Hartman gains school board spot

M.P. Regan
Wednesday, May 11, 2022

She fell just short a year ago of gaining a seat on the Dillon School District #10 Board of Trustees in the 2021 election.

And then spent another year attending SD #10 meetings to voice her concerns about various district issues.

With the results of last week’s school election, Sarah Hartman travelled the full distance, earning a seat on the SD #10 board for the next three years.

Mother of three current SD #10 students, Hartman gained 1,131 votes– more than any other candidate—in the four-way race for two spots on the SD #10 board.

With 946 votes in last Tuesday’s school election, Marti Laknar took the other SD #10 board spot, edging out fellow incumbent Todd Rouse (917 votes).

A grandfather of three current SD #10 students but relative newcomer to the area, Rich Long finished with 690 votes.

With her win, Hartman this week joined a board she has often vigorously engaged with at SD #10 meetings over the past year—to ask tough questions about school policies, funding and dynamics, often focusing on the relationship between the SD #10 administration and teachers.

“From a parent’s standpoint, I have a whole new appreciation for a classroom teacher and the work they do meeting the needs of kids at a lot of different levels,” commented the small business owner on one impact that attending school board meetins has had on her outlook.

“Just the idea of how it takes a lot of different people to make our schools run efficiently—from the superintendent, to the principals, to the teachers and staff and paraprofessionals, and the communication it takes between them all, creating a healthy environment for the people who work in the building and the kids who attend school there,” said Hartman who will now serve as one of seven members of the SD# 10 Board of Trustees charged with overseeing all that.

“Sometimes those meetings can feel intimidating. We have to be reminded that it’s our opportunity to show board members some different viewpoints. I would love to empower parents to sit in and be aware of what is going on and being discussed. But I also understand parents are really busy,” said Hartman of the monthly SD #10 Board of Trustees meetings.

“Transparency, open communication, and supporting our teachers and administrators—that is what I want to focus on,” said Hartman, who has owned and operated Tightline Adventures and Expedition Lodge with her husband, Justin Hartman.

“I am a small business owner, so I understand there are decisions that have to be made that won’t always be popular. I would hope I could listen and be an advocate to all involved.

A longtime educator and coach, Laknar gained her third term on the SD #10 Board of Trustees with last week’s election.

“I feel like I still have a lot to offer school,” stated Laknar prior to the election, “since I’ve been a coach and teacher and have a teaching endorsement.”