Why are you running for this position?
I am running for a seat on the Prior Lake Savage School District Board because I am passionate about education, and as an avid student I believe in advocacy and representation in all places where decisions are being made. My vision is to serve all children, celebrate the diversity in our community, and provide students the opportunity to reach their full potential. As a board member, my goal is to listen and provide leadership in collaboration with the students, teachers, staff and community at large to enrich the growth and development of our children.
What are the top three issues you would face during your term?
The most important issues that have lead me to run for the seat is having diversity in representation on the board and to be the voice of students, staff and community, to be open to new, innovative and alternative ideas in learning and to create enriching opportunities for the students of our school by providing them with the best education, support and resources to reach their full potential.
Have you been charged in the past year, or ever been convicted, of a misdemeanor or higher, or been involved in a personal or business bankruptcy or foreclosure?
As a board member, how would you foster communication with teachers and parents?
Effective communication is built upon trust. As a board member, I represent both the community and the school, thus it is imperative to build clear channels of communication to gain proper perspective on the concerns of the constituents. It is also central to build a positive working relationship with the superintendent and to establish public engagement, accountability, transparency and involvement through strategic and effective communication. I also believe in creating a culture of active listening, which might look like town hall forums, coffee meetings, virtual calls (need of our time) and collaborations with the parents and staff in intentional, deliberate dialogue.
Do you feel students should be attending the school year virtually, in-person or via the hybrid model as they are?
I believe parents should have the option to make the best decisions for their children. It is also important to hear the concerns of parents and staff in regards to the pandemic, and to also follow the guidelines provided by experts in this field. Schools are not just educational institutes but are additionally a reliable place of comfort, social engagement and consistency for children. This year has been challenging for many, and it is certainly not easy for school leaders to make these decisions for the staff and families of the community.
Should the 2020-2021 school year have been prolonged to further prepare students and families for the academic year?
Like I said, it is imperative to give parents the option to choose what is best for them and their children. School boards are there to serve and provide the best possible education to the children of the community, which could be virtual, hybrid or in-person.
Would you have changed anything in regards to the board’s response to COVID-19 and fall education?
I would have engaged further with the staff and parents to listen to their concerns before finalizing a decision. School staff are constantly at risk and do not have the option to opt out of when providing hybrid or in-person instruction. We should also consider the guidelines provided by MDH and CDC on how to protect our staff and children of PLSAS.
What changes, if any, would you make to the district budget?
While I am still educating myself on district budgets, I believe it is important for children to have access to counselors and therapists, particularly during the pandemic.