Chris Jundt

Chris Jundt, Williston Basin School District 7 board president

After Tuesday’s Williston Education Association press conference where President Eric Rooke announced a vote of No Confidence in School Board President Chris Jundt, Jundt has released a statement of his own.

Jundt’s following statement was shared with the Williston Herald Wednesday morning.

“The following response is in my individual capacity as an individual school board member and not in my capacity as President/Spokesperson for the School Board.

In response to the Williston Education Association’s request for my immediate resignation, I strongly refuse to resign my position as a member of the Williston Basin School District #7 School Board. Leaders do not run the other way in the face of adversity. Leaders face those challenges head on with a focus and conviction to do what is right. The Williston community expects financial accountability and academic accountability, both of which have been severely lacking in the school system for decades.

Financial deficits and reckless spending is not what the taxpayers of this community expect or deserve. Proficiency scores that lag significantly behind the state averages is not what this community expects or deserves. This is not what our students deserve. We have combined two districts that last year had proficiency scores across the districts of 24 percent and 19 percent in Math compared to the state average of 38 percent.

We must do better as a community and as a district in helping our students excel in their academic achievements; rather than lagging behind. I have a tremendous amount of respect for the work teachers do. I have relatives and friends that are teachers. I understand that it has been a difficult couple of years in the teaching world.

That does not however give Mr. Rooke, or the Williston Education Association the right to try and force me into resigning as a member of the school board.

Executive sessions have been properly noticed, properly called, and properly held. Negotiations with the Williston Education Association were held in good faith. The School Board has been focused on student centered discussions such as CTE programming at Williston High School, monitoring of student academic performance, strategic planning, updating of curriculum across the district, formation of a technology committee to better align technology with the needs of staff and students in the district, and many others.

My door is always open to anyone who wishes to have a professional discussion on ways for us to move forward as a district in a positive manner. I look forward to everyone refocusing their energy and efforts towards the academic success of our students because that is what everyone in this district should be doing!”

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