Q: What is your educational and occupational background?
A: 1988 - Shakopee Senior High School
1993 - BA in Education-Bemidji State University
2000 - MA in Education-Winona State University
Occupation Background: Currently stay-at-home mother; part-time bookkeeper Green Mill Restaurant, Hastings; and former elementary school teacher, 1993-2002
Q: Why are you running for School Board?
A: I value public school education and especially the work being done at Hastings schools. Running for School Board gives me the opportunity to serve students, staff, parents and the Hastings community. I will work to see achievement levels of our students rise in areas that promote student success such as effective curriculum, staff development, class size, technology, safe facilities, etc. I want to make sure the investment of people's hard-earned money has a high return.
Q: What makes you uniquely qualified to join the board (what specifically do you bring to the mix and how will it enhance the abilities of the board to manage the district?) (Why now?)
A: My passion for and experience in education and service to the community will enable me to contribute to board policy-making as we all work together for the greater good of the school community.
My perspective as a former educator brings valuable insight to the board. I have experienced what it means to have a large number of students in my class. I understand the challenge of trying to meet the needs of all students. I recognize the importance of a rigorous, updated curriculum. I know the value of staff development and parental involvement. I understand the budgetary demands placed on schools.
My extensive board, committee and volunteer work in the community includes: co-chair Bridge to a Cure, United Methodist Church council member, Hastings Family Service board of directors, Tilden Volunteer Coordinator, Suicide Awareness, Voices of Education community speaker, Hands Across Hastings food drive coordinator, Choose Kids Referendum committee member, girls hockey coach, and much more. These vast and varied experiences have taught me skills in leadership, organization, problem solving, teamwork, decision-making, listening, and implementation of ideas. These attributes will enable me to contribute to board policy-making as we continue to strive for excellence.
In addition, my current part-time job has allowed me to understand some of the money management aspects of business and bookkeeping practices.
I have been considering running for a School Board position for a while and decided to pursue the opportunity at this time.
Q: The School Board has asked voters twice, unsuccessfully, to allow them to borrow money to do repairs on the district buildings. Where do you stand on this issue - a loan for repairs - for roofs, windows and the first phase of the mechanical upgrades in some of the schools? (Questions 1 and 2 on the referendum)?
A: I definitely support the School Board asking voters to borrow money to repair our buildings. These repairs need to be done. The Minnesota Department of Education recognizes our need. We have been offered an exceptional opportunity to receive a zero to low interest loan, saving our district millions of dollars over the life of the loan. We need to take advantage of the opportunity that lies before us; if we wait, costs will continue to rise. Our students and staff deserve to work in buildings that are safe and efficiently run.
Q: What are your thoughts about question 3, the addition to the middle school to accommodate fifth grade, and a renovation of McAuliffe and JFK to accommodate kindergarten classes? The question also includes the modification of Tilden to potentially consolidate programs now in leased facilities into a modified Tilden facility.
A: I appreciate the work that has been done by members of the Task Force who carefully studied these issues. Economically, it is the best decision for the district. Moving kindergarten back to the elementary schools requires appropriately sized rooms for those students. I share some concerns others may have regarding moving fifth-grade to the middle school building. However, I trust wholeheartedly that a fifth-grade addition would be implemented with kids' best interest in mind. The use of Tilden for other programs that are now in leased facilities would be a smart decision.
Q: Take a small space to make a statement, not part of the questions asked, that you'd like people to know about you.
A: I look forward to watching my children grow and learn in the Hastings Public Schools. I am proud of District 200, proud of Hastings, and proud to be running for a School Board position. I am committed to working for the greater success of all of our students.