Throughout my nine years serving on the Anoka-Hennepin School Board, I have made a commitment to seek input from you.
If you have ever viewed a public school board meeting, you have seen that I bring forward feedback and perspectives learned while visiting with you. I will continue to bring forward questions you have asked, or provide specifics on your thoughts and opinions. Those views are important for all to hear and consider!
One specific example is the teacher perspective. Time and time again, in public meetings, district committee work, or in conversations with the Superintendent, board members, or administration, I emphasize how our decisions will impact teachers in their work, our classrooms, and students, using your feedback and expertise. Every decision that touches the classroom should have this voice.
This is a model that I utilize for teacher, staff, administration, parent, student, and community feedback, and will continue to over the next term.
In preparation for seeking re-election to the school board, I reflected on why I first decided to serve. In 2010, I delivered a message of transparency that stated:
It is extremely important that our School District continue to provide, and EXPAND, transparency in all decisions. We need to provide easy to find, detailed information on policy and budget decisions. Residents will then be fully informed and can hold District leaders accountable for results.
I am confident that we have made strides in transparency, but much more work needs to be done. When re-elected, in addition to continuing to push for added transparency from our district office, I will personally provide transparency for high profile topics in which you have shown interest, by posting on this website or Facebook.
There will be times that decisions will not align with our preference, but that is the most important time to be completely transparent.
for Anoka-Hennepin School Board
THE FIRST TEACHER
As your childs' first teacher, you play a big part in how well your son or daughter does in school.
PARTNER WITH US
We invite you to work with our teachers to help students get all they can out of their growing years.
During my first school board race in 2010, in addition to delivering a message of outreach & transparency, I also admitted my frustration with politics of the day by stating this:
At times, politics and politicians have proven to be very frustrating to someone on the outside. You may have felt this way also.
In a small way, I will do my best to change this opinion by actively seeking out your views, and improving communication for all
residents. If you agree, I would greatly appreciate your vote...
Looking back over these nine years, I am proud of living up to those words, even as our national politic (in my opinion) has become more divisive. Although we have always seen a small level of this division locally, specifically in the Anoka-Hennepin district and community over the last five years, I believe it has greatly increased.
In our local school district community, we have seen record levels of campaign spending over the last two elections, including national outside money. Candidates actively align, or are forced into that position, with one party or another, as has been common in school districts like Minneapolis and St. Paul. Individuals in positions that have traditionally remained neutral in current board races are actively supporting candidates as fellow members of like political action groups & parties.
I strongly believe that this trend will continue to divide us and will not allow our district to be the best it can be for our students and community. I fear that this also has the potential to divide the newly elected 2022 school board.
I will continue to focus on the spirit of our local Anoka-Hennepin board election being NONPARTISAN. I take it very seriously to campaign, and consciously reflect upon this principle when making decisions in my service.
I believe that my service has proven that a logical common-sense approach, utilizing shareholders' input, and consciously working to remove partisanship, can attain common ground.
During my time on the school board, I have been approached by individuals representing both the DFL & GOP, and was asked to consider running for State office under their respective parties. This proves to me that an Anoka-Hennepin Board Member can successfully serve in a nonpartisan fashion.
I admit that I am naive when it comes to politics, but I choose to remain purposefully naive when it comes to believing that the Anoka-Hennepin community can regain our UNITY, cast off national political divisions, and find COMMON GROUND to move the Anoka-Hennepin School District forward. I am passionate about working to accomplish this goal.
If this resonates with you, I ask for your vote. Thank you for taking the time to read this and for your consideration.
Take Care - Jeff