Columbia Falls 2023 School Board Trustee Candidate Profile: Keri Hill

Keri Hill, an incumbent candidate, is an esthetician, mother and Columbia Falls high school graduate

By Denali Sagner
Keri Hill. Courtesy photo.

This interview has been edited for spelling, punctuation and clarity.

Flathead Beacon: Can you tell me a bit about yourself and your relationship to the Columbia Falls public schools?

Keri Hill: I am an esthetician and the owner of two spas in the valley –– one in Kalispell for the last 13 years, and I opened my Columbia Falls location one year ago. 

I am the mother of three children. They are the 4th generation in both mine and my husbands families to attend Columbia Falls schools. LaKia, a graduate of Columbia Falls High School 2021, Jace, currently a junior, and Jory, an 8th grader. I have been married to my husband Beau for 22 years. Beau and I are both 1997 Columbia Falls High School graduates. 

I ventured to eastern Montana, Miles City, for college. I have an A.A. and an A.S., graduating in 2000. I received my esthetics license in 2010. I immediately began my career as an esthetician, soon after becoming an owner of my spa, and now another spa this last year.

FB: Why are you running for the school board? 

KH: I want to continue to serve as a trustee because I have a vested interest in our community, our school system, our staff and most importantly, our students. I want to advocate for our kids in this district. Every single child deserves a quality education. I want them to be successful when they graduate high school and enter this great big ever changing world. We have great teachers and I want to support them in providing innovation in our classrooms. 

My top qualification is that I am a mother. I care about kids. I want nothing more for them than to be successful as they enter into adulthood. Each child is unique. Each child requires different tools. I have good relationships with staff in our district, I am involved in the community, and I have good connections with families and students. I want to continue to be their voice. Also, I have served as a school board trustee in Columbia Falls School District since 2017. I serve on our district’s long range planning committee, our disciplinary board and our policy committee. There is always more work that needs to be done. I am committed to that. 

FB: What will some of your main priorities or goals be if elected to the school board? 

KH: I want a path forward. As a hopeful returning trustee, I have gained a vision and understanding to our district’s needs. This is what fuels me moving forward. 

I want to represent our tax payers in providing the best education possible. My top priority is student achievement. Change is constant. We need to be mindful of that. We can’t get stuck in ruts. We need to continue to listen. Our youth are growing up in an entirely different dynamic than I did. 

FB: How do you think the Columbia Falls School District should be addressing growth in Columbia Falls and in the Flathead Valley at large? 

KH: Our district is growing. Our community is growing. 

I want to be proactive, not reactive! As we continue to move out of COVID years, I feel we need to have our eyes and ears wide open. We need to set goals –– goals within curriculum and our students’ achievements. We need to align recourses. We always need to continue transparency. Our goals and visions should flow. Achievement should follow. As we grow, I want to be a support with all stakeholders in implementing and achieving excellence.

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