By Everett Brazil, III
The Newkirk Herald Journal
Daniel Koelsch is a Newkirk High School graduate, Class of 2006. He would later marry his high school Shelsy Brown, a Newkirk native. Together, they have a daughter who is entering Newkirk Elementary School. He is now stepping up for a position on the school board, not just for his little girl but also a chance to be a part of the community and encourage younger citizens and graduates to step up and take leadership roles.
His family moved to Newkirk when he was in elementary school, but he would immerse himself in Newkirk from that young age.
“I graduated in 2006, and went to Northern Oklahoma College (NOC) in Tonkawa and received an associates degree in criminal justice, and went to Northwestern Oklahoma State University where I received a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice,” he said.
He would take a different course in life outside of his degree, instead focusing on agriculture.
“I did the Oklahoma Ag Leadership Program through Oklahoma State University, and I’ve completed Agribusiness Leadership academy,” he said.
His experience in agriculture has helped him learn about management, which he feels can help him in the position.
“I’ve worked in the cooperative industry for almost two decades, and I’ve served as the general manager for Farmers Cooperative Association,” he said, adding that they have operations in Kildare, Ponca City, Tonkawa, Braman, Perry and Blackwell.
Being part of a cooperative, has dealt with many board meetings and meets with the cooperatives board on a regular basis.
“I answer to a board, and I think one of the big benefits of the board is different backgrounds experiences,” he said.
For many candidates for a board, whether it be for the school, city government or the county, many may seem to have a reason to want to run for that respective board, which may include a chance to bring change to the system. Koelsch simply wants to bring a youthful influence to the board, especially as his daughter is now entering kindergarten.
“Being a parent and a member of the community, I wanted to be more involved in the community,” said, adding that they had previously lived Tonkawa, but came back home to put their daughter through Newkirk Elementary.
Koelsch does see an issue he’d like to address as a school board member, and that is the leaky roof on the school’s basketball gym.
“If we have the funds, I would push to get the roof repaired,” he said.
Ultimately, it is the idea to have younger members of the community be involved, volunteering, helping to make the community a better place.
“I’m getting involved not only for my daughter but all the kids,” he said. “I think it is important for people to be involved.”
The election is April 4. Community members can meet Koelsch, and the other candidates for school board and city commission at Newkirk Main Street, 116 N. Main, tonight at 7.