LARAMIE, Wyo. (December 30, 2020) – Mark Bittner spent his previous school board term as the Vice-Chairman, a position he was voted back into this December by the rest of the board after he won re-election in November. For someone who has already had a large sense of responsibility on the board, running for his latest re-election was an easy decision.

“Most importantly, I just felt like with all of the things that we had been working on, and in particular the issues surrounding the pandemic, I felt like I would be leaving midway through,” Bittner said. “I didn’t want to feel like I was abandoning the job. This is really important work right now. We’re in a position where there are a lot of difficult decisions to be made. I didn’t want to leave it unattended. I have total faith in the rest of the board, for sure, but it’s just really important work right now.”

When he learned of the final results from the election earlier in November, there were two things that went through Bittner’s mind: happiness and wanting to get bac to work.

“Obviously, it was a good feeling,” Bittner said. “There was a big group of people running, probably the most I’ve seen in quite a while, and all of them super-outstanding people, so I certainly felt like it could have gone any direction. I was relieved and happy. Secondly, I just felt like it was time to get back to work and get going. We had a lot of unfinished business, so back to business was the main feeling.”

Part of that work is upcoming budget issues for the state. Bittner knows the next year or two will be very key for the district’s students, families, and teachers.

“I’m hoping that once we get back to some sense of normalcy, I’m hoping we can continue to find ways to support the teachers, staff and children in the district,” Bittner said. “We have some pretty major budget issues that are going to be coming up this year, and potentially the following year, so I think it’s going to be really critical for us to really make it obvious that budget cuts in the school district are really difficult to deal with. We want to make sure that all of the teachers and children are getting what they need to be a strong teaching district. I think that’s going to be critical for us to be looking at that.”

There are also plenty of positive things for board members and families in the district to think about. The first off of Bittner’s head is the new building being built for Slade Elementary students and teachers.

“We also have a new school being built, which is super exciting,” Bittner said. “We were able to get that approved before the budget cuts hit us. There’s potential for this to be a leading school. Slade is a great school already, but being in a state-of-the-art building, that’s going to be really fun to see the things they can do there.”

As a veteran member of the school board, Bittner understands that everyone else on the board and in the district offices are all on the same team. Every individual that works for the district have the same mission, and are more than willing to help each other reach those goals.

“I think one of the things I really felt like, is there are nine individuals on the board, and we have an outstanding superintendent, so at any point in time if I have questions, concerns, or thoughts, any one of those people are great people to turn to,” Bittner said. “We’re all headed in the same direction: we want the best for our children and teachers. So, once everybody knows that everybody has that same goal, then it just feels like everybody is working together. I just want to continue that, and hopefully, like people who were there to help me, I want to be there as much as I can to help the new members of the board, as well.”

At the end of the day, Bittner has the best interests of children, families, and teachers at heart.

“I hope that they view me as somebody who is thoughtful, level-headed, and most importantly, supportive of the children, families, and teachers in the district,” Bittner said. “We want to be the best school district in the state, so I’m hoping that we’re here to support that.”

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