Students are our community's future

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My wife and I are graduates of Washington High School. We have five kids in the district (10th, eighth, seventh, fifth and fourth grades) and my wife is a third grade teacher. Our family is involved, in some form or another, at four separate schools: Harrison, Arthur, Franklin and Washington. I have learned so much about our district being a part of it at so many different levels.

Over the past few years many of you have spoken to me about running for school board, and it’s because of you and all of our kids that I am running. Our students are the future of our community. It is our duty as a community to ensure they get the best education so that the future for them (and all of us) is brighter.

Student education first. Smart, effective and sustainable budgets. Active engagement with our community. Attracting, supporting and retaining the best teachers. Facilities planning that makes sense for our future. These five tenets define my goals and approach for how I intend to serve the voters of the Cedar Rapids Community School District. Over the next four years our district will be facing some tough decisions that, when made correctly, will benefit both our students and our community for generations to come.

The budget challenges our district faces every year need to be addressed with a long-term look at how every penny spent is used for student educational growth and success. We don’t need a forced budget cut to save money and do things differently. We have to be ready to not just solve the problems we face today educating our students, but be proactive by foreseeing those challenges ahead of time. The facilities planning currently going on in our district is definitely needed, but more needs to done. The way we proceed will have lasting impacts to our community. I am ready to do everything in my power to ensure that impact is positive for our students, budgets, community, teachers and facilities.

• Christopher Gehrke of Cedar Rapids is seeking an at-large seat on the Cedar Rapids school board

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