District "D" Candidates in the Hot Seat

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In the Rockford School District there is only one race that is of any importance. That's because it's the only race being contested. Three candidates are vying for the District D seat. Incumbent Nancy Kalchbrenner, Barb Dent, and Mark Thompson are all in the race.

Nancy Kalchbrenner has been on the board since 2001 and is currently the School Board President. Barb Dent is a teacher at Lutheran High School and could still teach if elected since she's not teaching in District 205.

Mark Thompson is a geography teacher at RESA. He would quit teaching if voted in. The three were drilled on budget, test scores, school choice, and outsourcing. A final contract which would outsource custodians has yet to come before the board. In February the board voted five to two to just start negotiations, so the April 5 election could potentially take place before a final decision to outsource.

Board President Nancy Kalchbrenner says, “It’s a very tough decision. I felt it was critical for the future health of the district and most of our decisions affect lives of people who work for us.”

District D candidate Mark Thompson tells 23 News, “You can’t do that. Not only am I against it I would try to make an effort to get them back in. They belong in the schools not on the street. We don’t need people from wherever. We don’t even know who they are.”

District D candidate Barb Dent says, “I think we should keep the custodians. I don’t think we should pursue outside sources. Custodians should stay in schools because they have been part of our schools.”

Another hot topic is the Alternative School. All three support the idea but have different opinions on how to implement the concept. Board member Mike Williams runs unopposed in District "A", as does Jay Nellis in District "F".