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Darren Hopman is running for one of four available seats on the Natrona County School District Board of Trustees. (Courtesy of Darren Hopman)

CASPER, Wyo. – Election season is underway and Oil City News has sent a list of questions to all candidates who have applied for a seat on the Natrona County School District Board of Trustees.

These questions are designed to give our readers a better understanding of the people behind the names on the ballot. Below, discover Darren Hopmanwho is running for election to one of four available seats on the Natrona County School District Board of Trustees:

1. Who are you? (Name, where you are from, job, hobbies, etc.)

My name is Darren Hopman. My wife and I moved our family to Casper in 2007, after completing our Masters in Hays, Kansas. I was born in Texas and my family moved to Colorado when I was 12. I graduated from Rye High School in Rye, Colorado, and spent the next four years in the United States Air Force. I have an MBA in business management and finance. I have worked in the world of financial services and in other management and sales roles. For the past six years I have worked as a business coach. I enjoy helping organizations build profitable businesses with great corporate cultures. My certification as an organizational development coach helps me help business owners across the United States. My family loves the Casper, Wyoming area. Our five children have been very active in the Natrona County School District for the past 15 years. Things I like to do are spend time with my family, work with leather, and sometimes I pick up this old guitar and strum it a bit. When I have the chance, I like to go fishing. I once drove off 465 yards on a golf course in Kansas!

2. Why did you decide to run for the NCSD Board of Directors and what do you hope to accomplish if elected?

I seek to find opportunities to serve in the communities where I live. I ran for Natrona County Commissioner in 2010. I enjoyed the process. Education has played an important role in my life and I am convinced that this is where I must contribute now. I’m confident that my experience helping businesses be more fiscally responsible and building organizations with corporate cultures that enable everyone affected by that organization to thrive will help me contribute to the cause. of the school board.

3. How do you plan to achieve your goals?

My primary goal is to first find ways to maximize the resources of the Natrona County School District to enhance the great work that has already been done, to create a worthy learning environment for all children. I hope to become a resource for parents and educators so that we can all work more closely together for children.

4. What experience do you have that qualifies you to serve as a trustee?

I currently serve on the Reach 4A Star Riding Academy Board of Directors as Vice President. Over the years, I have had the opportunity to work with young people in various roles. As a seminar teacher for high school students, as a high school wrestling head coach, and as a football coach. I also spent time as a substitute teacher. Also, my background as a business coach and with my Organizational Development Coach Certificate (CODC) will serve me well as a fiduciary.

5. Do you think you could be a good steward of taxpayers’ money? Why or why not?

It’s a definite yes! From my time as a personal financial advisor, where my primary concern was helping people be more financially responsible, to my time as a business coach, where I helped business owners be more financially responsible by creating profitable organizations. I have had other opportunities to be a steward of resources provided by others for the benefit of those involved in the organization.

6. On the issue of transparency, how far along are you in ensuring that all public affairs are conducted openly and in a manner that encourages public participation?

Transparency is essential in any business that includes responsibility for the welfare of others. In this case, it is the children in our community and all of the educators and staff at NCSD. Transparency builds trust, and trust always allows us to be more accomplished.

7. Do you know the work of the school board in recent years? Are you happy with what you saw or are there any issues that you think need to be fixed?

I tried to familiarize myself with the work of the school board. I hope to learn more and do more of it. I wouldn’t say I’m happy or unhappy. Let me explain. The past few years with the pandemic have been difficult for all of us. The school board had to make some very difficult decisions. One thing that interests me is the use of resources throughout the district. I would like to make sure that missed opportunities are reduced as much as possible.

8. If elected or re-elected, do you plan to seek major political changes? If so, what would those changes be? If not, why not?

If I were to be elected, I do not currently plan to ask for major political changes under current conditions. I am aware that there are possible changes on the horizon, especially with the economy, which may necessitate changes for the school district. A question in this regard was asked during the recent Forum at the library. I will say here that in extreme financial situations, I would like to study the use of a four-day school week. From what I’ve seen so far, the four-day school week brings monetary savings, a morale boost for students and educators, and some school districts are claiming improved student test scores.

9. Is there anything the above questions did not ask that you would like to comment on?

An additional concern that I would like to briefly share. We have an alarming national trend of educators, special educators, speech language pathologists and many others in important education positions who are about to leave. Yes, this is impacting Natrona County. This will have a direct impact on the education of our children. We need to create a culture of learning that doesn’t make educators feel like they have to stay, but truly somewhere they want to be!

I would very much appreciate your vote on November 8!

NOTE: All applicants who applied for a seat on the NCSD Board of Directors received questionnaires at the same time, and Oil City News will post responses in the order they are received. Candidates’ answers are edited for clarity and style only.