Blessing wants to stay on Kearney Public board, address student, teacher's mental health
Published in Kearney Hub
Kearney Public Schools Board of Education member Drew Blessing has announced his campaign for re-election.
During his four years on the Kearney Public School Board he has played a role in increasing staff hourly pay, increasing teacher family health insurance contributions, expanding alternative education at the Hanny Arram Center for Success, prioritizing in-person learning and lowering the total property tax levy.
“No one could have predicted what we would encounter over the last four years. I’m thankful for all of those moments that polished me as a member of the board and a leader in our community. I’m proud of the impact we’ve had on improving our schools for students, teachers, and staff and I look forward to continuing that work through a second term,” Blessing said.
Blessing grew up in Ogallala, attended Chadron State College and moved to Kearney more than a decade ago. He is married with one child and works as a software engineer.
“I have a long history of working in education. When I initially moved to Kearney I worked at Educational Service Unit 10. At ESU 10 I provided technology services and support to schools in south-central and western Nebraska. Since then I’ve volunteered with several community organizations that teach kids about technology. All of these experiences helped form my understanding that our community needs and thrives because of a robust public education,” said Blessing in a press release.
During the next four years and beyond, Blessing sees a number of important issues he wants to address. First is ensuring student success through quality education. Recently, the KPS Board adopted a new math curriculum and a new reading curriculum.
In the future, Blessing believes the board should continue expanding educational opportunities such as alternative education; high ability learner programs; and college, career and trade readiness opportunities at the high school.
The second issue is mental health access for teachers, staff members and students. Blessing understands that teachers have more on their plates than ever before and students face challenges outside the classroom that can affect their ability to learn. He seeks to support all students, teachers and staff and provide resources to improve mental health.
Finally, property tax and school funding continue to be a challenge in Nebraska. Blessing believes some relief can be found through collaboration with schools, the Legislature and the governor. He understands the importance of shifting the burden away from property tax while retaining local control and ensuring continued strong school funding.
“I am proud of the education our schools provide and know we can make our schools even better. I humbly ask for your support for re-election,” he said.