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SSD #1 School Board Member at Large {_getChooseLabel(this.selections.length)}

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  • Candidate picture

    Collin Beachy

  • Candidate picture

    Sonya Emerick

  • Candidate picture

    KerryJo Felder

  • Candidate picture

    Lisa Skjefte

Información Biográfica

Why are you the best candidate for this position? (750 characters)

If elected, what will your top three priorities be and why? (500 characters)

How will you work with staff and teachers to promote safety in our schools? (500 characters)

I believe that I am the best candidate for an At-Large school board seat because of my 20 years of experience as a teacher. I already have knowledge of how school boards can help or hinder the operation of schools and my experience working for MPS gives me the knowledge of the system from the inside and I am familiar about the specifics of the work the board does and can do.

I strongly believe in public education, but our schools are woefully underfunded. My ability to work with others to achieve a common goal has been a strength throughout my career. I have established working relationships with members of our state and federal delegations, and I will work with them in aggressively lobbying to fully fund our public schools.
1-Increase transparency. Staff and families feel uninformed and unheard.

2-Increase oversight of administrative policies and practices. The administration should be implementing the people’s agenda, not their own.

3-Eliminate top-down practices in favor of a power-sharing model that will invest in our district rather than closing schools and cutting programs. Accessing more community resources can expand and enhance our students’ educational experiences.
There is no one-size-fits-all model to safety policies within our schools. I am in favor of having our administration and staff collaborate with community stakeholders to address each school’s unique safety needs. We can expand our access to mental health services to address a public health crisis that was building even before the pandemic. Other districts have increased parental presence in their schools and as a result, have seen declines in disruptive behaviors.
Campaign Website http://www.SonyaForMPS.com
Campaign Twitter Handle @@SonyaForMPS
Campaign Email SonyaForMPS@gmail.com
I will center students, particularly those disproportionately harmed by disparities. I believe MPS needs adaptive, dynamic, and resilient schools, and innovative leadership to remove educational barriers and provide accessible, evidence-based, and culturally sustaining instruction. My passion is honoring all student strengths, needs and identities as valuable and enriching characteristics of our learning communities.

I prioritize community partnership. MPS should be connected to communities in service of offering rich, purposeful, and relevant learning experiences and every available resource for student safety and well-being. Mechanisms for integrating community voice must be co-crafted with families and other stakeholders.

Increased Community Voice, Centering Those Most Impacted by Disparities- I’ll center BIPOC students and involve community in decision-making.

Interruption of the School to Incarceration/Institutionalization Pipeline through True Inclusion- If our schools are not set up to teach the diversity of our students, that’s a structural problem, not a result of student deficit.

Equitable, Effective Literacy Instruction for All Students- Every student has limitless literacy learning potential.
Our educators are the first responders when our students are struggling. We rely on their responses to be effective, strengths-based, and anti-racist. MPS leadership must commit to the curiosity and bravery required to listen to educators, believe their self-reported experiences and needs, and step up to provide for them through creating out-of-the-box solutions, putting pressure on the legislature to fully fund services, and negotiating in good faith at the bargaining table.
I have served on the school board once before and understand what it will take to make the changes that need to be made to make our schools thrive once again. I am ready to do the work.

I voted "no" to the Comprehensive District Design, because I knew it would tear our schools & city apart. I brought the model to the district for the second time, I know it is a model for one school. I understood at that time as I do now, that we do not have time to "try" unproven models. I understood that the boundary lines were not infallible. I knew others did not listen to our parents and our educators. That's not how a district should be ran. I want our schools to be run by the true stakeholders - everyone in it's community and each are unique.
1. Trust. When we treat our true stakeholders - students, parents, educators, with the respect they deserve, I feel, we can win them back. 2. Get our families back. Starting while campaigning and having conversations about what they need to come back or come at all is my main concern. We have a board who watched the crash. Please try us. 3. Redraw the lines. The boundary lines have been unfair to many schools and set them up to fail since day one. Whether they had too many or too few.

It will be very important to share information with everyone on the team, even the ESP's.

I've heard horror stories about educators getting hurt and that is not ok. I believe in restorative justice, but I also believe in manners. Having very clear conversations with parents and students prior to school starting is going to be very important.

I am a huge advocate of stopping the pipeline to prison, but our students will have to start learning that school is off limits for what you do outside.
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