Editor’s Note: Krista Buls answered the Beacon’s questions via email and did not speak to the Beacon in a live interview. These email responses have been edited and condensed for clarity.
Flathead Beacon: Can you tell me a little bit about yourself and your relationship to the Kalispell Public Schools?
Krista Buls: Hello, my name is Krista. My family and I moved to the Flathead in 2008 where my husband, who was born and raised here, could pursue his dream of serving the community where he grew up.
I am a mother to six wonderful children. Our oldest graduated from Flathead High School in 2016. Currently, we have a senior and a junior at Glacier High School, and three children at West Valley School who will soon be transitioning to Kalispell Public Schools.
As a parent, I have always had an active connection to the school districts that my children are attending. I think it is vitally important for parents to be a part of their children’s education. I support the teachers and administration within our community because they are the adults that spend the majority of the day with our children. They are also part of the support system that children should have to help shape their future. I can look back as a child and remember the special teachers that have left an impact on my life. My children are also athletes and active in the arts within Glacier so I have a relationship with that aspect of Kalispell Public Schools.
FB: Why did you decide to run for the Kalispell school board?
KB: My decision to run and potentially become a member of the school board was one that wasn’t taken lightly. I spent many hours contemplating how and where I can be most effective in making education for my children, as well as other children, better, advocating for teachers, helping parents to be involved and know what’s going on within their children’s school. I want to be a part of the solution and make a difference for everyone. Our schools are such a great little community within our big community and I just want to be a part of making them even better.
FB: What will your main priorities be if elected?
KB: My main priorities as a school board member would be advocating for better educational advances for the children and teachers, transparency for the parents to always know what’s happening and what they can expect to happen next, and finding funding for the schools, teachers, and children’s educational needs without increasing the impact on tax dollars. Our community is so kind and giving. I believe we can find alternative solutions to funding without continuing to raise taxes.
FB: What do you think are some changes that need to happen in the district?
KB: Changes that I think need to happen within the district, this is tricky. I think it would be very beneficial to hear feedback from the teachers and administration from each school as well as parents from each school. The schools within the district are very much in need; but in need in different ways. Our community members are so willing to serve for the better of these schools. I would love to hear from the administration, teachers, and parents from all the schools to see what they think needs to be changed, how it would benefit their school, and why they think that way. I believe this is a strength that I would bring to the board as I am very interested in listening to the people who are actively working in, with, and for the schools. They are our eyes and ears to what needs to be done to make each system better.
FB: What are some things you think the board has done well, or some policies and programs you’d like to see continued in the district?
KB: I believe that the board has done a great job of supporting the diverse members of the school system. They continue to have a working relationship with Linderman School, actively reaching out and helping young mothers graduate or supporting other teens with personal responsibilities that they have fallen upon and to supporting them to succeed in graduating. They have also done an outstanding job exploring other teaching methods for children and teens who need alternative learning methods. My final example is the Vo-Ag center. The Vo-Ag center has really been a cornerstone for an uncountable number of teens throughout the years and it wouldn’t have been accomplished without the support of the board. I know this has been a staple for our community and the children it serves.
FB: Is there anything else you’d like to add?
KB: I think I would be adding a lot to the board. I’ve been a parent in the SD5 district for many years. I want to listen to parents’ opinions, teachers’ opinions, the administration’s opinions, and the community. We are a community and I believe we all want what is best for our children. There are obviously several different ways to go about achieving goals but as long as we can maintain respect and dignity, then we can have open conversations about hard topics. I wholeheartedly believe we can all benefit, but most importantly; our children can flourish. It would be an honor to serve on a board that has won School Board of the Year and serve this wonderful community.
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