?Dick Koontz?Age: 62?Occupation: Realtor, J.P. Weigand in NewtonEducation:?Graduate Hillsboro High School, Graduate Bachelor of Arts Bethel College, majors in Business Administration and ReligionFamily:?Married to Barb Koontz (retired Newton first grade teacher). Children: Matt Koontz and Nathan Koontz, both Newton High School graduates. We have six grandchildren, 5 are students in Newton public schools. Experience:?I have served on the board and had leadership roles in the following: Harvey County United Way, Newton/North Newton Board of Zoning Appeals,Bethel College Mennonite Church, Kansas/Regional/National Financial Aid Associations. Why are you running for this position?I want to serve on the Newton School Board as a positive way to give back to our community. I am convinced that providing a high qualitypublic education for our young people is the best way to build a strong foundation for sustaining a healthy community. What are your qualifications?I have over 30 years of experience in providing information and encouragement to students and parents about the benefits of a collegeeducation and trying to help people with financial aid options (Financial Aid Director at Bethel College, Regional Marketing Manager forChase Bank and Sallie Mae). Skills developed in this work experience include establishing and living within budget guidelines, makingpriority decisions, communicating with individuals and institutional representatives, evaluating results and modifying plans as needed. What is the best thing you can bring to the board?I have an understanding of and appreciation for the qualities needed in a good board member. Among them are the ability to express your ownopinion and thoughts, but also to listen to others, to assimilate information, to ask good questions and then to make the best decisionpossible. A good board member needs to be sensitive to and willing to disclose potential conflicts of interest, to maintain confidentialityand to support board decisions even if it was not the position you preferred.what are a couple of the biggest issues facing the schools, and what would you like to do about those issues??Lack of adequate funding from the state of Kansas. Continue to support the legal efforts of Schools for Fair Funding. I would like toexplore ways that our school district could work with community and business leaders to encourage more of our students to stay in Newton, towork here and raise their families here. What is one thing you want voters to know?Education is like a lot of things in life. You get out of it what you put into it. I want to lend my support and encouragement to ourstudents, to their families, to our teachers and administrators. We all need to work together to develop our most important communityresource, our children.