Address: 1548 Windsor Lane
Family: Married to Jennifer Brophy, we have 2 children who attend Shakopee Public Schools
Employment: Sr. Release Manager, Best Buy Co., Inc.
Education: B.S. Corporate Finance, Minnesota State, Mankato
Hobbies/Interests: Camping, Hiking, Biking, Kayaking, Fishing, Trail/Distance Running
Previous experience that would prove helpful in this position: I have 15+ years of business analyst and project management experience combined across both financial and retail industries.
Contact info for public: email@example.com Why are you running for this position?
When I applied for the interim school board role in the fall of 2019, I was asked if I would consider running for election in 2020. At that time, I was confident that I would. This was in part because I recognized the investment the district would make by providing MSBA training among other “onboarding” efforts. Moreso, I believe it takes time to grow knowledge and build relationships within the district and community. I look forward to continuing the work I started, especially under these very new and very different circumstances.
What are the top three issues you would face during your term?
Continue to provide exceptional educational services with a strong focus on equity and inclusion for all students, staff, and families. Be prepared to address the financial challenges the district is facing should an operating levy fail to pass. Strengthen engagement with the community to further build trust and alignment toward the Education Forward vision.
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?
I am pleased to report that I have never been charged with any such offenses.
About how many Shakopee School Board meetings have you attended?
I have attended all Shakopee School Board business meetings since being sworn in on Feb. 10, 2020. I also participated in delivering a joint presentation to the board on behalf of the Community Facilities Task Force during the Dec. 9, 2019 meeting.
Amid the pandemic, the district is following a detailed learning plan that gives students the option to enroll in either a separate online learning program or enter into in-person, hybrid or distance learning, depending on current COVID-19 numbers in the county. With what do you most agree or disagree with in the COVID-19 learning plan for this school year?
I applaud the exceptional efforts of the Shakopee district leadership, staff, professional partners, and community members who contributed in the proactive planning to deliver quality educational programming options this fall. Much of this work took place in advance of clear guidance from the Minnesota Department of Education. The attention to detail while working to ensure the safety and equity of staff and students is nothing short of exemplary. Under the circumstances, I could not envision a more effective or robust plan to provide our community with options that best suit their students’ learning needs.
The district has not been operating under a healthy unassigned fund balance since the 2013-2014 school year. The school board recently approved a ballot measure for a $9 million phased-in operating levy to be paid over the next four years to mitigate a $2.5 million budget deficit. How should the school board go about restoring its fund balance to the recommended 8 to 12 percent of the district’s annual spending?
The operating levy, if passed, has a provision beginning in the 2022-23 school year to contribute $500,000 to the unassigned fund balance each year until it reaches $10 million which aligns within 8-12 percent threshold. I would encourage anyone interested in learning more on this topic to reference the Levy 2020 financial information posted on the Shakopee Public Schools website here: https://www.shakopee.k12.mn.us/Page/10129.
Racial equity has been a topic of national interest in recent months. How do you feel Shakopee Schools can do better for students of color?
As a liaison to the Shakopee Diversity Alliance and Chair of the Shakopee Public Schools Policy Committee, I am pleased to highlight two recent updates that were unanimously adopted during the Aug. 24, 2020 business meeting. First is a policy addendum (102.A) to further solidify our commitment to providing an equitable learning environment for all students, staff, and families regardless of background. Second is a resolution to provide safe and inclusive schools. These serve to demonstrate the district’s commitment to addressing matters of equity and to continue building a culture of inclusion.
What, if anything, would you like to change in the school district? What, if anything, would you like to continue supporting?
The academy model continues to evolve into an incredible learning opportunity as do the “college in school” programs. I believe these warrant continued support.