For the past year St. Joseph School District Board of Education candidate Larry Koch has gotten an up-close look at what it’s like to work for the school district.
Last April Koch was selected to fill a vacant seat on the school board left after former board member Chris Danford resigned.
“Since I’ve got on the board I’ve learned a lot about what's going on,” Koch said.
Now, Koch is campaigning for his own seat on the school board.
“There are a multitude of problems out there, but they all have solutions. I think I have something to contribute,” Koch said.
Problems for the district include community distrust and balancing the district budget, but Koch feels that all issues related to the school district can be resolved with careful long-term planning.
“Some of the hurdles long-term are in planning. We have to do some more in-depth planning, strategic planning. We have to do some financial planning,” Koch said.
The driving force behind Koch’s campaign is the impact he feels improving the school district will have on the community as a whole.
“For me this is the number one issue in our community. Getting our young people educated, getting our schools up to speed and do all the things we need to do to cut our poverty rate down,” Koch said. “The only way in which to fight poverty is education. We cannot buy our way out of poverty. We cannot legislate our way out of poverty. We can only educate our way out of poverty.”
Koch said his previous experience on the board has helped him put problems surrounding the district in focus and left him eager to help St. Joseph schools move forward.
“I see this as a new beginning for our school district, new superintendent, three new board members. It’s going to be an exciting time this year, so we’ve got to pull together to get it done,” Koch said.
Koch will face off against six other candidates for one of three open seats on the school board during the general election April 3.