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ISD #281 School Board Member {_getChooseLabel(this.selections.length)}

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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    ReNae Bowman
    (NP)

  • Candidate picture

    Jonas George Courneya
    (NP)

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    Sharon Brooks Green
    (NP)

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    Kim Holmes
    (NP)

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    Caroline Long
    (NP)

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    Samir (Sam) Sant
    (NP)

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    Aileen White
    (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)

Campaign Website http://www.save281now.com
Facebook (Full URL) http://facebook.com/save281now
Campaign Email save281now@gmail.com
Campaign Mailing Address 3916 EDGEWOOD AVE NO
CRYSTAL, MN 55427
I know how to build community trust and manage large budgets to the positive. The loss of almost 5,000 students means loss of revenue and is proof of lost community trust. Budgets are in poor condition and long-term debt is $200,000,000! Rather than fix financial problems and trust issues, the board is working to take away your voice by changing state law to allow the levy to automatically renew without your vote. This cannot happen. I have served as an elected official in good times and bad and my track record proves, I leave things better than I found them. I know how to create solutions rather than just invent excuses. I will hold myself accountable for the tough decisions the Board will need to make in next year’s budgets.
1) Create a healthy, sustainable budget, focused on decreasing debt and rebuilding community trust.

2) Fix and improve building safety, discipline and transportation issues 3) Reignite excellence in education across our district. Currently some schools have and other schools don’t, this is not equity-based education. Why do some schools have music education while others go without? The inequities between buildings are glaring and needs to be addressed.
Teachers and staff are already overburdened. I believe adoption of the Sandy Hook Promise is a great start point. This proven community program provides age-appropriate tools and curriculum to prevent violence. We must revisit discipline policies to make sure all the resources necessary are provided to help teachers/staff keep peace in classrooms, including increased mental health resources for all. I pledge to work with the community to make our schools are safe places to teach and learn.
10 years as an Army Black Hawk Helicopter Pilot provided me with opportunities to lead and make difficult decisions in uncertain circumstances. I was entrusted with stewarding people, resources, and processes. Being inclusive and collaborative with others helped me take care of what was entrusted to me.

After the military I earned my graduate degrees in Public Policy and Business. My educational opportunities taught me that policy must be created and reviewed with thoughtfulness, good research, and empathy to achieve the maximum benefit.

If you elect me to the School Board I will continue to collaborate with teachers, staff, and the community, and apply the valuable life-lessons I’ve learned to advocate for your children and mine.
-Increase Equitable Outcomes. This must be a top priority for one of the most racially diverse schools in the state. We must hire more teachers of color and close the student achievement gap.

-Strengthen Mental Health Support. This needs to be normalized and destigmatized in our society. Let’s make sure your kids and mine represent the change we seek.

-Correct Busing Issues. This basic necessity is failing our community by consistently running late and dropping bus routes all together.
I have, and will continue to, collaborate with them by collecting their wisdom and experience through conversations. They are "the feet on the street" and work with our children everyday. Supporting students’ mental health is pivotal for safety. This means providing opportunities for creative outlets through classes and after school clubs, facilitating student community conversations, providing school meal security, and ensuring we are staffed with an adequate number of child councilors.
As a responsible citizen of the district and the incumbent Director of the RAS Schoolboard, I bring many assets and reasons as to why I am the best candidate for this position. For over 20 years, my record as a respected community person has been reputable, reliable and result driven . I hold active memberships with the LWV -CNHREP, Rotary of CNHR, PeaceOH, Am .Red Cross, TF-JIWG, etc. , all for the sake of contributing to keeping our community uplifted & empowered for the benefit of the future, which I know is our children. My education also reflect these values: Masters in Advocacy & Political Leadership and seeking a Doctorates in Public Policy & Administration. I am endorsed by OutFrontMN and have a Letter of Support from the DFL.
1. Advocate for Student Leadership! Our students are valued stakeholders and their voices must be heard on all issues considered by the BOE.

2. I lead the conversation in our Policy & Governance committee on including Equity in our Equal Education Policy. Now it's time to ensure adherence by creating an effective monitoring policy that will sustain our intended goals of grace for all students for years to come.

3. Overhaul of Listening Session Policy.
Safety in our schools is paramount. More conversations & inclusive dialogue with the district's local police dept. any SRO, all staff, teachers, student leaders & community members could result in better preparation and response to any safety issues that may arrive. As School Board Director, I advocate for these procedures to become a practiced policy and to be governed as such. Close communication between the BOE and the Supt. .on issues of school safety should remain top priority.
I commit to being open and partnering with the families, staff and 281 community. I am knowledgeable, involved, and hard-working. I’m not afraid to ask hard questions or work on complex issues. I am a 22 year district resident, mom to four in-district students (7-16), and a trusted adult to others. I am an active parent in schools, recreational leagues, as well as on District Committees. I have a BA from Marquette University. We quickly recognize, and rightly so, the talent and strengths of the student population as well as the amazing dedicated staff of 281, we can’t be afraid to admit what isn’t working. I have the time, energy, and empathy to devote to this role and I am committed to ending our days of jumping from crisis to crisis.
I will immediately work to bring the Sandy Hook Promise Programs (safety) to 281, develop a timeline to bring transportation in house and mend frontline worker morale. Successful districts need quality teachers/frontline workers, safe & sanitary schools, accessible and reliable transportation. If any one of these are ignored or done poorly, students suffer. These priorities have been botched by the 281 School Board for far too long. To address them the budget must be dissected and balanced.
School boards must confirm the Superintendent’s staff are successful. This includes the Director of Safety, the Director of Transportation as well as individual school principals. Open and direct conversations are needed. Not from the top down. Independent, unfiltered, truly anonymous surveys would provide valid feedback on where safety gaps exist. Why were the FREE Sandy Hook Promise Programs, designed to empower students to be part of the change they wish to see in their schools, not enacted
I am a parent and an educator. As a parent, like all parents, I have the experience of having a student in the district. As an educator, I have the experience of working in the classroom and advocating for students and families. I participate in two labor- management committees, where I look at district policies for staff and students. I was a lead negotiator for the Minneapolis Public School Teachers, therefore I have experience with writing policies.
- Increased staff of color so all students can see themselves reflected in the teaching staff and have the opportunity to learn from educators with a variety of backgrounds.

- Implementation of comprehensive Restorative Practices to create more equitable and successful learning environments and experiences.

- Transparent and varied structures for elevating student and family voice in influence and decision-making at the district and site level.
I am a special education teacher, therefore I am often working with students, teachers, and administration on behavior intervention plans to support the student’s I work with who struggle with behavior. I will use the skills I have acquired as a special education teacher to promote safety in schools. I feel it is important to have staff and teacher input and advice into any plans, adjustments, programming, etc. that is being used to address safety issues in schools.

I am the best candidate for this position based on my last four years in office. I have advocated for racial equity, to reduce the achievement gap, serve on our Intermediate District 287 School Board, hired two superintendents, and am currently vice chair of our board. Four years ago, our unassigned fund balance was almost $0, today, it has grown to $10.5 million. I have been endorsed by the Robbinsdale Federation of Teachers and received Letters of Support from local DFL senate districts.
First, I would increase mental health support. With the pandemic and civil unrest in our community, our children and staff are struggling just to get through their daily lives. Second, I want to bring transportation back into the district. With the horrible start to school last year, Durham Transportation has proven to be unreliable. We can control bussing 100% if it was in-house. Third, I will work to further close the achievement gap by focusing on mathematics. It has always lagged.
I will work with staff by asking them what they need to feel safe and provide safety to students. We are currently using restorative practice and multi-tiered systems of support to prevent repeat offenses in our schools. Restorative practice provides justice to both parties. We have seen a decrease in suspensions and fights in our schools.
Having lived in RAS for 22+ years, starting off as a parent, then a volunteer, followed by working as a substitute before taking a full-time position that I held for over 10 years, I can say that I know this district. I have witnessed the district change over the years, managed under different administrations, seeing schools close, new programs be introduced, others ended. My RAS students, made choices to attend schools not in their attendance area, so I understand the balance to make that work. I experienced the benefits of in-district transportation, including pluses that brought. So if knowing RAS from the inside out & it makes me the best candidate, there is that, there is also knowing that I am not afraid to jump in & figure things out
1. Student & Staff safety morale needs to be addressed, if these key district components are leaving & no-one is addressing why, that is an issue. 2. District Office transparency - to rebuild trust, record all meetings. 3. Request regular and in-depth Financial updates, require details about variances, and holding departments accountable for staying within their budget. Have the district disbursements removed from the consent agenda, and have supporting documents provided, such as cost centers.
To provide a safe environment for all staff, there needs to be trust, trust that concerns will be listened to. Building staff, those who are walking the walk each day, they are the ones who know what is working, or not at all levels. Any safety measures under consideration need their buy-in. Until trust is earned, there needs to be anonymous/safe reporting of concerns, so as a board we hear the issues first hand from those experiencing day to day school, something administration does not have.