Name: Merv Riepe Years Ralston Public School Resident: 44 years.
Occupation/Employer: Senior administrator, Bergan Mercy (18 years.) and Children’s Hospital (15 years.)
Elected Offices Held: Nebraska State Legislature representing Ralston and Millard (2014-2018). Chair, Health and Human Services Committee (2016-2018).
1. Tell us something about yourself.
Born and raised on a farm, enlisted in the U.S. Navy out of high school—served as a hospital corpsman. Attended UNO and received a BS in business finance and The University of Iowa and received a MA degree in health care policy and management. Late wife was an English high school teacher. One son who attended Ralston schools K-12. I have two grandchildren: girl in seventh grade and grandson in fifth grade. Remarried. Christian faith.
2. What are the top two challenges or opportunities Ralston Public Schools should address over the next four years?
The coronavirus will be with us for some time but we must work to promote safety policies and procedures to protect students, teachers and staff while returning students to in-school classes. We must raise test scores through creative approaches to reach families where English is the second language and to engage parents and guardians.
3. What is something the district could improve on and how would you go about doing so?
We need to create a sense of how important student performance is at the elementary and high school levels—a foundation for the future. We need to engage parents, guardians and members of the community in school performance, school governance and school events.
I would support financial discounts to school events if that might serve as an incentive to district residents.
4. Why should voters elect you to the Ralston Board of Education? Ralston School District families and taxpayers deserve great schools! We need board members with financial experience to avoid property tax increases. I have the business and legislative background to address financial issues facing Ralston families and taxpayers.
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