Name: Debjyoti “DD” Dwivedy
Address: 8391 Townsend Drive, Eden Prairie
Family: Mother, sister, niece and brother-in-law
Employment: Enterprise cloud manager, technology company, Minneapolis; chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) specialist, United States Army Reserve, Fort Snelling, Minnesota.
- Masters in computer engineering, North Dakota State University, Fargo, ND
- Bachelor of Technology, HIT, India
- Homeowner in Eden Prairie
- Conservation Commission, Eden Prairie City Council
- Board of Directors, Green Card Voices
- Sr. Vice President, Policy and Strategic Affairs, Immigration Voice
- Board of Directors (Former), House Owners Association, Hartford Commons
Why do you want to be on the Eden Prairie School Board?
I am a first generation American who came to the United States as a graduate student at North Dakota State University, Fargo, ND to pursue my dreams. My family and I always valued and appreciated the quality and culture of education that the United States has to offer. Sense of gratitude being one of my core values growing up, there is nothing more satisfying than serving and giving back to the community I proudly call home. I currently serve in the United States Armed Forces and in several Minnesota and National Non-Profit volunteer organizations in various capacities. I am also currently serving as a member of the Conservation Commission of Eden Prairie City Council. Serving on the school board would be a continuation of my public service, and is one of the best ways of giving back to the community as schools provide the necessary foundation for future generations who will accelerate the thriving economy of the city and state. Moreover, the city of Eden Prairie is welcoming the new and vibrant multicultural population. I intend to be the voice in the board that will help to bridge the gap between the School Board and the various communities by fostering valuable relationships and providing the additional perspectives. America has been very kind and generous to me. Now it is my duty to give back to the city I call home and wish to raise my family in. I hope to earn your support and vote on Nov 5th to serve you and your families and the community of Eden Prairie towards a better future.
What is your view of the state of the school district?
Eden Prairie School District is undoubtedly one of the best school districts in the great state of Minnesota. Recently, we have been named as the top-three school districts in Minnesota by Niche.com. We have one of the strongest fiscal outlooks in the state without compromising the quality of education. Having said that, we have plenty of room to grow to be the BEST. We have a considerable amount of work ahead of us to make sure that we bridge the achievement gap, re-evaluate our classroom sizes in the elementary and expand the opportunities for EVERY CHILD so that no one is left behind.
What would be your top priorities as a School Board member?
There are a couple of areas in the school district where we have a lot of opportunities to thrive and grow. School safety is going to be a top priority, and I’ll work to get the safety improvements implemented in the shortest possible time. While we see school safety only from the physical perspective but our children from 5-18 years have handheld devices which have their sensitive information that needs to be protected. Additionally, the entire school system has a huge amount of sensitive data that need to be safeguarded. While we need to continuously access, re-evaluate, audit and make necessary changes to our physical safety measures, we need to make long strides in protecting the integrity of the data and the associated systems. In the 21st century, data is crucial. Having the expertise, I want to be a resource to the board and community to explore and facilitate pertinent conversations. We need to ensure that smart spending practices are in place to deliver on the key priorities for the best possible outcome for every child so that everyone has an opportunity to develop. NO ONE should be left behind. We also need to engage in meaningful conversations with local businesses to focus on the needs of the district to create an impactful and skilled 21st century workforce. I have a proven record of collaborating with large diverse organizations to get things done and believe that we can find common ground on most things. I am confident of working successfully with the members of the board and the cabinet of the superintendent, to do what is best for the district.
What if any, areas in the district budget should be adjusted?
I believe the school board has directed dollars in an effective manner. I will be a strong voice for allocating dollars, efficiently & transparently, to readjust the class sizes and close the achievement gaps so that we leave NO ONE behind. Board members owe constituents an honest examination of all programs and services and as stewards of their tax dollars, we should always seek efficiencies when possible. I will never be afraid to ask the tough questions.
What should be done to address the achievement gap?
In the last few years, the school district has made significant progress in addressing the achievement gap but there is a lot of work to be done. We need to keep on doing what is working for us BUT we also need
- Revisit the class size standards & goals for elementary schools.
- Develop cultural consciousness and understanding among teachers, staff and the board.
- Empower our teachers to tailor methods that fit the individual needs.
- Encourage strong teacher-student-family relationships.
- Build a strong consensus across the board for making Central Middle School a 3-year experience.
What skills should be added or emphasized in classrooms to educate students for a 21st-century career or workplace?
We are living in a time where conventional things are done by unconventional means. Package delivery by Drones, Robots doing the surgery and self-driving cars will be the new normal. Internet of Things, Artificial Intelligence and Blockchain technologies are going to be the future. We are entering into an era which is very fast-paced and constantly evolving. We need to develop an agile, analytical and adaptable workforce which will be able to think critically and objectively. Tomorrow’s workforce will be groomed in today’s classroom. I will be a strong advocate for developing a curriculum structure that emphasizes project-based learning, solving complex real-world issues which will develop an analytical mind and foster greater collaboration among individuals.
How should Eden Prairie Schools ensure the safety of its students?
I classify safety into two categories:
- Physical Safety
- Cyber Safety
Physical safety needs to constantly evaluated, assessed and audited.The areas that require attention should be promptly realigned. Safety drills should be conducted in a stipulated time period with local law enforcement agencies so that everyone is well prepared to handle any emergencies. The board should conduct surveys about the existing cyber security infrastructure and an external audit should be conducted to understand the underlying threats. The recommendations should be taken seriously. A medium-term implementation plan and a budget line item needs to be voted on to protect the data integrity.
Have you ever been charged with a gross misdemeanor or higher, or been involved in a personal or business bankruptcy or foreclosure?
Getting to know you
Favorite Book or Movie: Harry Potter series
Favorite subject in school: Mathematics
What would be the title of your life story? "Live, Learn and Never Give Up"
Dream vacation destination: Amazon rain forest
Favorite local business: Pizza Karma