Kingsland ballot to list just one name, but write-ins seek to fill three openings

Noella Lund

Maranda Emig

Natasha Howard

Voters taking part in the Kingsland School Board election will find just one name on the ballot for three open positions, but two other candidates have stepped up as write-in choices.

Maranda Emig was the only candidate to file prior to the deadline this summer, so she will be the only name listed on the ballot. Voters have the opportunity to choose three names, meaning two names will have to be written on the lines available on the ballot if a full slate is cast.

Recently, two Kingsland residents — Natasha Howard and Noella Lund — stepped forward to announce they are making a formal run for the open seats. The Tribune was alerted about their candidacies earlier this week, so they are included in a survey sent to candidates. The written answers of the three known candidates follow.

Briefly summarize your personal background, including occupation, family, how long you have lived in the district and community activities, as well as qualifications for this office.

Emig: I grew up in Wykoff and am a 1994 Kingsland graduate. I have been working in information technology for over 16 years and currently stay home and do contract work.  I am married with two children.  My daughter is a seventh grader and my son is a 10th grader.  We have lived in this district for 13 years.  I’ve worked as a Girl Scout leader in the past and volunteer at our church.  As a past Kingsland employee I have been on the other side of the table when I've helped with handbooks, tried to stay within budgets, and spearheaded making sure School Board meetings were recorded and posted for more transparency.  This experience will give me a unique perspective as a school board member.

Howard: I am a 1997 graduate of Kingsland High School and live here in the district with my husband, also a graduate of Kingsland along with our two boys. I moved to the area with my family when I was 11 years old and began sixth grade in Wykoff, just a couple short years before the consolidation. I was proud to be among one of the first classes to be called KINGSLAND. I have lived in the district ever since. I am employed at the Olmsted Medical Center clinic here in Spring Valley where I feel like I’m a true part of the community. Having grown up in this district, raising children in the district as well as working in the community I feel like I would have a lot to offer serving on the Kingsland School Board. 

Lund: I am currently working at Mayo Clinic as a nursing education coordinator. I have my bachelor’s degree in business management/HR. I have lived in Spring Valley for 17 years with my husband, Brad, and son, Nathan, and daughter, Kayla. I am currently the president of the PTL committee at St. John’s Lutheran School in Wykoff. The qualifications I have would be my business education and background, as well as being a parent and active community member.

Describe your past commitment to and your involvement in education in the Kingsland community.

Emig: I started volunteering with KSP when my son was in preschool and spent the next six years laying out and submitting the yearbooks for younger students.  Later, I worked as the technology integration specialist at Kingsland for five years.  That title means I trained/worked with teachers to integrate technology into their classrooms.  The other part of my job was “duties as assigned,” which included helping troubleshoot software issues, train how to create the individual web pages, add pictures and videos to the school web page, help decide if curriculum would work on Kingsland’s system, iPad setup and maintenance, etc.  I teach Lego classes for Community Education.  My favorite volunteer work has been for junior and senior high Knowledge Bowl.  I’ve been chaperone and have trained as a judge.  This school year I have helped with vision and hearing screenings and chaperoned/judged a JH Knowledge Bowl meet.

Howard: Besides being a student myself and a parent presently, I am almost embarrassed to say that my personal involvement and contribution to this community’s education and extracurricular programs has mostly been from the sidelines. I have supported my husband over the last several years as he has been a part of the fifth and sixth grade youth football program. It has been a pleasure for me to watch this program have a positive influence on the kids, encouraging more involvement, fostering teamwork and camaraderie in a positive but disciplined atmosphere.  With that being said I feel like it is time for me to step up and become more actively involved.

Lund: I have one child in Kingsland and one child at St. John’s Lutheran School in Wykoff. I have been an active parent in the Kingsland School District for over 10 years. I’ve volunteered in classrooms, chaperoned field trips, assisted with hearing and vision testing, been involved in fundraising for the boys football and basketball program and junior post prom events.

I am currently the president of the PTL at St. John’s Lutheran School and assist with many volunteering and fundraising events with them.

Why are you running for office? What are your personal priorities and what contributions can you make as a school board member?

Emig: I would like to be on the Kingsland School Board because I care deeply for this school district.  I’m proud to call my children Kingsland Knights.  Technology is a big part of Kingsland’s everyday life.  My job was to implement technology policies. Now I would like to help guide those policies.  I would also like to improve how the information from School Board meetings is presented to the public so that it is easier for people to look up.  This is an opportunity to put my five years of experience as a Kingsland employee to use and to build upon what has been done in the district.  I want to see this district grow academically and in student count.  The upcoming decisions this district has to make are going to be challenging.  We need leadership, logic, and strength for future decisions, and I believe I have those qualities.

Howard: As a proud parent of two Kingsland students I have decided that it is time to take a more active role in not only my children’s future but the community’s children as well. I want all Kingsland students to excel academically and if they should choose, excel in extracurricular activities as well. These children are our future and their education is so very important, but I feel that the extracurricular activities are just as important as well. Whether it be sports, band or school sponsored clubs from Knowledge Bowl to FFA, they all sponsor a sense of pride and school spirit in the students along with encouraging them to work together and build relationships as one unified team, or one unified school. My number one priority as a School Board member will be to work with others to make Kingsland the absolute best that it can be; our kids deserve it. I feel like my ability to be a team player, with a calm and open mind, together with others, we should be able to accomplish this. Thank you all for your consideration.

Lund: I want to be more involved with Kingsland. I would like to make sure that we are looking out for our students first and foremost. The School Board would be a great way for me show my leadership skills and give a fresh look at items.  My objective is to assist in making our school district viable for our future generations, and to commit to educational excellence for our current students.