The student news site of Manhattan High School

The Mentor

The Mentor

The student news site of Manhattan High School

The Mentor

School Board Election Preview and Policy Goals


With school board elections just around the corner, here is what you need to know. 

This year, there are four seats up for reelection and 10 contenders vying for a spot. The 10 candidates on the ballot are Katie Allen, Frank Beer, Kriston Brighton, Robert Busby, Andrea Engelken-Cervenka, Curt Herrman, Courtney Jane Hochman, Greg Hoyt, Audrey Swartz and Nolan Foth. Two of these candidates, Herrman and Brighton, are running to reclaim their seats. 

The 10-candidate ballot is one of the largest in recent memory. According to current board member Jayme Morris-Hardeman, there has been a greater interest in school board positions over the past few years. 

“In previous election cycles, there might be 4 people who filed for 3 available seats or maybe 4 for 4 available seats,” Hardeman said. “There wasn’t much campaigning to be done in these election cycles. I really think it was the national controversy over critical race theory that sparked the interest in seeking seats on local boards of education across the country as well as in Manhattan. In 2021, we had 10 people running for 3 seats, which triggered a primary election.” 

This year, however, 10 candidates filed for 4 spots, which meant no primary election and thus a direct 10-person race. With over half the board subject to change, the results of the upcoming election will impact the district’s priorities greatly. As of now, the USD 383 school board has eight primary focuses: 

  • Maintain safe learning environments for all
  • Increase staff recruitment and retention
  • Review and revise grad requirements
  • Examine performance disparities between students
  • Support staff and policy to ensure IEP and ESOL services are provided
  • Establish and understand the optimal curriculum for students
  • Expand Career and Technical Education (CTE) program at MHS and with MATC 
  • Explore the possibility of bulk school supply purchases, to reduce costs for families, limit waste and make the back-to-school process equitable. 

“When I think about these goals in the future, they will be determined by who is elected,” Hardeman said. 

In-person voting has already begun and will conclude on Tuesday, Nov. 7, which is Election Day. Stay tuned to for updates.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All The Mentor Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *