Community members, trustees get chance to query School District 2 superintendent candidates

2010-03-01T00:00:00Z Community members, trustees get chance to query School District 2 superintendent candidatesBy ROB ROGERS Of The Gazette Staff The Billings Gazette
March 01, 2010 12:00 am  • 

Keith Beeman is pretty sure he won’t get any questions from trustees when he meets with them Monday that will be any tougher than the ones he received from the community Sunday night.

For more than two hours Sunday evening, Beeman, along with Eric Ely, Keith Meyer, Scott Rogers and Cole Pugh, shook hands and chatted with community members, board trustees, city elders and state leaders at a Billings School District 2-hosted open house. The five men are candidates vying for the superintendent post.

“We’ve got a very invested community,” said Trustee Mary Jo Fox. “In this community, you’ve got to sell it.”

And sell it they did.

Mingling in the library at Senior High, the five candidates moved around, speaking with individuals and small groups of people, listening to concerns and complaints and answering questions. The event drew more than 60 people.

Each responded to all sorts of queries ranging from opinions on career education to the proper number of school days in a calendar year.

Dan and Julie Morris, parents in the district, came to the open house to question the candidates specifically on their philosophies of education.

“We’d like to find out what the candidates stand for and they believe in,” she said. “Transparency is an issue.”

She and her husband want to make sure the candidates can define what schools are suppose to do and what makes a good education.

“Education is a means of allowing people to reach their potential by teaching them how to think creatively and critically,” Julie Morris said.

Also in attendance was Cary Smith, state representative for Yellowstone County and his wife Susan.

“Obviously, School District 2 is pretty important,” Cary Smith said. “There’s a lot of good reasons to come out and meet the candidates.”

Susan Smith suggested that three of the most important reasons were the three grandchildren she and her husband have in the district.

“So we’re very interested,” she said.

As people entered the library, they were given evaluation forms to fill out, asking how they rated the candidates’ communication skills, leadership qualities, knowledge and demeanor. The forms will be given to the trustees before they interview the candidates tonight and Tuesday evening.

The five candidates will spend the next two days touring the district and meeting with teachers, administrators and members of the community. Keith Beeman, Cole Pugh and Keith Meyer will interview with the board tonight. Scott Rogers and Eric Ely will interview Tuesday night.

Contact Rob Rogers at or at 406-657-1231.

Copyright 2014 The Billings Gazette. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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