Prairie County voters will have a choice between two candidates for this year’s school board election. Michael Sterchi is challenging incumbent Sherry Strasheim for the three-year-term position on the Terry School board. Voters will choose between the two at the May 5 election. Polls will be open between noon and 8 pm in the Terry High School lobby.
The following are answers for questions asked of the candidates.
Sterchi: My wife, Shelby and I moved to Terry in October, 2005 and live south of town on the old Martinson Ranch. We moved from Winston-Salem, North Carolina. We have seven children. One daughter, Sheila and her husband Brian, along with their two children, Bailey and Jacob live with us.
Strasheim: My husband, Mike and I live two miles west of Terry. We have lived in Prairie County for 27 years. We have two children, Kyla, who is a sophomore at Dickinson State University and who graduated from Terry High School in 2007 and Brady who is in the sixth grade.
Sterchi: I am a retired general surgeon physician. I worked at the Wake Forest Medical Center for 30 years. I owned a ranching operation in North Carolina, which we are now operating here. We lived in New Castle, Wyoming for several years before moving to Terry. I received my medical degree from the University of Cincinnati.
Strasheim: I’ve worked in the Terry School system since the early 1980’s when I began as a teacher’s aide for the kindergarten class. I also worked as a special paraprofessional for Prairie View Special Services and as a high school cheerleading coach. My husband and I operate Country Cottage and Knuckle Busters, satellite and car restoration businesses, respectively. I have worked off and on at the Terry Super Valu for 20 years.
Why have you decided to run for the school board?
Sterchi: I want to give back to the community and I have grandchildren who will soon be entering into Terry Schools. I would like to apply what experience I have in schooling to the school system.
Strasheim: I have really enjoyed serving on the school board. It’s a very important position and I feel experienced in the position.
What do you feel are the biggest issues facing the school district?
Sterchi: 1) Ensuring that the school is properly financed is important. 2) Maintaining a quality teaching staff is key to the school system. Emphasizing continued teacher education and having a good recruitment programs are ways to ensure this. 3) There are enrollment concerns, as student numbers drop.
Strasheim: 1) Funding 2) Keeping qualified staff 3) Ensuring students receive quality education and have the services they need is important as well.
What changes do you think the school district could do to become better prepared for the future?
Sterchi: Concentrate on teacher recruitment. Encourage students who leave Terry to enter the teaching field, to return and teach. Providing a scholarship fund for those who return to teach in Terry could help with this.
Strasheim: We may be looking at cuts to our budget in the future if the legislature doesn’t provide more financially. It’s important to stay on top of our technology. Testing for preparedness for students is important as well.
What is the best quality you can bring or have brought to the school board?
Sterchi: My age, experience and my involvement with the training program at the Wake Forest Medical Center are factors I bring. I was actively involved in teaching resident students.
Strasheim: I have tried to be really fair while serving on the board. That is important to me. Issues aren’t personal to me. It’s about the issue. I come to the meetings with an open-mind without having preconceived notions on issues.
Published April 22, 2009