Elble, Lovell lead BKW board

Enterprise file photo — H. Rose Schneider

Nathan Elble, seen here at a goal-setting meeting earlier this year, has been elected the Berne-Knox-Westerlo school board president.

BERNE — The Berne-Knox-Westerlo Board of Education has a new president and vice president.

At the school board’s July 2 reorganizational meeting, former board vice president Nathan Elble was nominated and voted in as the school board president. Kimberly Lovell was elected vice president. Both votes were unanimous.

Elble has served as the board’s vice president for the last two years. Matthew Tedeschi, who has been the board president since 2016, spoke to him about being nominated a few weeks ago, said Elble.

“I told him last, whenever he was ready, I was ready to step up,” Elble said to The Enterprise last week. The two had both been elected to the board in a special election in February 2016.

Elble said that, while there is often a natural progression for a vice president to become the board president, there still needs to be that willingness to step up.

His duties will involve running the meetings and meeting with the district superintendent to build the agenda, Elble said, as well as serving as the voice of the board. Lovell’s duties will mainly involve serving in the board president’s absence as well as setting the agenda, he said.

“I think Kim’s going to do great,” said Elble.

Both Lovell and Elble have children who are BKW students. Elble works as an electrician and Lovell as a teacher in a nearby district.

Some issues Elble believes will be relevant in the coming academic year will be the district’s $20 million capital project; construction of the project began last month, and Elble anticipates monthly updates on its progress.

He said that a focus committee will be reviewing the project as it proceeds, including building and financial aspects, and will tour the building every time there is a “phase change.”

“Communication is what’s going to be key,” he said.

A new item of interest is a “farm to school program,” Elble said, that will be introduced next month, and will involve discussions about initiatives by school staff.

But Elble said his role as president does not place his thoughts or vote above the other members.

“We’re still a group of five … ,” he said. “We’re a board, not a group of individuals.”

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