Next week, St. Louis Park voters will be able to weigh in on three open four-year seats on the school board.
The election will be held Nov. 5. All school board seats are at-large, meaning the entire school district will be able to vote for each seat.
Board chair Bruce Richardson and former chair Jim Yarosh are both seeking re-election. Christine Johnson, Karen Waters and Jim Beneke are also looking to join the board. (Board member Ken Morrison will run unopposed for a two-year seat.)
Today, we meet Johnson, a foster and adoptive parent with experience volunteering for Big Brothers Big Sisters and at Aquila Elementary.
Occupation: Ramsey County ACT Team Case Manager
Which neighborhood do you live in? Willow Park
Facebook page or other contact information: firstname.lastname@example.org
What unique perspective, experience or expertise would you bring to the school board?
I am a foster parent and an adoptive parent. I have volunteered for the Big Brother and Big Sisters school-based program. I mentored a girl for six years in Minneapolis school district. I have board experience. I was on the Vail Place board of directors and currently serve on the Homes Within Reach Board of Directors. I have helped out in my son's classroom at Aquila Elementary School. I am committed to advocating for all kids as demonstrated by being a mentor and foster parent. I would also bring the experience of being on a board of directors.
What are the top challenges facing the St. Louis Park School Board?
I feel one of the
challenges is the achievement gap. I am committed to finding a solution as my
children are children of color. This is concerning to me and we do need to find
I think another challenge we face is light rail/freight rail. We need to stick to what we feel is right and continue to work with Met Council to find a reasonable option.
Also if the three referendums don't get approval, we will need to be creative to continue to meet the needs of the students and teachers. I would see that we continue providing a good quality education.
Continuing with the anti-bullying task force is important to help our children feel safe at school. Providing education to student about the effects of bullying on fellow students. I believe this needs to starts as early as a child enters school.
What role does a school board member play in helping raise academic achievement for all students and close the achievement gap?
If I were elected to the School Board, I would make it a priority to find a solution to this problem. I feel if I were a board member I owe it to all students to find a way to help everyone excel to the best of their abilities. I have some ideas and thoughts on how to address this problem, but I would need to look at what has already been done.