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Guía de Votantes

ISD #284 School Board Member (Special Election)

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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  • Candidate picture

    Jay Hesby
    (NP)

  • Candidate picture

    Sheila Prior
    (NP)

  • Candidate picture

    Erin Shelton
    (NP)

  • Candidate picture

    Mariam T. Siddiqui
    (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)

District connections run deep – long-time resident, attended Wayzata Schools grades 1-9, parents are former Wayzata teachers, all three children graduated from WHS, grandson will attend Meadow Ridge in 2027 (if his family resides where it does today), Citizens Financial Advisory Council member (2004-2007), Wayzata School Board member (two terms – 2008-2015). Duly appointed to School Board late last year to fill the seat vacated by Seanne Falconer. Willing to serve and lead for the remaining term of the vacated seat to provide continuity for my current board colleagues and the district administration as Wayzata Public Schools moves through the COVID era and returns to a greater sense of “normalcy”
1. Constantly focus on perpetuating Wayzata Public Schools’ Mission/Vision – i.e., Ensure a world-class education that prepares each and every student/Be a model of excellence – to build on our strengths and move forward together 2. Engage with state legislators, colleagues, administrators and other district stakeholders – to listen, learn, challenge and advocate as appropriate 3. Stay in the lane of governing (not managing) – to help our outstanding administrative team succeed
District already has strong safety and crisis prevention features in place (e.g., excellent relationships with local police, crisis scenario training, keen cyber security focus and strict building access protocols). As a board member, I will look to our administrative leaders to continually assess the strength of our current measures, identify/recommend additional safety features that they may deem appropriate and work to ensure adequate resources are committed to both existing and new measures
I’m the best candidate because I have a deep understanding of the concerns and aspirations of Wayzata families. I have 3 children in the district, and I’ve been volunteering in the schools for years, getting to know parents, teachers, students, and administrators. My scientific background equips me to understand evidence-based education policy, and I am committed to helping all students in the district reach their highest potential. I will provide new ideas for solving some of Wayzata’s most persistent problems, like how to close the achievement gap. I am endorsed by Seanne Falconer, former board member who was previously elected to this seat, and who’s move out of the district triggered this year’s special election.
I will champion maintaining Wayzata’s academic rigor, improving early reading instruction, supporting mental health and nutritional needs of students, closing the achievement gap, supporting teachers, creating a sense of belonging for all students, school safety, environmental sustainability, accommodating district growth, keeping class sizes small, supporting our LGBTQ students, and supporting the district’s equity commitment. All are important for the current and future success of our students
There are many aspects of safety. The district should continue following the advice of local law enforcement to protect students/staff. We can also help by providing mental health support and being vigilant when it comes to suicide warning signs, potential violence warning signs, and taking social media interactions seriously. I'm concerned about national and local political rhetoric against LGBTQ+ youth and how it will impact students in our schools. I unwaveringly support our LGBTQ+ students.
I have the time and motivation required to commit to doing the research and work necessary to make informed decisions for the school district while representing the shared values of our community. I have lived abroad in China, Netherlands and Russia. These experiences have broadened my mind and given me a global perspective that I wouldn’t otherwise have. I have gained a great appreciation for varying ethnicities, customs and cultures, but more importantly, I learned that parents across the world are much more alike than we are different. Additionally, because of my pharmacy background, I can bring a science-based and data driven perspective to the board.
In this one year term, I will prioritize district transparency and support increased access and communications between board members and residents. I will place a high value on parental and community input and encourage it by highlighting upcoming issues being discussed by the board that may be concerning to the public.
I believe that our district currently has excellent safety policies and protocols in place as well as a close, ongoing relationship with the police department. My area of concern and possible vulnerability is the walkout protests that occurred in some of our schools last year. When students leave the building and then re-enter, keeping them safe during school hours becomes much more complicated. I would actually encourage students who would like to protest to do so outside of school hours.
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