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School Board Candidate Forum on Sept. 26

A School Board Candidate Forum, sponsored by the local chapter of the League of Women Voters, will be held at the District Service Center (7362 E. Pt. Douglas Rd. S., Cottage Grove) on Tuesday, Sept. 26 at 7 p.m.

The District 833 School Board has five seats open for election on Tuesday, Nov. 7. Board members Tracy Brunnette, Katy McElwee-Stevens, Katie Schwartz and Sharon Van Leer currently fill four of these seats. Another seat is vacant and will have a two-year term that will begin immediately following the Nov. 7 Election and run through December 2019. 

Ten candidates have filed for the four four-year terms and five candidates for the two-year term.

Filing for election to the four-year seats are incumbents Tracy Brunnette (Cottage Grove), Katy McElwee-Stevens (Newport), Katie Schwartz (St. Paul Park) and Sharon Van Leer (Woodbury), along with Patricia Driscoll (Cottage Grove), Thor Halverson (Woodbury), Alexandra Hedberg (Woodbury), Douglas Hoffman (Woodbury), David Pyrz (Woodbury) and William Thurmes (Cottage Grove).  

Filing for the two-year seat are Wael Abdelkader (Woodbury), Sean Brown (Woodbury), Duane Girard (Newport), Heather Hirsch (Cottage Grove) and Steve Lagoon (Cottage Grove).

The School Board Candidate Forum will have a moderator, and some questions will be generated by the League of Women Voters and given to candidates ahead of time. This forum is not a debate. Audience members will be able to write questions down on a piece of paper that will be given to the event coordinators from the League. The League if Women Voters will screen the questions to avoid repetition and to make sure they are appropriate before presenting them to the candidates.

Audience members will not be allowed to take pictures or videotape this forum. The forum will be aired live on local cable channel 15 and replayed at later dates.