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ISD #834 School Board Member at Large {_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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  • Candidate picture

    Mark Bezdicek
    (NP)

  • Candidate picture

    Jessica L Johnson
    (NP)

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    Pete Kelzenberg
    (NP)

  • Candidate picture

    Eva Lee
    (NP)

  • Candidate picture

    Philip St. Ores
    (NP)

  • Candidate picture

    Alison Sherman
    (NP)

  • Candidate picture

    Andrew Thelander
    (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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Campaign Email JLJ4ISD834@PM.me
Campaign Mailing Address PO Box 806
STILLWATER, MN 55082
I will work with board members to provide clear lines to keep our curriculum clean of controversial politics & ideologies. All families should trust that our schools will not impose the beliefs of half of our divided society on the other. Such guidance would allow teachers greater freedom to customize instruction without fear of stepping outside of parental expectations, fostering greater emphasis on academic achievement. Effective board members require independence from those they are overseeing, as well as experience in management & negotiations, construction finance & auditing, contract writing & practical application of state statutes & rules. I’ve decades of real world experience & no conflicts with my oversight responsibilities.
I’m running for school board to assist in putting the focus back on academics, beginning with reading proficiently. The most important role of a board member is to put in place a vision and strategy that ensures high academic achievement in the communities' children. We must fund, and focus, efforts to accomplish this. We must monitor curriculum for effectiveness, support what works, and provide guidance when change is needed. Top 3 priorities = academics, budget management & community outreach.
Clear expectations for learning and civil behavior must be communicated throughout our schools and to parents. Expectations must be swiftly and consistently upheld by the administration. To protect classroom learning, individuals being disruptive should be removed from the classroom to be disciplined or to receive other attention until they can resume effective participation in classroom learning. My law enforcement background gives me insight into how to best handle outside threats as well.
During the past year I’ve served on the board, some good work has been started and I hope to continue this progress. I am particularly proud of our success in hiring a superintendent whose leadership and ideas are moving our district in the right direction. I would like to contribute to this success, and focus on improving academics by working with our staff and listening to the community. . I have a long history of volunteerism and commitment to the community, and I believe my close connection to the district will be an asset to the school board.

I wish to honor the role of governance by engaging respectfully with my fellow board members, and I will respect the group decision and process when a vote is made.
My priorities are strategic planning, facilities, and the mental health of our students and staff. Strategic planning is a top priority because setting high academic standards and creating a framework for decision making will affect the long term success of our students. Likewise, good facilities support a good education, and we may need to add facilities to accommodate our growth. Finally, our students and staff need our support to overcome mental health challenges and flourish academically.
I see safety as a twofold issue. There are physical safety measures in our schools such as entryways and security systems, and for these we must look towards the latest recommendations by experts as safety research is continuously being updated. There is also a less tangible aspect to safety, which is the emotional and social needs of our students and staff. Everyone should feel that their concerns are taken seriously, both at the personal and decision-making level.
Campaign Website http://evafor834.com
Facebook (Full URL) http://Facebook.com/100078020983
Campaign Email evafor834@gmail.com
Campaign Mailing Address PO Box 108
LAKE ELMO, MN 55042
I am uniquely qualified for the position of school board director because I am a current long term substitute at Stillwater High School. My experience in the schools as a daily and long term substitute provide me with a 'boots on the ground' perspective and experience that no other current candidate has. I know what our schools are like for our students and our staff because I work with them daily. I teach our students and understand the challenges faced by students and staff and the amazing rewards that come with teaching our kids. I will bring a unique yet knowledgeable perspective to the board table.
If elected, I hope to serve the students, staff and families with integrity and fidelity. This is important to me because these three groups are the people who our work as board members will impact on a day to day basis. I want to promote and safeguard public education. I believe deeply in the role public education plays in our democracy. LE Elementary needs to be replaced, as it is not an equitable learning space and our LEE kids deserve better.
Relationships are the key to a long term solution to school safety. Kids who feel connected, heard, seen and listened to are less likely to commit acts of violence. I feel that encouraging and promoting student-to-student connection as well as student-to-teacher connection is key. Promoting general welfare and health in the community is also likely to stem any potential issues before they arise in the school community.
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In 2020 I was elected to the ISD 834 school board. I've served in leadership roles including board chair and vice chair, participated in several committees including finance and operations, and successfully completed board member training.

I'm proud of the board's accomplishments in the last two years. With the support of the community, we hired a permanent superintendent, renewed the district’s critical operating levy, passed our first ever technology levy, invested in teacher training, expanded learning space in a high-growth area, updated Bridge Transition Program learning space, and improved transportation services.

I've proven to be student focused and capable of working professionally with fellow directors, the community and staff.
Our mission is the academic success of all students:

1) In order to know where our district is headed and what goals we want to accomplish for students, creating a Strategic Plan including community voices must be the top priority.

2) Building a school board that has a deep understanding of its role, that works in partnership with the Superintendent to ensure all community stakeholders have a voice.

3) Organizational stability to reduce turnover in key staff positions to ensure continuity.
It's the responsibility of our district to provide for the physical safety and social emotional well-being of students. The superintendent manages the daily district operations while the board establishes district goals and priorities as a collective. The current board has identified student safety as a priority and administrative staff has already taken steps to adjust and communicate updated Common Response Protocols with students, staff, and families. Listening to our kids is very important.
Campaign Website http://www.andrewfor834.com
Campaign Twitter Handle @n/a
Campaign Email andrewfor834@gmail.com
Campaign Mailing Address 3313 PIONEER PL
STILLWATER, MN 55082
I have a passion for service and a vested interest in the success of our district as I have two children who attend elementary school at Stillwater Area Public Schools. Along with my business and finance experience combined with my track record of successful board leadership roles make me a worthy candidate to serve on the ISD 834 School Board. In my professional career, I have a fiduciary obligation to my clients, so I understand the importance of performing my duties in utmost good faith and putting forth those interests before my own. My integrity will be my most important asset as a school board member. I would be grateful to have the opportunity to be a responsible, peaceful voice on the Stillwater Area School Board.
Focus on responsible governance to foster a culture of stability to: -Support excellence in teaching and learning initiatives to meet the unique needs and interests of every student; -Engage and honor the journey of each of our students through a diverse offering of extracurricular activities, support services, vocational training, and other district learning programs; -Ensure all students have access to safe, effective, and equitable learning environments.
To create safe, welcoming schools the school board must be intentional about making safety a priority. The district must ensure our staff and teachers have the necessary in-classroom resources and support to best engage and meet the learning needs of all students in our schools. The board must also empower district leadership to make recommendations for effective school safety protocols that ensures proper district-wide training in coordination with local law enforcement and county resources.