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ISD #748 School Board Member {_getChooseLabel(this.selections.length)}

School board members oversee the care, management, and control of schools within the district. This includes hiring, firing, and overseeing superintendents, who manage the day-to-day affairs of the district. They also set budgets and policies that affect students in classes and other activities that affect the students’ wellbeing and education.

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    Amanda Byrd
    (NP)

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    Nate Crowe
    (NP)

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    Ryan K. Dale
    (NP)

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    Katie Hilger
    (NP)

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    Emily Larson
    (NP)

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    Kris Lawrence
    (NP)

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    Molly McCann
    (NP)

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    Jen Smith
    (NP)

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    Scott Wenshau
    (NP)

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)

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My job as an attorney requires that I work with my clients, the court, and opposing parties to reach resolutions for complex and often contentious issues. My daily role requires that I listen closely while carefully considering all sides to a question before I make a decision. As a result, I have developed solid collaborative problem solving skills and the ability to analyze questions in the framework of laws, rules, and procedures.

In addition, I will work to ensure that all students in the Sartell-St. Stephen school district get the education opportunities and support they need. By accomplishing that mission, our school make our community and world better.
Improving the mental health resources for students to ensure they can thrive in school and in the community.

Promoting a collaborative working relationship between the school board, the schools, and the community, so that we can work together to make sure the needs of our students and community are met.

Careful stewardship of our budget to allocate resources in our schools to ensure that all of our spending can be connected to helping students have the best outcomes.
The first step is to take care of the kids in the school with enough counselors and other mental health supports. The teachers, staff, and administrators need to work to ensure students feel valued and safe.

The second step is to ensure that the actual physical structure of our schools follows best practices for security and safety. We must identify the interventions needed to improve they security of our school buildings and create an action plan to make those changes happen.
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I hold a master’s degree in education and have seven years of classroom experience as a middle school math teacher during which I served on both curriculum and hiring committees. I am a public school advocate who truly cares about educating our community’s kids and bettering our future. My personal experience as a classroom teacher, coach, parent and active community member gives me the objectivity and empathy needed to serve as a board member who will effectively communicate with and advocate for students, staff, families, and the community. I will use my experience to unite and support our educational community to create a positive, healthy and safe learning environment where everyone feels invested in the success of our schools.
I am committed to recruiting and retaining high quality teachers while maintaining the outstanding educational programs that our district offers. I will work to create a safe educational experience by fostering a welcoming environment where every student's experience and opinion is valued and they feel respected for who they are. While representing our community, I will make choices that are transparent and financially sound with the greatest impact for all students.
Social, emotional, mental and physical well-being are essential to a safe educational experience. I will support the district's plan for increased staff to address the significant mental health challenges faced by our students and staff. Safe schools are built on trusting relationships among students, staff and the community where differences are accepted and celebrated so students feel safe and included. I will support common-sense policies and programs that are proven to make schools safer.
Beyond having a level-headed and pragmatic approach to leadership, I also have the knowledge gained from 18 months of engaging directly in our district governing process. I have attended nearly every board meeting and work session during that time. I have met with the superintendent and board members multiple times. I have studied our district policies, how those policies align with state/federal law, and how they are applied in our schools. What began as a simple venture to understand how our district operates, who has authority over what, and what rights I have as a parent and taxpayer, has propelled me into a position to be a strong representative voice on the board that can facilitate positive growth in the district.
I want to create actionable procedure to directly address the issue of bullying so that all students have the expectation that school will provide them with a stable, structured, and safe environment. I want to improve community engagement by ensuring district leadership is transparent and accountable. I want to cultivate a district culture that invites parental involvement. It is statistically proven that strong school to home partnerships develop better academic results for our students.
Providing all district teachers and staff with proven training and tangible procedures to follow to address incidents of bullying will alleviate the stress and chaos that has come with a lack of direction from leadership. If this is also communicated well to all students and parents and consistently enforced, it will promote zero tolerance for unsafe or disruptive behavior and foster an environment where respect and order are expected.
As the daughter of an educator who taught 30+ years at Sauk Rapids-Rice public schools, I understand the importance of high quality public education. I chose to run for school board because I believe I can be an asset to our district. I have been an involved parent and community member since we returned to the area in 1999. This is where I call home and I am committed to working collaboratively with families, students and our school district to ensure that all our students have access to a high-quality education that meets their individual needs. Our students are our future, and I believe it is our responsibility to equip them with the knowledge and skills they need to reach their full potential and thrive as global citizens.
1)Safe and healthy environments where children are supported mentally & emotionally in their educational pursuits while having freedom to learn and express themselves. 2) Future focused learning to prepare students to become capable and competent global citizens as they pursue their post-secondary experiences. 3) Fiscal responsibility - I will work diligently to ensure our education system is managed efficiently and effectively, so that every dollar is spent in a way that benefits our students.
Thankfully, our district already has multiple measures (ALICE training, lockdown buttons for learning wings, window punches with rappel kits, etc.) in place. I feel that working collaboratively to create positive relationships between students and staff/teachers/school resource officers/law enforcement is important to bring safety to our schools/community. Mental health education for both staff and students and training to recognize and report when there is a potential threat is essential.
I've spent most of my adult life working with kids and serving my community and I currently work as a substitute teacher in ISD 748. I’m not funded by any group and I consider myself to be pretty moderate and open minded. I feel that I could be a bridge between different ideologies and opinions in our community and I would work to bring our school district together towards open dialogue and understanding. Working with the teachers and staff every day gives me a unique perspective on what is going well and the areas in which we can grow. I feel like I would be a great sounding board for those who work with our kids every day. I love our Sartell-St Stephen kids and would find it a great privilege to work for their best interests.
Teaching kids conflict resolution, self awareness and emotional regulation can help curb bullying and peer-on-peer conflict down the road. I tend to be fiscally conservative and would carefully review budget items and allocation of funds. Simply put: listening to constituents, educators and kids. I will take all viewpoints into consideration.
I have great respect for our police officers and, as a parent, fully trust that they have the resources and training to keep our children safe if the unspeakable should happen. I also support programs such as the Green Bandana mentoring program that gives teens at-risk for self harm a buddy in which to seek out help. The implementation of a 988 hotline in MN this year has been amazing, increasing texts and calls by 45%. I'd support initiatives that support these programs.
I have voluntarily invested countless hours over the past year and a half researching district policies, state and federal laws, and working with others to ensure that the policies and laws are being upheld by our school district. Policies and laws are in place to protect the basic human rights of our children. I have been -and will continue to- advocate for our children in district 748. I am steadfast in my belief that no one knows a child better than his or her parents, and that is why I am committed to helping parents be heard and put back into the equation in the public school system.
1.Ensuring transparent leadership when discussing/making decisions is key to building trust within the community/district. 2.Respecting parental rights/roles because parents are vital in their child’s life. Therefore parents should have access to curriculum and to mental health information regarding their children. 3.Improving the physical/psychological safety within all buildings, including accountability for bullying. Our staff and children can be their best if the overall environment is safe.
Promote a positive working environment for all by moving towards apolitical curriculum and classrooms, providing clear leadership, and implementing actionable steps to ensure accountability.
As a 1st generation American and a refugee’s son, I hold fast to American ideals: freedom, equality, individual responsibility. As a combat wounded veteran and a police officer, I believe in service and sacrifice. I’ve only worked blue-collar jobs and find honor in hard work. As a teacher’s husband, I respect the call of educators. I’m a father who holds that family is the cornerstone of society. I’m an imperfect man who loves a perfect God, and I’ll fight for the dignity of each life, even if we disagree. My experiences have accorded me empathy, humility, patience, compassion and cultivated me as an outside-the-box thinker, a leader, a truth seeker, and a problem solver who considers multiple perspectives, and thus I’m a good candidate.
#1.Safety-Schools shouldn't be soft targets. Kids/teachers deserve protection like airports, banks, and stadiums have - protection that defeats the threats schools face today. School culture should also be safe and free of bullying/harassment. #2.Transparency-fosters responsibility with finances, curriculum, and initiatives and holds the school system accountable to the taxpayers and families it serves. #3.Parents-are paramount and integral to a child’s success.
I’d hire retired/off-duty police officers to protect kids/teachers who deserve qualified, brave protectors willing to meet threats head on. Strong security will deter potential threats. Kids will get to know their protectors just like they do the playground monitors. Professional security frees up SROs to do their jobs at full capacity. Since those who commit violence typically combat mental mental health issues, we need to safeguard and help those vulnerable, struggling individuals.