As a former school board member for Sartell-St Stephen schools, I hope to see the policies and practices of the school board move back to the center, respect fellow board members’ thoughts and opinions and have balance in their decisions. For this reason, I will be supporting the slate of candidates consisting of Emily Larson, Jen Smith and Scott Wenshau. It will take the presence of all three of these candidates to turn this board around into a strong cohesive board that puts district needs first, and not “a personal agenda,” as we have been experiencing.
In the summer of 2020 members of the board approved an $80,000 equity audit of Sartell-St Stephen schools with a split vote to hire what proved to be nothing more than a political activist organization that was obsessed with a single issue. I questioned the motivation of this group but was cancelled when I tried to get my fellow board members to slow down with this decision. Little did I know this was just the start of an avalanche of misguided and wrongfully motivated decisions.
The injection of politics has continued with the current board under the banner of educational equity. While this term is described as providing everyone with the materials they need to succeed, the actual practice will always involve grouping our students by race and identity and then making determinations, or even discriminating on that basis, to ensure a statistical outcome consistent with the expectations of educational equity.
We must do better than this for our schools and our children. This trio has promised to get the politics out of our schools, and to again focus on the educational excellence that brought so many parents and families to this community. They believe that every student can achieve in Sartell-St. Stephen schools and should be provided the equal access to opportunity and resources that the citizens have so generously provided.
Serving this district was a privilege that I will always treasure. Let’s get our strong, balanced board back, and focus on excellence for all.