Absentee voting is underway for the Sioux Falls School board election and in the coming days we’re featuring the candidates.

Cynthia Mickelson says volunteering through many of the schools as her three children advance through the system has brought her insight on the challenges. "We're pleasantly satisfied with the level of education, quality of education as well as the opportunities they have within the school district." said Mickelson.  "Our AP programs work well, Spanish immersion, the new exciting Coding schools, Title-One schools to maybe changing the opportunities at those schools."

Mickelson says there are new challenges facing Sioux Falls Public schools, including the "approximately 130 behavioral full-time employees within the school district.  That is a huge increase that we’ve seen.  Further we’ve seen a rise in the need of counselling because of the issues these children are facing within the school district." Mickelson says graduation rates have gone down and that challenge needs to be addressed.

The long time parent volunteer offers her background experience if elected to the school board. "I’ve been in the schools.  I also volunteer at Lincoln High School about twice a month.  I’ve met with over 60 people who are administrators, teachers, parents, and community leaders to really listen and educate myself about the whole school district.  Furthermore I’m an attorney and I’m a grant writer, so I know how to look for funding and alternative resources."

The school board election is June 6th.  The deadline to register to vote is May 22nd.