The League of Women Voters of Greater Omaha contacts candidates during each election cycle and invites them to participate in the print and online editions of the Voters’ Guide. Candidates provide their biographical information and their positions on selected issues. Candidates are aware in advance that the biographies and answers will be printed exactly as submitted without edits for content, spelling, punctuation or grammar.
The League of Women Voters is a nonpartisan organization that never supports or opposes any political party or candidate for office.
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Robert Anthony (R): No response received.
Lisa Fricke (D):
Occupation: Retired teacher
Current Public Office, dates held: State Board of Education Member Incumbent-Elected in 2016
Past Public Office, dates held: NE State Board of Education is my first public office
Education: Graduate of Bellevue East, BAE from Wayne State College, Earned five additional teaching endorsements, Taught English 6-12, Geography 7- 9, Speech 7-12, Language Arts 6-8, and Reading 8
Military Experience: My father served in the US Air Force for 30 years. Being a member of a military family gave me a global perspective that still guides many of my decisions today.
Volunteer Experience: I have served as a volunteer for the Red Cross, Salvation Army, an Intergenerational & TeamMates Mentor, helped with NeSA Assessments for Reading and Writing, and was also a gubernatorial appointee to the Special Education Accountability Commission.
Do you see this board as being an elected or appointed body? Please explain your reasoning.
Lisa Fricke: I see the Board as an elected constitutional body. According to the NE Constitution Article VII, Section 3: “The State Board of Education shall be composed of eight members, who shall be elected from eight districts of substantially equal population as provided by the Legislature.” One state senator unsuccessfully tried to eliminate the State Board, and the legislature’s majority vote demonstrated their support for the Board’s work to ensure quality education for ALL students.
What can be done to ensure the safety of students and teachers in our schools?
Lisa Fricke: School personnel, students, communities, and the state must work as a team to ensure school safety. School districts must have an up-to-date safety plan that utilizes best practices. Schools should have a process that allows students to report safety concerns. Several schools have weekly safety advisory meetings to assess potential safety issues–being proactive averts danger. Effective safety communication among all stakeholders is essential.
How can the continuing education of teachers be supported?
Lisa Fricke: Continuing education is important, but professional development meets immediate needs: Teachers should have input in this process. PD training improves teacher effectiveness which in turn improves student learning. Right now, mental health is a concern, but any training should start with districts ascertaining teacher needs. Then, the district can seek input from ESUs and the NE Dept. of Ed. that could provide trainers and best practice resources to support what teachers need to be successful.