Students assist in parents’ BOE campaigns

Emma Pulaski

More stories from Emma Pulaski

Beyond the Game
December 17, 2018

A typical October for students is often filled with school work and fall activities, but for two seniors, campaigning for their father to secure a position on the school board of education is an additional priority. With the upcoming election on Nov. 7, the homestretch for rallying votes has begun.

Senior Maggie Tyner said the campaign process and the approaching election has been stressful, but exciting. The idea of running was mentioned to her father, Toby Tyner, when state representative, Tim Hodge, was unsure if he would be able to finish his term as school board member on account of other obligations. She believes her father’s experience working as a teacher will provide him with valuable insight into parents’ and teachers’ desires.

“He is definitely one to always make sure that everyone is being heard and he is mentally and physically always fighting for the little guy,” Maggie said.

Toby hopes to continue to build strong communication between schools and communities, work to adjust the teacher to student ratio and continue to have USD 373 advocate for Schools for Fair Funding. By being aware of his campaign points, Maggie assists her father by promoting his campaign around town and at school. However, she said that her busy schedule and extracurricular activities prevent her from being as involved with the campaign as she would like to be.

“There’s only so much I can do [right now], but I share all of his stuff on Facebook and I make sure that when people ask me about it, I tell them because I know what his points are and I know what he’s pushing for,” Maggie said.

Senior Alisa Oller has devoted time to helping her father, David Oller, with his campaign as well. She said that her father running has been more of a low-stress process for her. David was simply interested in the position and being apart of the school board. Alisa and her family have been utilizing the time before voting begins to spread the word about his campaign and hand out fliers.

David’s hope is to resolve problems that students run into while in school. He also aims to build stronger relationships between teachers and students. Alisa believes he will work hard to improve the school system and help get students ready for their future.

“He is really focused on improving how the students are taught, helping them to get that work ethic that will help get them jobs.” Alisa said.

Maggie admires the eagerness her dad possesses on getting the younger generation involved in the election. As a result, she is not afraid to discuss her father’s positions with peers. Alisa has also had conversations with friends about her father’s campaign.

“I talk about him a lot and a lot of teachers know him. If there’s seniors that are 18 and able to vote, they can contact my dad and he will literally take them through the entire process if they asked him to.” Maggie said.

Maggie and Toby hope that many high school students will be involved in the voting process to get insight from a younger generation.

“That’s something we need to learn how to do and a whole bunch of young voters need to learn how to do because it’s not just their parents vote that matters. This is their school district too.” Maggie said.

Alisa believes she and her sister provide their father with an inside look into the issues that need to be addressed in Newton schools.

“He has me and my sister to help him see what’s going on in schools,” Alisa said. “Since he’s not here, we can help him.”

The Tyner and Oller family have been working on their campaigns for more than six months. Although it will be coming to an end soon, Maggie said the hard work that has been put in is capable of leaving a lasting impact.

“It’s stressful but it’s also really kind of exciting because we’ve been preparing for this all summer almost and preparing for it all beginning of the school year.” Maggie said.