LoriAnne Andersen

SIOUX CENTERElection Day is coming up soon, and when Nov. 2 arrives, area voters can take to the pools to decide who has a seat on the Sioux Center School District Board of Education.

Up for election this year are three seats on the school board, with four contenders. Incumbents are Nathan Bullock, LoriAnne Andersen and Jerod Work. Yeabsira Doornink is the fourth candidate.

School board members serve four-year terms and are elected at large.

Forty-three-year-old LoriAnne Andersen of Sioux Center is a family physician at Sioux Center Health.

She earned her undergraduate degree in psychology and biology from the University of South Dakota and got her MD from the University of South Dakota School of Medicine.

She’s married to Travis Andersen, and they have two children: Seth and Maggie.

Andersen enjoys scrapbooking and crafts, supporting her kids in their activities, as well as camping with her family during the summer and snowmobiling in the winter.

Question: What is motivating you to run for school board?

A: “It’s important to have a ‘mom’s perspective’ on the school board. Moms are often a driving force in many aspects of their kids’ education, and this is an important viewpoint when the board is making decisions. I also bring a different set of skills and background to the board with my health care experience. I want to make a difference in the lives of the students at the school and feel that over the past four years, I’ve had this opportunity and desire to be able to have an ongoing positive impact if I’m reelected.”

Q: What are the main challenges that students and parents face?

A: “The challenge of knowing and anticipating what students need now for them to be successful in the future. The world is so rapidly changing that we have to change the way our school prepares our students at all levels. Keeping parents in the loop so that they can be advocates for their student’s learning is sometimes difficult as well. This is part of the reason I participated in the Portrait of a Graduate program to gain a better grasp on what the world is expecting from our students after graduation and how we can best serve them as a school district.”

Q: What are some areas where Sioux Center School District can continue to improve?

A: “We can always improve and grow. Right now, we are working hard at recovering our lost time from missing school due to the pandemic. The social and emotional health of our students and their families needs to be one of our priorities. I believe the school is working hard at this, but the ramifications from the lost learning will be felt for years. It’s a priority of the school board to support our families that continue to have social and emotional needs. We can also grow and improve in our cultural understanding with the ever-expanding diversity of our school district.”

Q: What are you able to contribute if elected?

A: “I come to the table with a different skill set. I was a psychology major in college, so that plays a big part in my dissection and understanding of the decisions the school board makes. I have four years of experience that have included hiring new administrators for our district, participating in the building of a state of the art facility for our students to grow and expand their skills, and navigating a pandemic. I have a huge love for our youth and am excited for the opportunity to impact their lives in different ways than I’m able to through the clinic and hospital. I have the drive to continue to bring the best teachers to our district and help them grow and continue to think outside of the box so that the impact they have on our students and our district is unsurpassed.”

Q: Is there anything else you’d like to add?

A: “I have loved being a part of a team of individuals that pours their hearts into the Sioux Center School District. Although we have been charged with difficult and sometimes controversial decisions, everyone at the board table is deeply invested in the betterment of our school district. I want every student in our district to feel that they have had the opportunity to be successful throughout their school career. We have more work to do, and I hope that I have the opportunity to continue this challenge and to continue to serve at a table of advocates for the families that receive some of the best educational opportunities in our state.”