Papillion-La Vista School Board


Skip Bailey

Instructor and flight training coordinator for the Aviation Institute at the University of Nebraska at Omaha


EducationBachelor of science degree, public affairs, with a concentration in criminal justice, Indiana University; master of science degree in criminal justice, University of South Carolina
MilitaryU.S. Air Force lieutenant colonel, retired
FamilyMarried, three children
Key issueThe Papillion-La Vista school district faces three crucial issues in the next few years; expansion and growth of the district while maintaining the top notch education for all students, student and staff safety while they learn and work in our school buildings, and appropriate use of the bond to ensure the resources are allocated for the benefit of the district students and families and the faculty that serve them. If I’m elected to the school board, my job will be to continue the great work of the current school board members and maintain the incredibly high standards Papillion residents expect from our school system.

Lee Denker


Brian M. Lodes

Corporate controller for NMC Group, Inc.

EducationBachelor of science in business administration in accounting, and master of business administration, Creighton University
FamilyMarried, three children
Key issueBrian’s top priority will be to ensure the funds provided by the bonds are used on the projects and security improvements as indicated in the bond proposal. He will focus on the recruitment and retention of qualified teachers and staff and continued small class sizes. He will use his business expertise in forecasting, planning and analysis to support the superintendent and staff in these matters. If the district doesn’t address these crucial issues, it will not be able to adequately support the current needs of the students nor support the future growth of the district.

Fred H. Tafoya

Retired dentist

Public offices heldPapillion-La Vista Board of Education, 1998-2006 and 1988-96; Papillion Planning Commission, 1980-1988
EducationDoctor of dental surgery, University of Nebraska-Lincoln; bachelor's of science degree, chemistry/biology, Creighton University
FamilyWidowed, two children
Key issueAs a grandfather of both current and future Papillion students, and a taxpayer, I have a vested interest in the welfare of this district. I have no personal agenda, and come to the board with 16 years of past experience and the time to commit to public service. I care about putting the needs of our students and staff first while being fiscally responsible with tax dollars. Just as I have in the past, I will make decisions based on what is in the best interest of all of our students and staff and what is fiscally responsible.

Patrick Vandagriff

Air Force intelligence analyst

EducationMaster's degree, business administration, Baker University; bachelor of science degree, liberal studies, certified information systems security professional
MilitaryMaster sergeant, U.S. Air Force, 1999-present
FamilyMarried, two children
Key issueEnsuring that our educators are properly compensated and competitive across the state to allow the children of Papillion and La Vista to receive the best possible public education is on the forefront of my mind. I would also like to find ways to receive grants to boost the STEM program that the district already offers. Open and honest communication from the community school system to the tax payers on how the recent bond funds are being used and keeping Papillion-La Vista as a destination for people looking for a new place to live.

SuAnn Witt

State E-rate and tech project coordinator, Nebraska Department of Education

Public offices heldNebraska Universal Service Fund Advisory Board, 2015-present, appointed
Educationmaster's degree in organizational leadership, bachelors' degree, business leadership, certificate, telecommunications management, College of Saint Mary
Familymarried, two children
FaithEastern Orthodox
Key issueI have two priorities: 1) Resource Management. The community is growing and the district needs to be prepared to meet the challenges of a growing population. Resource management will be critical to making sure the district can accommodate the growth in facilities and staffing to meet this essential need. 2) Advocacy. Policy makers need to understand how education works in Nebraska and the best people to take the message forward are educators. Issues affecting our schools need stakeholder voices to inform state policymakers as decisions about funding and services are legislated.

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Voter info

Three ways to register

» Online at

» Print out an application (Here's the form) and take it to your local election commission (Here’s a list)

» Register in person at an election commission office, the DMV, or in Douglas County, any of Omaha’s 12 library branches.

Registration questions

Visit to check whether you’re registered to vote and find your polling place. If you think you should be able to vote at a polling place but there’s a problem with the registration, request to fill out a provisional ballot. The election commission will collect them and then has a week to verify whether you are eligible to vote.

To see a sample ballot

See a sample ballot from the Nebraska Secretary of State website here.

To find your district

Visit and look up your registration info or polling place to find a list of the political districts you live in.

Important dates

Oct. 1: First day for early voting ballots to be mailed.
Oct. 9: First day to vote early in person at election commission office.
Oct. 19: Deadline to register to vote online, by mail, at agencies, at the DMV office, by deputy registrar or by registration form that’s delivered to the election office by someone other than the person registering
Oct. 26: Deadline for in-person voter registration at election commission office, 6 p.m. Deadline for early voting ballots to be requested to be mailed to a specific address, 6 p.m. Deadline for write-in candidates to file notarized affidavit and filing fee with filing officer.
Nov. 5: Deadline for in-person early voting at election commission office, 5 p.m. (Sarpy County office closes at 4:45 p.m.)
Nov. 6: Election Day! Polls open from 8 a.m. until 8 p.m. 7 p.m.: Deadline for agent to pick up early voting ballot. 8 p.m.: Deadline to return early voting ballot to election commission office or drop box location
Nov. 13: Deadline for verification of provisional ballots

Here are the Douglas County drop box locations, opening in early October:

City/County Building (1819 Farnam St.)
South Omaha Branch Library (2808 Q St.)
Washington Branch Library (2868 Ames Ave.)
Ralston Police Department (7400 Main St., Ralston)
Abrahams Branch Library (5111 N. 90th St.)
Douglas County Election Commission (225 N. 115th St.)
Drive-up location (115th and Davenport Streets, on median)
Douglas County Engineer's Office (15505 West Maple Road)
Millard Public Schools Foundation (5225 S. 159th Ave.)
Bess Johnson Elkhorn Branch Library (2100 Reading Plaza)

To contact your election commission

Douglas County Election Commission:; 402-444-8683; 225 N. 115th St., Omaha, NE 68154

Sarpy County Election Commission:; 402-593-2167; 501 Olson Drive, Suite 4, Papillion, NE 68046