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ISD #13 School Board Member {_getChooseLabel(this.selections.length)}

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  • Candidate picture

    Julie Houle
    (NP)

  • Candidate picture

    Nate Lourey
    (NP)

  • Candidate picture

    Jessica Medearis
    (NP)

  • Candidate picture

    Laura Jean Palmer
    (NP)

  • Candidate picture

    Israel Tobon
    (NP)

  • Candidate picture

    Brenna Zeimet
    (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 Email Houle4Schools@gmail.com
I will bring clarity and transparency to the Columbia Heights School District’s $51 million dollar budget for the stakeholders, parents, and taxpayers of our community. I have significant experience in continuous improvement and risk management, which includes identifying and mitigating risks of fraud, financial misstatement, negative reputational impacts, school operations, and safety. I have worked with many nonprofit organizations, businesses, and governmental entities to innovate and implement best practices. I believe my professional skills make me uniquely qualified for our school board to ensure all students have the resources to succeed.
Academic Excellence – provide both advanced and gifted learners an environment to excel, and support learners who are falling behind. Promote critical thinking and problem-solving skills for success in life. Parent Collaboration – encourage open dialog with parents to address concerns and partner to find innovative, common-sense solutions. Financial Stewardship – require accountability and transparency in spending and ensure resources are used toward student-focused programs with proven success
I would require annual training on all policies and procedures that ensure buildings and facilities are secured. Persons without authorization should not be allowed into buildings. I would collaborate with our local police to provide guidance, ensuring staff and teachers are able to identify and react to potential threats. Rigorous background checks will be required on all employees to protect our children from pedophiles. Employees who identify potential student abuse will be supported.
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I’m invested in the success of all of our students, support for our teachers and staff, and inclusive community schools. As a parent and long-time Columbia Heights resident, I know our schools and have volunteered across the district to build relationships, work through challenges, and celebrate successes. As a licensed attorney, I can bring important perspective to the Board in policy development and review. I also work in higher education, giving me insight into best practices for college and career readiness, including introducing students to technical education opportunities. I also have experience in governance, organizing, and advocacy, and will leverage partnerships with other districts and our families to fight for shared needs.
Equity-Minded Governance: I will advance initiatives that address equity gaps so that all students experience success & belonging in school, and see themselves represented in policy & in the classroom. Advocacy: I will amplify voices of our families, teachers, & staff to advocate for resources our students need, as fully-funding our schools impacts every aspect of student success. Engagement: The community should have access to transparent decision-making & ways to share their own perspectives.
Students need physical and psychological safety in order to learn. I’ve pushed for secure entrances to our buildings. I support expanding efforts taking a multi-faceted approach to safety, including mental health and social work resources, trauma-informed and restorative practices, and social-emotional curriculum. I will also listen to the voices of students, families, teachers, and staff on school climate, and work to eliminate any disparities in how our students experience safety in school.
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I’ve lived in Columbia Heights for 19 years. I have 4 children who have participated in every level of our schools. I know teachers and staff and I’m an active volunteer as well as a current board member. I am a strategic thinker and I have experience working with youth, managing local business, and coaching people and organizations through change management. Along with my leadership experience, I have deep relationships with many parents and families in this district and am someone that people can come to when they are having a problem in our schools. I am responsive and I take my role as an elected representative very seriously. It’s my job to be a voice at the table for the underrepresented, to ask tough questions and fight for equity.
1)Equity - All of our students need to succeed in our schools so we must: -Ensure that the diversity of our students is reflected in our staff, programming and curriculum -Close achievement gaps by addressing systemic inequities -Provide a safe and trauma-informed learning environment with mental and emotional health supports

2)Community Engagement - transparent and proactive communication

3)Responsive Advocacy - listen to families, amplify student voices, and fight for what matters to you.
I fought for funding to secure building entrances and make facilities accessible and equitable. I listen to our amazing teachers and staff who are connected with our students and can pick up on the warning signs when kids are struggling. I advocate for mental health resources for students and homes in crisis, and anti-bullying interventions that create community and protect students. I bring the needs and concerns of marginalized students to the table so everyone can feel safe enough to learn.