What experience and qualifications do you bring to your candidacy for Eden Prairie School Board?
Former Chair and Director of the Eden Prairie School Board, Mom of a 2019 Eden Prairie High School Graduate, K-12 parent volunteer, STRIVE Mentor at EPHS, 30+ years of leadership, financial management and communications experience, 36-year resident of Eden Prairie, Member and Past President of Eden Prairie Noon Rotary Club.
What personal values and qualities do you believe are especially important for a school board candidate?
First, care and concern for the achievement, health, and well-being of ALL students and a pledge to proactively listen to all groups in the community. It is important to remember that a board member’s job is to advocate for all students and represent the diversity in our community.
Second a focus on financial and environmental sustainability. Eden Prairie Schools have given past students amazing opportunities and the board must be a thoughtful steward of resources to ensure the same for future students.
Third, a commitment to transparency. In a recent survey, 90% of respondents indicated that Eden Prairie Schools represented a good value/investment and 89% trust Eden Prairie Schools to do the right thing for children. Transparency in decision making, asking questions and discussing issues in a public forum, and providing information and data are essential to maintaining a high level of community satisfaction and support.
Why should Eden Prairie voters choose you for the School Board rather than other candidates who are running for the Eden Prairie School Board?
The events of this year are bringing many changes to our country and community. The board will be faced with challenging decisions in a rapidly changing environment. The ability to hit the ground running is more important than ever.
If elected, I will have more school board experience than all but one member of the 2021 Eden Prairie School Board. I have worked within the board’s governance model and understand how education is funded in Minnesota.
As the mom of a 2019 graduate of Eden Prairie High School and a parent volunteer, I have experienced the district at all levels, K-12.
Because I’ve lived in Eden Prairie for 36 years, I have seen the changes in our community and how the decisions of past school boards have addressed challenges and shaped the success of our district. I am passionate about the tradition of excellence in Eden Prairie Schools and dedicated to opportunity for all.
What do you believe are the key factors in the Eden Prairie Schools’ management of COVID-19, and why?
I think the school district should be commended for their efforts in developing and implementing a plan to safely reopen Eden Prairie Schools.
Key factors include:
• Remaining vigilant in following the protocols to keep students and staff safe and healthy, and updating protocols as needed. With flu season approaching, these protocols will be critical to keeping kids in school.
• Monitoring the data relative to: COVID-19 cases, student engagement and achievement, staff workload, and district operations. Decisions should continue to be informed by data. It is especially important to track students with learning challenges to ensure that they are making progress, not falling further behind.
• Actively listening to staff, students and families. Sending out surveys is a good start. However, meaningful conversations are critical to delve into issues and effectively collaborate to develop solutions. The district must also proactively reach out to groups that may be underrepresented in surveys. All voices need to be heard.
What are your top three priorities for Eden Prairie Schools, and why?
• Increasing the achievement of and ensuring equitable opportunities for all students Whether a student has chosen the hybrid model or online learning we must not lose sight of the Eden Prairie School District’s mission, “Inspire Each Student.” We must strive to provide students with an equitable education, giving each of them what they need to succeed.
• Supporting a culture that values social justice All students and staff must feel welcome, included, and heard. Understanding and celebrating the variety of cultures and experiences represented in our schools and working to ensure that the doors of opportunity are open to everyone are critical for our country to thrive.
• Operating the district in a way that is financially and environmentally sustainable Eden Prairie students have been afforded great opportunities and received an excellent education. We need to make sure that resources are managed effectively to ensure the same opportunities for students in the years to come.
Is your candidacy informed by a political perspective? How does that perspective inform your priorities? (Alternatively: If your candidacy is not informed by a political perspective, why not?)
My candidacy is informed by a belief in public schools. They are the foundation of our democracy and prescribed by the Minnesota State Constitution. A well-educated workforce drives our economy and ensures America’s global competitiveness. More importantly, all children deserve to lead happy and successful lives which is supported by access to a quality public education.
Parental choice is important and I am an advocate of choices within the public school system, whether it is through open enrollment or programs provided by the school district. Eden Prairie schools provide options including Spanish Immersion, gifted and talented programs, enhanced and enriched classes, advanced placement and college in the schools, Hennepin Technical College, and EP Online.
My perspective on education aligns most closely with that of the Democratic Party although I firmly believe that the school board should be non-partisan. Decisions should be driven by what is best for all students, not political ideology.
What will it mean to you, personally, if you are elected to the Eden Prairie School Board?
The events of this year made me ask myself how I can be of greater service to my community. I have always been passionate about education and cared about kids.
These personal interests, combined with my relevant experience as a former board member and a mom, are what motivated me to once again run for the Eden Prairie School Board. Being elected would mean that I can have a more immediate, positive impact on our community. I would also hope that my past experience during some challenging times could help the board work together more effectively.
I am constantly amazed by the creativity and dedication of our teachers and having a seat at the board table would allow me to more directly support their efforts. Community service brings me joy and I would look forward to bringing positive energy and progress to our schools and the place I call home.
How can interested voters learn more about your candidacy (website, public phone/email etc…)?
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