Why are you running for this position?
I believe the school district is the heart and soul of a community and as I have watched my children navigate through the public schools for the past 22 years, I feel thankful to be part of such an amazing school community. While not everything has been perfect, I believe the teachers, administration, and employees in this district have worked hard to make it the best possible experience for them. I want to make certain the district continues to operate effectively and grow for every child in our district.
What are the top three issues you would face during your term?
COVID-19 repercussions and possible best practices learned from it, equity in education, and collaboration and communication between and Board and the community are top priorities.
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?
I think communication between teachers and parents is pretty simple. Make certain that the parents know the teachers are available for them and vice versa. From what I understand, the teachers spent a tremendous amount of time this past spring during COVID developing excellent communication between themselves and the parents. Establishing the right style of communication for each parent isn’t always the easiest, but in todays technology world, it’s getting easier and easier to find the right match.
Do you feel students should be attending the school year virtually, in-person or via the hybrid model as they are?
The Department of Education, the Minnesota Department of Health and the state of Minnesota brought together the best and brightest education and health care experts to try and meet the delicate balance of returning kids to school safely and meeting the needs the needs of public health. I feel fortunate to live in a district where virtual learning and in-person is currently an option for everyone. The ability to execute this option in such a large district shows the commitment to education that our teachers, administration and parents all continue to embrace.
Should the 2020-2021 school year have been prolonged to further prepare students and families for the academic year?
The district delayed the start date of school by a week in order to help prepare for the academic year during this unprecedented pandemic that we are experiencing. It seemed like a good idea to have the extra time to make certain the teachers and students are prepared for the year ahead.
Would you have changed anything in regards to the board’s response to COVID-19 and fall education?
In this constant changing environment of COVID-19 I think the district has done a good job trying to meet the needs of students, teachers, staff, parents and the community as a whole. In these times, I try to remind myself that this pandemic not only brings a disease with it, it also brings along fear, anxiety, loneliness, economic difficulties, and so much uncertainty for everyone. Trying to make today a little better than yesterday is my hope. We need commitment from the community to take care of our families, neighbors, friends and strangers. I have seen that happening and believe every little bit matters.
What changes, if any, would you make to the district budget?
I think our district has done a good job operating with the funding it receives. If anything, I would like to see a technology levy so we can keep up with the needs of our district. Most large districts have a technology levy in order compete with the ever changing educational environment that demands the use of things other than chalkboards and notebooks.