School board candidates share experience, views news countrymessenger.com university of kansas map

Having served on the stillwater area school board for the last four years, I have chosen to seek re-election. That service has allowed me to develop an informed perspective of the systemic needs and challenges that face the district. During that time, I have served as board treasurer, as well as on the personnel, legislative, and curriculum working groups. I have served on the finance and operations working group for all four years, a continuous participant in reviewing and offering feedback to the administration on issues related to the budget planning process and facilities decisions. I have been a member of the budget advisory committee, which included community, staff, and administrative membership. Kansas university medical center liaison to the partnership plan, association of metro area school districts, minnesota state high school league, stonebridge elementary and the high school are additional assignments I have had during my service.

I served as the board representative on the long range facilities committee, that led to a plan presented to and approved by the voters to align our grade configuration to the state standards, and better serve our high school and middle-level learners. I am a collaborative, forthcoming member of the board who is willing to engage in dialogue with a variety of stakeholders with a diversity of opinions.

I was among the majority of the current board who voted in favor of the BOLD proposal. Rather than being a decision to close schools, which was part of the recommendation, it was a proposal, and then a decision by the board to align our spending with our most strategic priorities around student learning and achievement. As we move forward as a district, we will be able to better ensure that all kids, in all communities across our district will have access to equitable opportunities, programs, and highly qualified staff. We will be able to end the uncertain budget cycles that have led to wide ranges in class sizes depending on where you live, as well as potential multi-grading in all of our elementary buildings. It will also improve access to support services, offer student-centered middle school experiences, support ninth graders transitioning to high school, and improve access to technology. This difficult step forward provides for long-term stability for staffing, operations, and learning.

Stability in leadership – superintendent responsibilities have changed hands five times in the last ten years, and three of those five changes have occurred in the last four years. My tenure in a single term as a school board member has been spent working with three different superintendents. Those changes have had a direct impact on our ability to successfully implement the bridge to excellence. Those changes have had a direct impact on providing the much needed support for teachers, students, families, and the programming that will prepare our kids for a successful educational future. From year to year, the district has struggled to ensure that students, families, and communities can count on what lies ahead as the realities of an unstable system leaves us to make last minute changes to staffing and distribution of other resources as our demographics continue to shift. It is clear, and cannot be disputed, that instability in the office of the superintendent has likely been the greatest negative factor in the district’s ability to retain the standard of excellence this community has come to expect. The search and selection process was fully informed with wide participation and community voice. The university of kansas logo after a unanimous board vote, a leader was chosen that has shown the commitment to addressing the long-term, systemic issues that are holding this district back.

As a parent, as an educator, and as a member of the world’s best workforce (WBWF), curriculum advisory, bridge to excellence (bte) annual review committees, I work with teachers, parents, community members and administrators to increase student achievement and engagement for all students within the district. From these experiences, I’ve come to know and understand policy-making and the importance of listening to others as well as sharing my views. I see stillwater area schools holistically. I’m committed to sustainable funding for student programming, strengthening academic programs, and increasing student choices. My husband and I have lived in lake elmo for 17 years. We have two children who attended lake elmo elementary. They attend oak-land jr. High and stillwater high school. I’m a licensed school teacher and I received my teaching licensure from the university of st. Thomas collaborative urban educator program. I’m a former peace corps volunteer and I’ve taught for st. Paul public schools and trinity school. I’m a former substitute teacher for stillwater area schools. I have BA in english from rockhurst university in kansas city, missouri.

I have 27 years of experience in district 834 as the principal of stillwater junior high school and one year a the acting assistant sup’t of secondary education while the ass’t sup’t was on leave. During my tenure as principal of SJHS. The school was designated a national school of excellence two times because my staff created one of the best learning environments possible. In 1992 when SJHS moved to the old senior high school campus, we created inter-disciplinary learning teams with with each team working with 125 students who were in “houses”. My staff also created a motivated learners program for highly gifted learners who developed projects that carried the curriculum to high levels; this was a one on one program with one teacher guiding the student to a higher level of thinking. I was district 834’s first principal of the year and minnesota’s first principal of the year. I was the president of the minnesota association of secondary school principals and on the board of directors of the national association of secondary principals representing the states of MN, ND, SD, WI., MI, and wyoming and during that time was able to visit and observe unique programs in those schools in those states. We had an outstanding parent advisory program at SJHS , a student government modeled on the U.S. Government with a house of representatives a senate, and a president and vice president who ran as a team. The student government was given the authority to pass bills take on community projects. The money raised from vending machines went to student government and anyone who needed money for a project has to submit a revenue bill through the house of representatives. They accomplished so many things for the good of the school and community it would take pages to tell you what they accomplished. Kansas state university vet school tuition I am telling you this because the success of that school was made possible by students and staff working together.

I am totally opposed to the closing of our three elementary schools. The trust of the community in the school district has been damaged almost beyond repair. One decision that can not be overturned is the moving ninth graders to and a senior high school that is already too large. There needs to be a lot of discussion and planning to make that move work. When I was an educator in great falls, montana, the student from the east side of the city came to the high school as 9th graders and the student from the west side came as 10th graders. There was a huge difference in the success of the students who came as 10th graders. There is a book written by the southern association of schools and colleges called “the junior high school student” and makes the strongest case possible for not having ninth graders in a senior high school the second major issue is what kind of plans have been made to make the transition for sixth graders to the junior high school. If I am successful in getting elected, I would push for a committee of teachers and administrators to vist a high successful middle school and one of the very best in the country is close by in hudson, WI.

The BOLD vote was clearly painful for every school board member. No one wants to have to vote on closing a school, much less three. Because I consider myself to be a multi-issue candidate who places a high value on integrity, I feel that it would be disingenuous of me to take a stance on something with which I didn’t take part directly. If I was on the board at the time of the vote, I would’ve engaged the community to the best of my ability, made sure that there were no other options to consider, and would’ve sought the consequences AND benefits of this decision. This research needs to be accomplished while always being mindful that a board’s duty is to consider the needs of each and every student it represents. University of kansas 2015 calendar that being said, I am not in favor of ousting our administration at this time. In ten years, this district has been through FIVE superintendent shifts, all of these to the direct detriment of our children. This is unacceptable to me. I will work hard in a collaborative manner to ensure that our administration is following the goals and value of this district at all times. Consistency in leadership builds strength.