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Incumbent, challenger file for Spring Valley School Board

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SPRING VALLEY -- One incumbent and one challenger have filed for the two open seats on the Spring Valley School Board for the Spring Election.

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Incumbent Brian Wang has filed, while challenger Peter Coyne is seeking the seat vacated by Vice President Susan Hayes.

In an effort for the public to get to know the candidates, the Herald sent a questionnaire to all candidates who filed. This is their responses. (Note: Some of the candidates' responses have been edited for space requirements.)

Please give a brief description of yourself. Include information such as age, family, where you live and for how long, and list any educational, life or public service experiences which you believe will assist you in the position you're seeking.

COYNE - I am 49 years old and have been married to Lisa for 23 years. We have three children: Brian, a sophomore at UW-Madison, majoring in Dairy Science; William, a senior at Spring Valley High School, who will be attending the University of Minnesota this fall; and Rachel, a fifth grader in Spring Valley, where we have lived for almost nine years. Our family has been very active in both school and community activities, where I've served on the school district's task force committee. I have experience managing up to 45 employees and have taken numerous leadership training courses. I have also served on many boards and advisory councils in the dairy and dairy youth industries.

WANG - I am 58 years old and have been married 37 years. My wife and I have three boys. I've been a dairy farmer and have lived in this area all our lives. I have spent the last three years as a Board member and it's been a valuable and very learning experience.

If you are a challenger, explain how and why you chose to seek the position and what areas particularly interest you; if you are an incumbent, discuss the committees on which you have served, review any accomplishments to which you feel you have made a particular contribution and share your intentions for involvement during a new term.

COYNE - I had been asked about the possibility of running for the board in the past, but the timing was not right for my family and me. I now have the time to commit to the needs of the board. I would like to see a continued improvement in communication within the entire school system. Taxpayers, parents, staff and students all deserve to be aware of how the policies of the school district impact the community.

WANG - I have been on as many committees as possible to get a feel as to how things operate. I hope to be just as involved and more so, this time.

Discuss your approach to representing and being responsive to the residents in your area.

COYNE - The Spring Valley School System has a Mission Statement which serves as a guide for everyone in the community. When issues arise which challenge the community and school, usually the best thing to do is go back to the Mission Statement, which represents the true needs of the school. At the present time in Spring Valley, we are adding a few kids each year, which is beneficial to the school system. Undoubtedly at some time in the future this will change, when it does, I will use the Mission Statement to guide my decisions.

WANG - I encourage everyone to attend their school board meetings and not just when something makes them made.

Identify and elaborate on any issues facing the board you're running for which you feel to be important.

COYNE - We need to prepare young people to face life. The ability to read, write and have skills in math and sciences are essential. However, the ability to communicate and be creative and open minded gives young people the chance to contribute to society. I would like kids and families to be challenged and rewarded for their work and time. Spring Valley has a great school system and we need to be sure we continue to meet the expectations of parents, staff, community and most of all the students'.

WANG - Spring Valley schools are in good shape now. The next couple of years will be interesting from a financial standpoint. The downturn in the economy and rising costs will play an important factor in how things play out.

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