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Aquila Advocate Named Newest School Board Member

Ken Morrison will be taking over for Pam Rykken.

The St. Louis Park School Board has appointed Ken Morrison to its vacant seat.

Morrison, who has been active with the Aquila Elementary PTO and the District Parent Advisory Council, will be sworn in on Oct. 22 and serve through November 2013, when the seat will again be up for election.

A spot was open on the seven-member board due to Pam Rykken's resignation in August. Rykken, who joined the board in 2008, said she was stepping down due to personal reasons.  

Morrison said he wants to be a voice for those that aren't always heard at school board meetings. As a past chair and co-chair of the Aquila PTO, Morrison said looking at issues of educational equality were key.

According to the most recent state data available, 48 percent of Aquila students receive free or reduced lunch—the largest percentage in the district, and 14 points higher than the average throughout Park schools. Morrison said it's very important to provide consistent education regardless of economic factors.

"I realize I'm only one vote out of seven (on the board)," he said. "But I can be the voice for Aquila."

Morrison said 26 languages were spoken at Aquila last year—diversity he sees as a positive both for the school and the community as a whole.

Morrison is no longer on the Aquila PTO board, but he continues to help with events as needed. He also coaches his seventh-grade son in football, and has coached his sixth- and third-grade daughters in softball. All three went or currently go to Aquila.

When not involved with school activities, Morrison said he and his family enjoy outdoor activities like camping, skiing and hiking.

Morrison, who's lived in St. Louis Park for nearly 30 years, added that he's excited for the opportunity to serve on the school board.

"I've been asked to run before but never really had the time to do it," he said. "I thought I'd take a look at it."

Morrison was one of five finalists the board interviewed earlier this week.

Bethany Wilcox October 22, 2012 at 06:28 PM
Thank goodness there is a voice for inclusion and equity in our district finally. The school board pays lip service to these things and maybe this will start a positive change. Ken, don't end up like all the politicians on the school board -- you are better than that! We have faith in you!

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