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Four candidates seek three open school board seats

HARTINGTON — Four candidates - three incumbents and one newcomer - are seeking votes to fill three spots open on the Hartington-Newcastle Public School Board.

The top three vote-getters on Election Day Nov. 8 - will be installed on the board.

*** Jason Dendinger Jason Dendinger has been serving on the Hartington-Newcastle School Board for five terms. And even with 20 years under his belt, he decided to run for another term.

“I wasn’t quite done serving,” he said. “I said originally when I first got elected, I’d run until people told me they didn’t want me and they’d vote me out.”

His experience and 20 years of working knowledge of school board business makes him stand out from others vying for a seat.

“There’s a lot of things that take a few years to really know what happens on the board as far as the role of the board, what can be done, what should be done,” he said.

Dendinger said he also attends Nebraska Association of School Board conventions and trainings whenever he can to continue learning.

He’s been on the board when members with a lot of experience decide not to run again or do not get re-elected and he said that’s a tough situation to go through.

“I hate to lose all the experience all at one time,” he said but he will be satisfied with his time in service regardless of the vote outcome.

Dendinger owns Milbrath-Sayler Bookkeeping Service in Hartington. He is a Hartington Public alum and his wife graduated from Newcastle Public School. They have three children - two that have graduated from Hartington Public and their youngest is a senior.

*** Ian Lange Ian Lange is another incumbent seeking reelection to the board. He is currently finishing his first term in office.

He said he is seeking re-election because he has enjoyed his experience thus far and feels as if he is making a difference.

“I feel voters should vote for me because I have the school district’s, students’ and faculties’ best interest in mind,” Lange said.

He works at Feilmeier Electric. Lange and his wife, Rhea, both graduated from Hartington High. They have four children - one who is a graduate of Hartington High and the other three who are current students.

*** Timothy Burbach Timothy Burbach filed for a spot on the Hartington-Newcastle School Board as a new candidate.

“With every election, people need choices,” Burbach said when he filed to run for office. “I’m not saying I have all the answers, but I’m not afraid to change.”

He said there are several issues that need to be addressed including property tax relief, sex education standards and critical race theory.

“These are topics that need to be addressed and I can’t do it from my house. I need to have a chair at the table,” he said.

Burbach and his wife own Fay’s Furniture and Floor Covering in Hartington. His daughter attended Cedar Catholic while his son attended Hartington Public School.

*** Candice Climer Candice Climer is an incumbent on the Hartington-Newcastle School Board who has also filed for re-election to another term. She is currently finishing her first term on the board and has enjoyed serving the community in an area she is passionate about: education.

Climer previously taught at Hartington-Newcastle for four years and currently teaches future educators at Mount Marty College in Yankton, S.D.

Her current career lets her bring a unique perspective to the school board as she constantly keeps up to date with the latest research and trends in the field.

There are several issues she would like to contribute to if re-elected to the board.

With a nationwide teacher shortage, Climer wants to make sure current Hartington-Newcastle teachers stay satisfied within the district.

“We don’t want to have a bunch of turnover,” she said. “We need to be supportive to teachers and what their needs are for the classroom.”

Mental health issues and learning gaps caused by the COVID-19 pandemic are also pressing issues facing schools right now, Climer said. A strong focus on curriculum will ensure Hartington-Newcastle students to get the very best education possible, she said.

“I’m very into policies and procedures and how things are run in a school district,” Climer said. “I really want to make sure things are on point there.”