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Three vying for two MCC board seats
When voters visit the polls May 6 or before to vote for the two available seats on the Miles Community College Board of Trustees, they’ll find a familiar face vying for re-election, one candidate throwing his hat in the ring for the first time and a candidate who was part of a tight race during last year’s election.
There will be an opportunity for interested voters to meet all three candidates Tuesday, with MCC hosting an open house at 5 p.m. The election will be held at MCC in room 106 on May 6, from noon–8 p.m. Absentee ballots have been sent out to those who have requested them, and other voters may pick up ballots at the president’s office at MCC.
“The public will have the opportunity to meet the three candidates for the Board of Trustees positions at the open house,” said MCC President Stacy Klippenstein. “They’ll be available to answer questions and really sell themselves on why they should be voted to the position.”
Garret McFarland (incumbent)
Dr. Garret McFarland was elected to the Board of Trustees in 2005. He has been a dentist in Miles City for 17 years. After growing up in Fort Benton, Mont., he received his bachelor’s degree from Carroll College and received his DDS from the University of Minnesota Dental School.
Along with being a trustee for MCC and a member of the MCC Endowment board, McFarland is also active in Kiwanis, Miles City Club board and Town & Country Club.
McFarland could not be reached for additional comment by presstime.
Torgerson, a CPA at Stallard & Associates, P.C. in Miles City, is no stranger to the MCC family, having worked for nine years at the school, most recently as its vice president of finance and administration. Calling MCC a vital part of the Miles City community and southeast Montana, Torgerson said the vast array of educational opportunities MCC offers is a large part of its success.
“From vocational/technical training to transfer degrees to adult education to work force development, MCC meets the diverse educational needs of the community with quality instruction at an affordable cost,” he said. “Personally speaking, MCC has had such a positive impact on my and my family’s life (both my wife and I are MCC graduates), and I feel that serving on the board would be a way to give back for all the wonderful things that have occurred in our lives as a result of our association with MCC.
“There are a lot of exciting initiatives occurring at MCC, such as the growth of the Agriculture and Equine programs and the development of the Ag Advancement Center, which has the potential to have a huge positive impact on the college and the community,” Torgerson said.
Torgerson said he believes his experience at both MCC and the private sector gives him the perspective to help the board moving forward.
“I feel that experience gives me a fairly comprehensive understanding of the issues facing the college, both the opportunities and the challenges,” he said. Torgerson believes his work as a CPA gives him a different perspective of the important role of the college in the community.
Having recently returned to Miles City after several years away, Torgerson said he is thrilled to be back home, and looks forward to serving MCC and the community in any capacity.
“I absolutely love this community,” he said. This is a great place to raise a family. MCC plays a large role in not only the educational, but also the social and entertainment aspects of what make this such an awesome place to live and raise a family. I am deeply committed to playing whatever role that I can in order to ensure MCC continues to thrive and be a place where students can have the opportunity to succeed. I am very grateful for my experiences at MCC and for all of the community support for the college over the last nearly 75 years. My hope would be that my children and countless others would have the awesome opportunity to have those experiences as well.”
Tad Matt Kleinsasser
No stranger to education, Kleinsasser is currently the superintendent of the Rosebud School District. A resident of the Miles City area for 13 years, Kleinsasser has been a teacher/administrator in Plevna, Circle, Ashland and Rosebud. He said his strong education background as well as his familiarity with the school districts of eastern Montana would serve him well as a member of the MCC Board. With his first attempt at serving on the board coming up just short, Kleinsasser is excited to again have the opportunity to serve.
“I ran last year for a position on the board and was defeated,” he explained. “I was asked to run again this year by some current board members, so I threw my hat in the ring again this year.
“I am running on the same platform as I did last year,” he said. “I feel it is important for the community of Miles City to support the college because we need each other, and I feel that MCC has room to grow and flourish in eastern Montana, and I would really like to be part of that process.”
Kleinsasser said he chose to run for a seat on the board to help MCC maintain its commitment to providing a quality education to its students. With his educational experience and familiarity of the area, he believes serving on the board would be a natural fit.
“I feel I bring a great amount of educational knowledge to the table,” he said. “I have been a school superintendent for the past eight years and I have been in the educational field for 14 years, with the majority of that time spent in eastern and southeastern Montana. I feel that I would be a great resource for the college because I am part of the educational community in Montana, and I can help spread the word about the great things MCC can offer graduates of Montana schools.”
Originally from Big Sandy, Kleinsasser graduated from MSU-Northern and the University of Montana. He and his wife, Kaylee, have two daughters, Greeley, 4, and Izzy, 16 months.