Willmar School District voters have six good candidates and one poor candidate for three open seats.
Voters need to choose three from among these six good candidates -- Dan Croonquist, Bill Fenske, Jill Gould, Linda Mathiasen, Shawn Mueske and Nathan Streed.
We do not find Don Thorpe to be a credible candidate. In addition, he is the only candidate to oppose the Willmar operating levy proposal.
The eighth candidate on the ballot -- Brian Bollig -- has withdrawn from the race and will not serve if elected due to a family medical situation.
n Croonquist is a Willmar-educated alum and supports the school's tradition of academic excellence. He works as a pastor.
n Fenske has a financial background, which would be beneficial on the board. He believes in continuing the district's tradition of academic excellence. He works as a financial officer in the local hospital.
n Gould is interested in continuing Willmar's tradition of academic excellence. She has also worked on the levy-support group encouraging approval of the district's levy proposal. She works in human relations at a Willmar business.
n Mathiasen's priority is to meet the individual student needs and continue the school's academic excellence tradition. She works as a business communications specialist.
n Mueske has previous Willmar School Board experience, which is valuable. He wants the district's academic excellence tradition to continue. He works as a college biology professor.
n Streed wants to see students exceed the basic diploma requirements, continuing the district's academic excellence record. He also worked on the levy-support group promoting the levy proposal. He is a mortician with a local funeral home.
All six believe the Willmar district has been financially diligent in recent years and has made appropriate cuts to help balance the budget. All six support the district's levy proposal.
The West Central Tribune endorses these six candidates to voters from which to make their three choices on Nov. 2 for Willmar School Board.