Haiflich touts business, finance background | Thestar

Brianne Haiflich, 43, Garrett

Education — Associate Degree

Work/career experience — Community Retail Manager at 3 Rivers FCU

Spouse/Children — Husband: Josh; children Kathleen 19, Myah 15, Sydney 14, Amelya 19.

Hobbies — Crafting, Photography, Traveling

Volunteer/community leadership — President of Railroader Regiment Booster Board, Co-President of Encore Show Choir Booster Board, Board Member of Excelsior Arts Academy, DeKalb Leads Alumni

Why are you running for school board?

I want to give back to this community with my time and talents. I believe in what our educators are doing. At the end of the day, it’s about what is best for the kids in our school district. I want to help make GKB the best it can be.

What makes you the better/best candidate for the position?

I have spent 20+ years in accounting and finance. My background and knowledge would lend a unique perspective to the budgeting area of the school board. I have been actively involved in parent organizations within the GKB, giving me a front row seat to the needs of the students.

Goals, if elected?

To make GKB better than I found it and to elevate the direction that the school board is going with my experience and knowledge.

What is the main challenge facing your school district in the coming year(s)?

The stigma surrounding mental health in our student body and even within their families. Educating staff, parents, and students on signs of mental illness and where/when to seek help.

What can be done at the local level to retain and attract a talented teaching staff?

In addition to settling traditional contract issues yearly, I believe creating a career path for teachers with opportunities for self-development and creating an environment that encourages collaboration and creativity are imperative to retaining and attracting talented teaching staff.

What can be done at the local level to cure the issue of a lack of substitute teachers?

Substitute teachers are vital to the education ecosystem. Reviewing pay and benefits available to substitute teachers while providing incentives for the longevity of their commitment will be vital in curing this issue.

Do you feel our schools are doing enough to address school safety in today’s climate? If not what more can be done?

Safety is on the minds of students and staff alike. GKB does well addressing safety. More importantly, they are consistently looking for ways to improve. There isn’t a one size fits all formula to this. There is a fine line between making students feel safe and creating an environment that serves as a further reminder of trauma.

How should area schools address bullying issues within its walls and online?

Bullying is not acceptable in any form. One of the many ways to combat this problem is to include Empathy training in the curriculum. Empathy is the ability to put yourself in someone else’s shoes. One simple way to accomplish this to have students talk about their differences, practicing conflict resolution and working to understand their peers.

Additional comments?

Choosing to send my children to GKB has been the best decision I have made for them. The teachers and administration provided them with a foundation to go out into this world and make a difference. Serving on the GKB school board would be a very small way I could begin to show my support of their work and efforts.