ISD #535 School Board Member Position 2
School board members oversee the care, management, and control of schools. This includes hiring, firing, and overseeing superintendents, who manage the day-to-day affairs of the district. They also set levies to fund the district and create school policies.
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Justin M. Cook
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 am running because I think it’s past time we add a parent’s perspective on our school board. This fall we will have a 7th grader at Kellogg; and a 5th grader, 2nd grader, and kindergartner at Jefferson. I’m a lawyer, a youth soccer and baseball coach, a board member of the Rochester Public School Foundation, and on the executive committee of the Rochester Branch of the NAACP.
Ours is a community that understands the benefits of being best -- just imagine how we could prosper if it were our schools that were the envy of the nation. I’m inquisitive, I’ll question long-held assumptions, and I love data. Let me bring my energetic problem-solving approach to bear, and let’s add public education to the list of things Rochester is best at!
First, achieving reading proficiency by grade 3. Reading with proficiency by grade 3 is such an important milestone and achieving it will alleviate other problems in later years. I will insist on equipping our schools with a multi-tiered system of supports framework that offers science-based structured literacy.
Second, ensuring that teachers and students attend school in a safe, welcoming environment.
Third, implementing initiatives targeted toward addressing educational inequities.
I understand the Superintendent has worked with all secondary principals to develop plans to ensure that community norms are re-established in the fall, student relationship building is prioritized, and made changes in leadership where that was called for. I will hold the Superintendent accountable for achieving significant measurable improvements to ensure those changes provide their intended results, which is a safe, welcoming school environment that is conducive to learning for all students.
I am a resident of Rochester, a parent and grandparent. I have a good work ethic, service to the community and traditional moral ethics. I love this community and ALL people within the community. I am compelled to ensuring our students succeed.
Priorities for me will be stopping violence in the schools. Students, teachers, all staff and visitors MUST be safe in our schools to be able to teach and to learn! If violence is allowed without consequences, then it spreads out to the entire community, fostering a criminal mentality that leads those students to a life of recurring prison sentences.
Next on priorities is academics. Need to get back to basics, academic excellence.
Third is ridding schools of political and personal agendas.
Getting reports from parents, teachers and other staff and students, about what the true problem is. Get an understanding of why our policies are not either: adequate, enforced or if the guidance by Superintendent and principles is not adequate. Give more direction as needed, keep police officers on school campus, ask for parent volunteers to be extra eyes and ears in keeping our campuses safe.
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