Q&A: SGHS school board candidates on the issues

Colleen Conner

Q: Tell me about yourself.

A: I am married to Karl Conner and we have three children: James Ellis, Justin Ellis and Kenny Conner, along with three grandchildren, two boys and a girl. For the past three years, I have worked at and managed Conner’s Concrete here in Big Timber. I grew up in Schaumburg, Illinois, along with three older brothers. 

I moved to Montana after meeting my husband in 1998. One of my hobbies is archery. Our family has a big interest in archery and enjoys attending archery events and competitions all over the state.

Q: Why are you running for the SGHS school board? 

A: I want to be helpful in the support of the school system and to work as a team with the other board members to make our school a great place for our kids to learn.

Q: Tell me about previous service?

A: I have not previously served on the high school board, but have been a member of the Big Timber Woman’s Club, have assisted in the 4-H Archery Club and have helped with the Big Timber Youth Archery sports. 

I hope to have a positive impact in our school system , and if elected, I would look forward to being involved in a new way.


Susie Fiveash

Q: Which areas of education are you most interested in?

A: I am interested in all areas of education because that is what makes well-rounded students. We are so blessed to have fantastic teachers at Sweet Grass County High School, a hard working administration, great classified staff and good board members. 

We “ALL” have to work together to take care of our students and make sure they are getting the best education possible. 

Q: Tell me about yourself.

A: I grew up in Florida, attended Florida State University, and received my degree in early childhood education. 

I taught kindergaten for seven years in Alabama, then moved to Texas and worked for American Airlines for five years. I married my husband Jack and we had three amazing boys, who now are three incredible young men. We moved to Montana from Gulf Breeze, Florida almost nine years ago. 

Upon arrival I started volunteering in the community to meet people and to get to know people better. I volunteered (and still do) at the Food Bank, joined the Hoe and Hope Garden Club and substituted at the grade school and the high school. I’m also a board member for Two Rivers Art Gallery. I’ve never lost my love for being around kids and seeing what their interests are and what they are doing. I was asked to finish out Cookie Agnew’s term on the board and did. That is what propelled me to run for the SGHS Board board last time. 

Q: Tell me about your previous service?

A: I’ve served for three years as a school board member and I know there is still a lot of work I would like to continue. I feel it takes time to learn and understand how the district works. For this reason, I know my experience and knowledge would be beneficial to pursue the work the school has been doing. The role of a school board member should be to make sure the school stays financially stable and to support students and staff. There are hard decisions to make sometimes, but we must be open to what is best for the students and the entire school.


Gilbert Prather

Q: Tell me about yourself.

A: Gilbert Prather, underground miner at East Boulder,  father of Sydney, Riley, Cody and Emily Prather. Amber Prather is my wife. 

I was born in Elko, Nevada and did most of my schooling in Washington.

Q: Why are you a good fit for the board?

 A: I’m for the students.

Q: Why are you running for the SGHS school board? 

A: I want to be involved and have a positive impact.

Q: What changes would you like to see?

A: I’m not sure about changes, but I would like to make sure the students are able to use all the resources we have to offer.

Q: Tell me about your previous service?

A: I’ve never been on a school board but I have been on FFA and booster club boards, assistant scout master, baseball and wrestling coach and a youth leader in our church.



To read the candidates' full responses, pick up the April 20 edition of the Pioneer or subscribe to our e-edition. Current subscribers are provided complimentary access to the e-edition with registration.


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