I have had the privilege of serving on the Sauk Rapids-Rice Board of Education for the last 16 years and possess the knowledge of Board Governance and understand the difference between Board Governance and Managerial Rights.
I have lived in Sauk Rapids for 32 years and have 34 years of experience working in the Sauk Rapids-Rice areas with over 170 human service agencies who can be of resource to our students.
In my career, I received extensive training in emergency management through county, state and federal governments and can lend expertise in school safety planning and training.
But, I feel my greatest strength is my ability to build relationships with people from all different backgrounds and situations.
1. Financial Stability: Our enrollment has recently decreased and has forced us to use existing fund balances. My goal is to work with the cities of Sauk Rapids and Rice to attract more residents.
2. Promoting our Portrait of a Graduate. These are the attributes we want all of our students to possess by the time they graduate.
3. Safe learning environment for all students. We need to maintain our facilities in good working order, ensure safe entrances and exercise district safety plans.
I have extensive training in emergency management and have participated in training exercises with our local law enforcement and medical personnel. I believe we need to provide training and exercise opportunities for all staff so they are prepared for what to do in the case of an emergency no matter what the magnitude. By practicing safety procedures, the more natural actions will be in a real emergency. The district has many policies addressing safety and enforcement is essential.
Many politicians have an agenda. My “Agenda” is doing what is best for students. As an experienced middle and high school Industrial Technology teacher and a former instructor of a master’s program at SMSU, I still have a passion for student learning. I would be a “Servant Leader” on the SRR School Board and work with other members to accomplish the strategic goals of the district. As a retired teacher, I have the time to invest in learning about the issues that face the district and the time to work on finding the best solutions for those issues. It is time for a set of fresh eyes to look at the issues facing the district.
1) Take a close look at the district budget to determine proper allocation of each dollar. The district has been deficit spending year for the past 4 years. 2) Be an advocate to the state legislators to fully fund Minnesota schools. There are mandates from the state and federal governments that are not fully funded. 3) Work to develop a culture of continuous improvement. This will help to attract and retain quality teachers and continue to be one of the best districts in the state.
The district has made upgrades to the school entrances that prevent outside threats. The district needs to promote the positive mental health of all students. They should feel safe and welcome within the schools. Every child needs to connect with a trusted adult within the district that they can confidentially go to with problems or concerns. Many of the issues we have seen with school shootings have been from students or former students that don’t feel welcome in their school environment.
I have served on the Sauk Rapids-Rice School Board for almost 20 years. These years of service provide a level of understanding and knowledge that I can contribute to continue to support the great initiatives in the district. In a time of so much change, ensuring stability on the Board is essential.
I have always made myself available to hear concerns and opinions and encourage different perspectives and made sure they were communicated and represented at the Board table. I am visible and present, and people feel comfortable coming to me with questions and are willing to share their concerns.
I provide a diverse professional background that encompasses, finance, leadership, human resources, and information Technology.
1) I will continue to support and encourage our partnership with the cities of Sauk Rapids and Rice. It is critical that the district retains its students and families to be remain fiscally sound and good stewards of taxpayer dollars.
2) Executing on the District’s Strategic Plan to ensure that Sauk Rapids Rice continues to be a destination district.
3) Focus on students’ academic performance and success. Using data while focusing on the academic needs of ALL students. Results without excuses.
A strategic commitment of the Board of Education is Student and Staff Well-Being. This is accomplished by crisis management planning. It is both pre and post crisis planning, which includes an emphasis on the human element of crisis. Each building is staffed with Social Workers in addition to all elementary schools having the expertise of Social Emotional teachers in house. We will also work with students, families, staff and community partners to make sure we are learning from the experts
Trust with the community is the bedrock to a successful district. As a father of two young children, student education excellence is my focus. I have been the most accessible, hardworking, and transparent candidate in this race. I have door-knocked hundreds of homes over 80 combined hours seeking out the community’s opinions and concerns. I have shared with you my view on the most controversial issues, including that I oppose mask mandates, want politics out of the classroom, and support a resident-focused closed enrollment policy. I have a strong record of promoting fiscal responsibility. With five of the seven board members serving for 14 years or longer, I bring a fresh perspective that reflects the priorities of the community.
1) Keep our district and classrooms free of polarizing political activism. Focus on teaching kids how to, not what to think. Public schools should be apolitical. Let kids be kids
2) Keep enrollment closed, yet manage the potential decline in overall enrollment responsibly
3) Our students, especially our youngest, will experience unexpected mental health and education challenges related to the pandemic response. We must partner with parents to identify and overcome unexpected challenges.
It is the most basic responsibility of a school district to create a safe environment for students and staff. Board members must independently seek continuing education in research and methods. They must independently seek out the opinions of staff who work the buildings each day. We must never again make school security dependent on a referendum vote when we have the needed money available. Parents, students, staff, and teachers can be confident I would never support such an approach.
Our children are the future and they need strong and dedicated leaders that are invested in their future. At the board table during the last few years I’ve been in some hard fights and some tough decisions to make that greatly impacted students, teachers, staff and parents during the Covid-19 pandemic. Mental health support, increased security and in-person learning was what I fought for. My pledge to the students, teachers, staff and residents of Sauk Rapids Rice School District is to continue student focused decisions, prioritize manageable class sizes, prioritize school safety, accountability/transparency in our School District, encourage parent/community involvement and partnering with local businesses.
I’d like to focus on mental health, teacher/staff support and academic achievement.
The mental health of both student and staff was adversely affected during the pandemic.
Our teachers and staff need purposeful professional development and collaboration time, in order to keep up with their demanding job.
The loss of educational contact during the pandemic cost the students dearly and we need to do everything in our power to try and get them caught up before we lose the opportunity.
I will promote safety by pushing for mental health support to happen before it's too late. I have encouraged our local law enforcement to collaborate and hold active shooter drills in our schools. Infractions to district policies should not be quietly swept under the rug; rather the policies should be adhered to, and the required discipline should happen to dissuade escalation and future infractions.
I care deeply about the quality of education received by all students including having their social and emotional needs met to help ensure every student can thrive. I am not driven by personal politics but by a sincere desire to create an inclusive and encouraging educational environment for every student starting from early childhood education through graduation. My experience on other boards has given me a unique perspective on working through complex issues with diverse groups of people to find common ground. I listen objectively and understand the importance of multiple perspectives when making decisions for what is best for the community. I am dedicated to representing all stakeholders of this district.
Ensuring high quality education for our students so every learner can reach their academic potential. This includes attending to their physical, social, and mental health needs and attracting and retaining high caliber educators.
Creating a safe and secure space. Making certain all students feel protected and welcome.
Exercising fiscal responsibility and transparency. We need to find ways to work with what we have, adjust, and implement top-priority initiatives.
By making myself available and accessible to staff so they can share their ideas. Building relationships by listening, being responsive, and collaborating. Consider staff input, research new technologies and changing procedures that will help make us better prepared. Advocate for policies and procedures that are proven to improve security and create safe, inclusive, and encouraging environments for students and staff.