Dear DFL friend:
I am happy to announce that I am running for re-election to the Saint Paul School Board. I have been able to win in the past, because friends like you have supported my campaigns. I want to thank you for that past support and ask for your support again.
I am running because I bring a unique and useful experience to the Board. I am the only board member who has attended SPPS as a student, worked in our schools as a teacher, was the parent of two SPPS graduates, mentored students after school as a coach, and then finally; as a board member, I learned how all of the pieces fit together. But most significantly I am convinced that I understand the vital importance of the relationship between our schools and our communities.
Last fall the Board asked the voters of Saint Paul to approve our excess levy. Thankfully, they did so overwhelmingly. At the moment, the district's funding is in the most stable place that it has been for over a decade. I am proud of my role in passing four school levies. However, I take very seriously my responsibility as a steward of the public's tax dollars. To this effect I will work hard to guarantee that the money we spend goes primarily to support our classrooms.
I am a product of our school district. My two daughters graduated from Como Park Senior High. I am a retired teacher and coach, with thirty-four years service in the classroom. Every single day I meet someone who shares a connection with me to our schools. These interactions affirm in my mind one simple truth - the Saint Paul Public Schools are not the problem, they are the solution. They are not perfect; they never have been. But every day, we are still changing lives for the better.
As a retired teacher I see our teachers, educational assistants, principals and all support staff as committed, professional educators. I am concerned that all too often, the people who work every single day with our children are left out of the discussion on how to improve our schools. I am also concerned that as the national debate over educational reform becomes more polarized; we in Saint Paul are missing chance after chance to partner with our own teaching staff to create our own set of solutions. Our teachers are not the problem, they are the solution.
It is important to have a voice that sometimes asks the different question, that sees the interconnections of policy with the classroom, with the city, and with the school districts friends and supporters. After watching the war on workers in Wisconsin over the past two years, I am proud to say that I am a lifelong card carrying union member. It is important for every working person, union or not, to have dignity in their workplace.
I am asking for your support again this year. The first step is on Tuesday, April 16 when precinct caucuses and ward conventions will be held. Delegates to the City Convention in June will be selected on April 16.
Expect to see me show up on your caller ID, or at your door in the next few weeks. Thank you for reading this far, please feel free to email me at email@example.com.