if we do decide to do larger things, we may need to."

More results from Tuesday's election are available at on the elections tab at kmaland.com.