Madison County school board elections

Candidate profiles

Ballots for all school and special district elections being held on May 3 of this year are in the mail. These elections are mail ballots only. The ballots were mailed April 13, according to Paula McKenzie, Madison County Clerk & Recorder/Election Administrator.

The Madisonian asked each candidate in a contested election to submit a short profile. These profiles are included below in alphabetical order. Candidates were asked to tell readers about themselves and why they are running for school board in 150 words or less.


Alder School has two seats and two candidates. The candidates are Ryan Ellis for a three (3) year term and Duke Gilman for a one (1) year term. These candidates will be elected by acclimation and no election is required.


There are two trustee positions open. Two trustee candidates applied. Luke Banks was appointed earlier for a vacancy on the board. He submitted for the remainder of the term. The other open position was applied for by Stacey Raben. These candidates will be elected by acclimation and no ballots are required.

HARRISON: There is one (1) Trustee to be elected for a three (3) year term. There are three candidates. Harrison School will be holding a forum on Wednesday, April 20 at 7:00 pm at the Harrison school.

Judd McBurney

I am a third generation Montanan from a small town in the Flathead Valley. I work for Simkins Hallin Lumber as the Delivery Dispatcher. I am married to my wife of sixteen years, who grew up in Harrison. We moved our family to Harrison six years ago and have been welcomed into the community that we now proudly call home. Our two boys attend Harrison School. I am running for the Harrison School Board, to bring our staff and community together to assist our students in reaching their Academic goals. As a school board member, we need to help communicate the staff’s goals to the community, so they better understand what the school is doing to help their students. I will help to keep a safe and inclusive atmosphere, so each of our students have the best opportunity to succeed in all their goals and aspirations for their school career and beyond.

Courtney Norville

I am running for a seat on the Harrison School Board. I grew up in Bozeman with a big family and strong family values. I moved to Pony in my early twenties. I love this community and I am running for the school board because I value our children’s education. I am a mother of two children and I believe our children should have the opportunity to have a well rounded education. I understand the struggles a small school can have, and I want to be able to let our children have the same opportunities as a large school. I believe in supporting teachers so they can help students grow in their self-esteem, motivation to learn, creativity and problem solving. I would bring a different perspective to Harrison school and I will encourage dialogue and take input from all parties, as well as do my research before coming to a decision. I would appreciate the opportunity to serve our community with your vote.

Dustin Wagner,

Incumbent Profile received at press time. Please see profile at ENNIS: There are two positions for three (3) year terms. There are currently four candidates. Ericka Pitman has withdrawn her candidacy.

Paul Bills

I was born in Eastern Montana, the son of school teachers, and I have served as a teacher, coach, and athletic director for 26 years (13 of which in Ennis). I have spent my life working to enrich the communities in which I have lived. I work here in Ennis, I shop here, and I own property here. Ennis is a wonderful place to love. Now, I want to give back to this community, and the school, as a school board trustee. I have NO agenda. I’m not trying to hire anyone or fire anyone. I’m not here to evaluate teachers, cooks, bus drivers, custodians or office staff.

I’m here to vote on policy and help provide the best we can for the students, staff, and community of Ennis.

It would be my honor to represent everyone in this community with the upmost respect, because everyone in Ennis deserves that.

Laura Blake

I am a Montana native, born and raised in Belgrade. Our two girls attend Ennis Elementary. I graduated from Belgrade HS, then Montana Tech in Environmental Engineering. We worked in Wyoming before we had the opportunity to move home. I now work part-time for an engineering firm so I can be mom first. My grandfather was an Ennis trustee when my dad was in elementary school. My aunt and uncle lived in Ennis over 20 years.

I want to keep Ennis school a small-town American school with wholesome Montana values, focusing on true education providing students with fundamentals to become successful adults. I value excellence in education and have high expectations for students/staff. I oppose CRT and other radical ideologies taught in schools across the country. I want to collaborate with community members that genuinely have students’ best interest in mind and listen to parents.

Marilyn Jenkins

My family and I moved to Ennis thirty-five years ago. I retired from teaching five years ago, knowing at some point I would be ready to serve the educational community in a different capacity. My years of experience (both academic and non-academic) highlight my positive interest and enthusiasm for all components of our children’s education.

I am married with four children, all graduates of EHS, and eight grandchildren, three EHS grads and five currently in high school. Family is the foundation of my value system, and I feel our small community is an extended family.

My experiences include: 40 years teaching (29 in Ennis) Masters in administration 2 years title, dual credit English teacher through university system Title IX coordinator Athletic director Basketball, track, speech/drama & debate coach Divisional/state speech tournament coordinator School play director Scholarship committees Academic Olympics and County Spelling Bee volunteer

Christian Pederson

I am a longtime 22 plus year resident and landowner of Ennis. I proudly attended Public Schools, K through 12 and my mother was a public-school teacher. I am a Corporate Automotive Industry professional for 31 years. My grandparents emigrated from Norway settling on the eastern Mont./ N.D. border. I team and calf rope as well as raised Corrientes for my own roping stock.

I am running to ensure a solid future for the children and teachers of this district. To be a good fiscal steward of current finances as well as any future expenses or proposed bonds. To make sure the policies are effective and prudent to protect our children and provide the best education. To ensure America's history is taught factually and not revisionist, I believe the Pledge of Allegiance should be said at the start of each school day as homage to our Veterans and Constitution.


There are two 3-year terms and one 1-year term for Sheridan candidates. There are five candidates for these positions. There is one candidate for one high school trustee (Alder) candidate for a high school trustee position. Rhonda Boyd has filed for this position, to finish out a term that was vacated. It is a one-year term. The election for this position has been canceled.

Britney Bieroth

I moved to Sheridan almost 8 years ago from Northern Colorado. I am married with three kids. I received my bachelor’s degree from Colorado State University. After college I started working as a veterinary assistant then transitioned to GMA mining in Alder as an environmental and quality control supervisor. After having my second child I decided to become a stay-at-home mom.

The reason for running for a School Board Trustee position is to be involved in the community by serving as a public trustee in Education. I will advocate for the best education for our communities’ children. I am blessed to be a part of this community and want to contribute to my community. I will do my best to ensure they receive the right resources for a successful and enlightening education.

Luke Cordingley,

incumbent I reside in Sheridan where my children attend Sheridan Elementary. I am an active member of the community and have volunteered to mentor students at Sheridan High School in computer programming and college preparation. I have also served as president of the GRVCCA, coached local baseball, and taught classes in technology and finance. Over the last year, I have served as a member of the school board and have learned a lot about the issues facing the district.

As a parent of children in the school district, I have a vested interest in our schools and the education students are receiving. Continuing to serve on the school board would allow me the opportunity to be a voice for students and parents by providing transparency and accessibility to our community. Covid was difficult for everyone. I plan to do everything I can to keep our kids in class and on track.

Jason Hardy

I was born in southwest Iowa, moved to Sheridan in 1992, and graduated from SHS in 1996. After graduating, I worked both nationally and internationally in the exploratory drilling industry for six years. I then returned to the beautiful Ruby Valley and resumed work at H.F. Hardy Painting. In 2007, I purchased the family business and ran it successfully until 2021 when I sold to try new business ventures. I am currently working as a general contractor in the Madison Valley.

I am running for school board because I care about our kids’ education. My goal is to provide our students with the best possible educational program while maintaining a budget that doesn’t break the bank. Athletics, programs, and clubs also play an important role in a student's upbringing and deserve to have supportive representation. I believe that a well-educated faculty is a must to continue bettering our upcoming future.

Daniel Boone Hodgin

As a Twin Bridges graduate, my family of four recently moved back to the area. We wanted to be a part of this great community where we could raise our children by giving them a great education along with a small-town lifestyle.

As a parent, I’d like to help work toward a common good to provide an excellent educational experience in collaboration with board members, school administration and teachers. I’ll ask the tough questions and help to provide transparent answers. As a business owner, I’ll bring experience in strategic planning, budgeting, setting policy and fiscal oversight. And as a community member, I hope to develop a shared vision for the future where parents feel heard, and the school board holds itself to the highest standards. If elected, I look forward to working as a team with my colleagues in developing solutions for the challenges and issues ahead.

Kendra Horn, incumbent I am a 6th generation Sheridanite. I was raised in Sheridan and graduated from Sheridan High School. My great grandfather and grandfather both served on the Sheridan School Board. My husband and I have raised our three boys in Sheridan. Two of our children have completed their education in Sheridan and we currently have one child still in Sheridan Schools. We enjoy all that the Ruby Valley has to offer.

This is where we live and play. This year will complete my second term on the Sheridan School Board. I have served as board chair for the past two years. Serving as a school board trustee has given me the opportunity to give back to my community. As a trustee I feel it is important to maintain fiscal responsibility, while delivering quality education, in a safe environment, to all students. 

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The Madisonian

65 N. MT Hwy 287
Ennis, MT 59729

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