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ISD #492 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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  • Candidate picture

    Carolyn Dube
    (NP)

  • Candidate picture

    Kathy Green
    (NP)

  • Candidate picture

    Carol McAlister
    (NP)

  • Candidate picture

    Denver Ritz
    (NP)

  • Candidate picture

    Peggy Young
    (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 Mailing Address 609 4TH ST SW
AUSTIN, MN 55912
As a mom, former K-12 educator, and involved community member, I am committed to ensuring that Austin Public Schools continues to provide high caliber education that prepares its students to be successful as contributing members of society.

Having been on the Austin School Board previously, I understand the role that the board plays in setting district policy, providing strategic direction for the superintendent, and advocating for the needs of our students.

I am also able to listen objectively to make decisions that best support the students in our community. I do not have a personal agenda beyond seeing our students succeed. That means listening to parents, community members, staff, and other stakeholders of the district.
If elected, my top three priorities will be budget, facilities, and policy. Austin Public Schools has been operating at a deficit due to an unpassed referendum from 2020 and state funding that has not kept up with inflation. This year's referendum will only keep the district running at the same level it is currently at - there will still be a need to ensure efficient and effective fiscal responsibility. The Community Learning Center is also in need of replacement, something long overdue.
As a school board member, my role in safety is to ask the questions and provide strategic direction to district leadership. Safety is always a concern as it is fundamental to students being able to learn effectively. I will partner with my fellow board members to charge district leaders with ensuring the safety and security of students and staff.
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I care deeply about our youth and will work tirelessly to provide quality education for all students. As a parent, grandparent, AHS graduate, and a life-long resident of Austin, I am personally invested in seeing future generations prosper. My background in finance, grant writing, employee hiring/retention, compliance, implementation of government regulations/policies, as well as managing multi-million-dollar budgets, demonstrates a professional commitment to successful and collaborative efforts. Such work has prepared me for challenging, outside-the-box solutions. As someone who values and listens to all people, I will bring a non-judgmental, diverse perspective, along with new energy and a positive balance, to the School Board.
Increase Mental Health Support/Bridge the Achievement Gap/Implement Strategies for Staff Shortages & Employee Retention. Emotional health within our schools continues to suffer due to the pandemic and societal issues. Learning declines exacerbated by these conditions must be mitigated. Furthermore, the crisis has affected all levels of the educational sector, creating staffing vacancies and deficits. We owe students, educators, and staff more respect and greater attention to their needs.
School safety encompasses more than active shooter preparation. It requires a trauma-informed mindset in response to the repercussions of both real and potential threats, including weapons/bullying/harassment/theft/illegal substances/emergencies on school grounds. I will work with teachers and staff to prioritize both physical and mental well-being in our schools and will work to expand our safety program and widen the reach of those involved in campus safety into the community.
Campaign Email ritz4austin@gmail.com
Campaign Mailing Address 703 6TH AVE SW
AUSTIN, MN 55912
6 years of experience working with schools spanning 8 counties in central Iowa. I am a leader who is not afraid to speak up, challenge the status quo, & ask questions. I bring a background of 20 years in Learning & Organizational Development and was a Director of the Greater Des Moines Partnership chamber of commerce from 2012-17. I can balance representing educators, students, business, and community in an unbiased manner. My focus is on outcomes, how are we impacting students to best prepare them for their next step. I have experience on over 20 boards, councils, and committees at a local, state, and national level pertaining to education, equity/inclusion, economic development, and human resources.
1) Implementation of the new strategic plan. I am strategic, great at activating others, and constantly evaluating for the best outcomes. 2) We have a diverse school district. Are we offering equitable access to all students, can they find activities and places of belonging where they identify? 3) I want our educators equipped with the best resources possible as they prepare our students. Educators deserve a workplace where they feel heard, trusted, and supported.
When we think of safety commonly we think of intruders and that is a major area of concern. As we continue to partner with law enforcement and national best practices we need to think bigger. Where are we missing sidewalks on elementary school property? Are there neglected areas where there may be dead tree branches still attached to trees, fencing hazards, windows in disrepair, etc. I am a listener first. I will work with teachers and be present to community members addressing concerns.
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