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Meet the six school board candidates

Fran Breiter1 / 6
Becky Hensley2 / 6
Greg Faber3 / 6
Chad Hagen4 / 6
Chris George5 / 6
Dirk Hagedon6 / 6

Six candidates are vying for three positions on the Osakis School Board.

To help readers get to know the candidates better, the Osakis Review send them questionnaires. Here are their responses:

Fran Breiter

Please list your background and qualifications for the position (include experience, education, job, family, etc)

I grew up in Mapleton, Minnesota, a small town about the size of Osakis. Twenty one years ago, I married my high school sweetheart. Together, we have four wonderful children who keep our lives busy. We have enjoyed being involved in the Osakis community. We support the local schools, businesses, churches and community in general. I feel it is important to give back to the community.

I work for a swine management company called Protein Sources, LLC. We manage 17 sow farms within the surrounding states. For the past 20 years, I've been a production manager, and oversee the day-to-day operations on several farms. This job requires patience, flexibility, strong communication skills, financial responsibility and integrity.

What prompted you to seek this position?

I enjoy watching the success of our youth. I've been fortunate to coach youth at many different levels. In my experience, there is nothing more satisfying than seeing the growth and improvement from year to year. Becoming a school board member would allow me to be a part of that growth. These students are our future leaders. I want to insure that each one of them has an equal chance to excel.

What do you feel is the biggest challenge facing the Osakis School District right now and how would you address it?

Though there are many, I feel the biggest challenge the Osakis School District faces is financial stability. We want to give the students the best opportunity for success, but we have to be fiscally responsible in doing so. Finding that happy medium can be tough, but i believe it can be done.

The Osakis School District is a great place for our children to learn! My experience over the past 20 years will allow me to make a positive impact on the Osakis School Board. I understand how tough decisions need to be made. At the end of the day, we should all have the same goal in mind. We want what is best for ALL students, in a responsible way.

On Nov. 6, please exercise your right as an American citizen — get out and vote!

Greg Faber

Please list your background and qualifications for the position (include experience, education, job, family, etc)

My name is Greg Faber. I live near Osakis with my wife and three children. I have operated my own farm for 20 years and also work for Protein Sources, a company that manages hog farms.

What prompted you to seek this position?

I decided to run for the school board four years ago, and again this term, because I am passionate about our community and I think it is important to be involved. Our school is one of the biggest assets to Osakis.

What do you feel is the biggest challenge facing the Osakis School District right now and how would you address it?

One of the biggest challenges facing the Osakis School District, along with many districts, is managing the tax dollars responsibly while meeting the needs of the students and staff.

Chris George

Please list your background and qualifications for the position (include experience, education, job, family, etc)

My name is Chris George and I am a lifelong resident of Osakis. My wife, Jenni, and I have three children — Kennedy, 14, Ellie, 13 and Reggie, age 11.

I attended The University of Minnesota Crookston for two years, toward an English degree and obtained an electrical degree from St. Cloud Technical College.

I have been a Class A Master Electrician since 1996 and have been working in the electrical field for over 30 years.

What prompted you to seek this position?

I am a proud graduate of Osakis High School and have three children in school now and I want to help our School District continue to thrive.

What do you feel is the biggest challenge facing the Osakis School District right now and how would you address it?

I think the biggest challenge facing our school today is to try to keep up with the ever changing world of technology.

I think our school is fortunate to have some very qualified people on staff to lead us in this area, and we have to continue to provide them with the proper resources to succeed.

Dirk Hagedon

Please list your background and qualifications for the position (include experience, education, job, family, etc)

Being involved in the Osakis community has always been important to me since moving here in 2004. The background and qualifications that I feel make me a great candidate for the Osakis School Board position are the following:

Osakis Planning and Zoning board member 2005-present. Secretary for a number of years, and involved in the new zoning ordinances and comprehensive plan for city development.

Osakis volunteer firefighter 2009-present. Fire department treasurer and review and adjust the fire department budget and expenses for the next year.

Small business owner in the city of Osakis 2017-present. I own Project Pros Construction LLC. We do residential, and commercial construction. I have worked 23 years in the construction industry.

I was born and raised in a small town and my mother was a teacher in Walnut Grove, Minnesota. I attended Red Rock Central High School in Lamberton, Minnesota and graduated from Alexandria Technical College's carpentry program. I have two children, Hailey and Tyson, who attend Osakis Public School and I am involved in all of their sporting events and clubs.

What prompted you to seek this position?

I am interested in the board position to help give an independent voice to all the teachers and students. With education and construction background, I feel that I can have positive input for the direction of the school building projects and also making sure that the teachers and students concerns are heard and action taken to keep and obtain quality teachers and administration.

What do you feel is the biggest challenge facing the Osakis School District right now and how would you address it?

I feel the biggest challenge Osakis School District has would be the pressures of finding our niche with larger school districts nearby that focus primarily on sports. Also, the pressures of upgrading athletic facilities to keep up with area schools and making sure that we focus on having well-rounded students with arts, music, and sports opportunities. Our school district has an excellent reputation and a great core of teachers that we do not want to lose!

Chad Hagen

Please list your background and qualifications for the position (include experience, education, job, family, etc)

My name is Chad Hagen. I graduated from osakis high school. My wife, Tracey, and I have been married for 15 years, our son, Elijah, is in 8th grade, and our oldest son, Jordan, graduated in 2012 from Osakis. I'm employed at Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway as an engineer.

What prompted you to seek this position?

Having kids in the school, I'm more interested with what goes on and what happens with the school. Osakis has a lot to offer for any student and we need to make sure that we don't lose focus of all the positives by making one aspect of school curriculum and/or activities more important than the other. We need to listen to all concerns from staff, students and parents and make sure all those voices are being heard and not brushed aside as being unimportant and make sure decisions that are being made are what is best for everyone as a whole, not just benefiting a few. And continue to keep the district in good standing with the community members.

What do you feel is the biggest challenge facing the Osakis School District right now and how would you address it?

Obviously, funding is a big issue facing every school district at this time. In order for that not to become a problem here, we need to continue to be budget conscious and make decisions that are best for the district as a whole. We need to keep improving our buildings and resources available to the students so that we continue to keep all possible students in our district and attract students from surrounding districts. We need to make the school a place where future parents, students and staff want to be, so that our enrollment numbers don't drop. And by keeping the community informed and listening to them so they will be more likely to vote yes to any future funding should we need it.

Becky Hensley

Please list your background and qualifications for the position.

I graduated from Rasmussen Business College with a degree in business management. I have been employed by Brenton in Carlos for 21 years, where I am currently the Orion Business Segment Manager. My husband, Darrin, and I own Hensley Trucking in Osakis. We have two children. Kiara is a recent graduate of Osakis Public School and Jayden is currently a sophomore. I am currently the president of the Osakis School Board and the OEDC.

What prompted you to seek this position?

Education is the foundation of our children's future and I want to continue to contribute to their success. We currently have a great school, staff and students. We need to continue to build and grow on what has been established.

What do you feel is the biggest challenge facing the Osakis Public School District right now and how would you address it?

The biggest challenge with any school district is finances. Although our district is doing well, being fiscally responsible with an aging building, fluctuating enrollment, and providing a well-rounded education with high academic standards will continue to be a challenge. The school board has a huge job in balancing the budget, while hearing the requests and suggestions from parents and community members on how to meet all the needs of our children. Communication is key to solving any issues and being open minded and listening to the ideas that are presented.

Al Edenloff

Al Edenloff is the news and opinion page editor for the Echo Press. He was born in Alexandria and lived most of his childhood in Parkers Prairie. He graduated with honors from Moorhead State University with a degree in mass communications, print journalism. He interned at the Echo Press in the summer of 1983 and was hired a year later as a sports reporter. He also worked as a news reporter/photographer. Al is a four-time winner of the Minnesota Newspaper Association's Herman Roe Award, which honors excellence in editorial writing.  

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