Name: Cheryl Polzin
Address: 18605 29th Ave. N., Plymouth
Family: Andy (husband of 32 years), Children: Nathan (23), Alec (21), Hannah (19)
Employment: Wayzata Public Schools, School Board Treasurer; Minnesota School Boards Association, Board of Directors
Education: Bachelor of Science Degree, University of Wisconsin, Stevens Point
Community involvement: Wayzata Community Church Rummage Sale (Since 2006; department co-chair since 2009); Wayzata Schools Literacy Volunteer Program (Since 2008); Support Community Partnerships and Programs: Wayzata Education Fund, Interfaith Outreach and Community Partners, Caring for Kids, Great Expectations, Bloom Early Learning and Childcare, Twin West Chamber of Commerce
Previous experience: Office Manager (Lighting Showroom), Purchasing Agent (Hospitality & Healthcare Design Firm), Stay at home parent; Community, school and church volunteer
Why do you want to be on the Wayzata School Board?
I love serving the school district and community in this capacity. I’m passionate about maintaining our district’s excellence; taking every opportunity to address challenges and constantly improve educational outcomes and quality experiences for students in this ever-evolving world of education. I want to continue being part of a team that works hard to provide an outstanding education for our children, the next generation of leaders, because it is one of the most important things a civil society can do to ensure its future.
What is your view of the state of the school district?
Our District ranks among the top districts in the state; likely in the nation. We have incredible support from our community with human and financial resources. Our Board, Administration and Staff work in concert, with our students first and foremost in mind. We are not without challenges, but our foundation is strong and we continue to do great work for the betterment of our students and families.
What would be your top priorities as a School Board member?
Follow the Strategic Road Map. Hold the Administration accountable for continued/improved high achievement for each and every learner. Listen to our community & students. Support the Administration to effectively manage the fast pace of residential enrollment growth.
What, if any, areas in the district budget should be adjusted?
My philosophy is save money wherever you can without sacrificing quality; invest money where it makes a positive impact. Constantly evaluate historical and current spending and determine if it’s appropriate, efficient and effective to continue.
What should be done to address the achievement gap?
A better understanding of the barriers to learning that exist for certain groups of students can lead to solutions to this challenge . Also, examining the methods for evaluating “success” may reveal a shortcoming in our current assessment of “achievement.”
What skills should be added or emphasized in classrooms to educate students for a 21st-century career or workplace?
We already emphasize many essential skills needed for current and future success. Building upon current programs, with an added emphasis on problem solving, collaborative exploration and experiential learning can benefit students for the 21st century.
How should Wayzata Schools ensure the safety of its students?
We have worked diligently with our community partners to address systems that will protect our students, staff and community. Our “Raptor” security system in our buildings efficiently informs us who is visiting our campus sites and alerts us if there is a concern. The roll-out of our “Crisis Go” system this school year will further our capacity for handling emergencies. Our District currently levies the maximum in safe schools levy funds to spend in ways that best fits our needs. We also will receive additional safe schools aid from the state this year, enabling us to bolster our programs and reinforce safety measures. We also have been focusing on student supports at every site, supporting student mental health needs.
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?
Book: The Whole Harry Potter Series
Last live show or concert you attended?
“Hamilton” in Chicago this 4th of July. It was brilliant
Favorite subject in school?
High School: Physics
College: Space Planning and Lighting Design
What would be the title of your life story?
“Work Hard, Play Fair, Listen more than you Speak”
Dream vacation destination?
Hawaii or Alaska
Favorite local business?
Rock Elm, Peg’s Countryside Café, Maggie’s & Baja Haus (I guess I love to eat!)