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Two Doniphan-Trumbull school board members facing two challengers

Two Doniphan-Trumbull school board members facing two challengers

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There are four candidates competing for three spots on the Doniphan-Trumbull Board of Education. There are two incumbents — Brent Rainforth and Zachary Van Diest — facing two challengers, Cristi Engel and Amanda Groff.

Cristi Engel

Q: Why are you seeking office and what are the strengths you bring to the office?

A: “I am seeking a position on the Doniphan-Trumbull School Board for many reasons. I am wanting to give back to the community that my family lives in and what better way than to support and give my time to the school that is educating my children. Secondly, my family and I are invested in the community as we have lived in Doniphan for 8.5 years. We love this community and the school. My children are fifth generation to have attended school in Doniphan so the success of the school is very important. The school has historically and currently has a great administration and staff that I look forward to collaborating and working with. In addition to my commitment to the school I will bring experience as an educator. I am currently the program director of an associate’s degree Radiography program at Mary Lanning Healthcare.”

Q: What is the most pressing issue in your race?

A: “Current issue that the school board is facing is meeting the requirements set by the health department to keep our kids in school and safe during this COVID-19 pandemic. Our school has done a fantastic job. Also, the Doniphan-Trumbull school is aging and facility updates could hopefully allow Doniphan-Trumbull to offer more opportunities for our students including core pathway classes.”

Q: If you are elected, how will you make a difference?

A: “If elected I will come to the board ready to listen, learn about school board process, and help in any way I can. I look forward to working with a great administration and board members that have done such a fantastic job.”

Amanda Groff

Q: Why are you seeking office and what are the strengths you bring to the office?

A: “I am seeking a position on the Doniphan-Trumbull School Board because I am passionate about the communities that make up the Doniphan-Trumbull School District and the education that it provides to its students. If elected to the board I would bring my strengths of communication and marketing to the school. As well as having a significant understanding of the history of the school district and the communities it serves. I look forward to growing my capacity to help enhance and increase the opportunities the district provides for its students.”

Q: What is the most pressing issue in your race?

A: “There are a couple of significant issues facing the Doniphan-Trumbull School system currently. The first is the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. I believe that the current school administration, faculty and staff have done a tremendous job in their response to the pandemic and have created a safe environment for students to attend in person. However, there are still risks involved daily and it is important to understand that as a new board member it would be imperative to understand and help to adapt to any new procedures and guidelines that may need to be implemented. The other issue at hand for the Doniphan-Trumbull School District is the aging facility. As the needs of our students evolve, and career pathways become more prevalent as an educational strategy we need to make sure that the facilities we have can adapt and accommodate those needs.”

Q: If you are elected, how will you make a difference?

A: “If elected I will bring with me a strong sense of community for both Doniphan and Trumbull. I am a proud graduate from the first class of the original interlocal agreement between the Doniphan and Trumbull school systems. I believe so strongly in this school that my husband and I chose to move back to the district in 2015 and have two children attending now. If elected, I look forward to continuing the work of past board members and helping to continue to move the school forward in changing educational trends.”

Brent Rainforth

Q: Why are you seeking office and what are the strengths you bring to the office?

A: “I am seeking re-election because I want to continue to be involved in improving the education of the students in our district. I bring a common sense approach to decision making and as a lifelong resident and graduate of Doniphan High School, I am invested in our community and district.”

Q: What is the most pressing issue in your race?

A: “To continue to provide excellent educational opportunities and a variety of extracurricular activities for the benefit of all our students, while maintaining fiscal responsibility.”

Q: If you are elected, how will you make a difference?

A: “I am bringing 16 years of school board experience and I will continue to make a difference by working together with the other members of the board to make well thought out decisions that positively impact our school.”

Zachary VanDiest

Q: Why are you seeking office and what are the strengths you bring to the office?

A: “I am seeking re-election because I have been a member of the Doniphan-Trumbull School Board since June 2014 and I am currently the treasurer. I have enjoyed working closely with the other board members to give all of the kids in the Doniphan-Trumbull district the best possible education. I feel like I am an excellent listener and I am a team player that works well with others.”

Q: What is the most pressing issue in your race?

A: “One issue we face is the facilities/available space at Doniphan-Trumbull. We discuss upgrading the facilities to maximize space. We’re aware of what we are currently able to offer, but also of future demands, needs and wants. My goal is to provide each student with space and materials to optimize their education.

“I feel like test scores and preparing kids for their future is another key issue. Steps have been implemented for college readiness, including ACT prep. We would love to provide more ‘career path’ classes, but it relates back to space and staff availability. Our faculty has worked to boost scores. I feel as a district, we are aware of what our current needs are, and how to strengthen our students’ education.”

Q: If you are elected, how will you make a difference?

A: “I feel people should vote for me first and foremost because I truly care for the students at Doniphan-Trumbull and want to see our school district flourish! I have no agenda. I have three kids who attend D-T and want them, as well as all of our kids to succeed! Also, I have experience being on our board of education and working with staff and administration to get thing accomplished. It takes people working together to get things done to benefit all of our students!”

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