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.
I’m a retired pediatrician, former Cannon Falls Preschool AmeriCorps volunteer, and Vasa township resident. When I entered this race, the only other candidate had a public record of opposing school funding. I wanted voters to have a chance to vote for someone who is a strong public school supporter.
Then, JoLyn Williams also filed as a candidate. In September, JoLyn and I met to discuss school issues. She was appointed by the current Board in July 2022. She is already learning the job and promises to represent all of us, not just some.
While JoLyn & I don’t agree on everything, this election is too important to split the vote 3 ways. I can’t remove my name from the ballot, but please consider JoLyn. The following answers are mine only.
My core principles:
Strong public schools are a community resource even if you don’t have a child in the schools.
Strong public schools support teachers.
Every parent deserves to be heard, but decisions are made for all children.
Every child deserves respect, safety, and opportunities to learn and grow.
Not every child starts out on the same page.
Early intervention makes a big difference.
My priorities: Strong Cannon Falls Schools, Communication, and Early Intervention.
Listen to parent, student, teacher, staff concerns about safety.
Fund mental health support.
Leverage county mental health resources.
Promote evidence based interventions for high risk students and situations.
Support inclusion of all students and staff in the school community.
Keep weapons off school grounds except in emergency response.
Evaluate emergency response and coordination through drills (with optional age appropriate student participation),
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I am a driven person who believes our school board should function as a team, hear out the community and support the school staff. I have two kids that attend CF Elementary school. I know that what we do on the Board will directly affect all of our kids and that is not a task I take lightly. Additionally tax payers are also affected, a school budget is all about finding a balance and figuring out where your top priorities should be. I volunteer at PTO functions and my husband and I help coach T-ball every summer. Someone that sits on the board should be someone you see in the community as well. Being a labor and Delivery nurse, problem solving and critical thinking skills are our backbone. I believe in a proactive approach, not reactive.
I won’t approach this position with some kind of agenda, because that simply is not how the School Board works. A School Board has many moving pieces, nor does it rely solely on one person. It’s a group approach to problem solving, with expectations to work together as a team. As for what I personally feel is important; safety- violence continues to increase in schools, teacher and student retention- we don't want to lose either, and transparency to the parents as well as the community.
Recently we have increased the safety at the elementary building by enclosing the entrance and decreasing the number of people able to freely enter the build. The High school will be receiving additional security by altering the delivery drop of zone to a locked enclosed area. I think there is always room for improvement. I know my kids safety means the world to me, so it is not something I take lightly. With the way violence has increased in schools these days, its a necessity to prepare for.