Two people have filed to run for seats on the Grand Island Public Schools Board of Education.
Incumbent board member Lisa Albers has filed for re-election to a second term representing Ward B, while Kelly Markham has filed to run against GIPS board member Terry Brown for a seat representing Ward A. Albers is currently running unopposed for her seat.
Albers said she is running for re-election to the board due to her passion for “working toward improvements for the students of GIPS.” She said she has done this by working with state Sen. Dan Quick on LB149, a bill that sets restrictions on the sale and usage of vapor products. The bill, when passed, set the age limit to buy and use vapor products at 19.
“At the state level, I am involved with what the unicameral is doing and how it is going to affect the public school system, not just in Grand Island, but also in Nebraska,” she said.
As a member of the Nebraska Association of School Boards Legislative Committee, Albers said she has testified in front of the Legislature to advocate for GIPS and its students. She hopes to continue to do so if re-elected to the GIPS board.
If re-elected, she said she will also continue to work in the best interests of GIPS students, while looking out for GIPS taxpayers.
“Fortunately, GIPS and all of the administrators are very fiscally savvy. They do a great job of using their budgets to do what is best for the kids,” Albers said. “Many times when we ask the question, ‘How is this going to be paid for?’ they have an answer of how it is going to come out of different budgets and already have a plan for how to pay for it. They have to answer that before we ever ask a single question.”
Markham, a 14-year member of the Hall County Weed Board, said the main reason he is running for a Ward A seat on the GIPS board is he wants teachers to have the ability to be armed to protect themselves and their students.
“I want teachers to have guns for their own protection, but also to protect children in case a nut case comes in with a gun and starts shooting people,” he said.
If elected to the GIPS board, Markham said, he would also work toward building a larger school for troubled youths.
“They’ve got a special school for them now, but I think we need a bigger school,” he said. “I would build a special school for the at-risk kids. There is some money left in the bond department (fund) and we can use that money to build that for the kids who are troublemakers.”
Markham said companies like Case IH and Hornady Manufacturing need to hire more people who are “computer smart” and he would work to get more computer teachers in the schools if elected to the GIPS board.
He added he is not afraid to speak his mind and knows how government works after serving on the Hall County Weed Board for 14 years.
“I know how government works. It works kind of slow,” Markham said. “But when I get on the (GIPS) board, I am going to try to speed things up a bit.”