The first requirement of a good citizen in this republic of ours is that he shall be able and willing to pull his weight. He should not be a mere passenger.
President Theodore Roosevelt
My background prepares me to contribute to the ongoing development of an excellent School District. I have served the needs of children and families for 40 years; since age 19 when I served as a mentor for adolescents in Wisconsin’s juvenile justice system. I have maintained this commitment throughout my adult life. In fact, I have consciously taken on personal and professional responsibilities that would one day prepare me for public service. Now, at 58, with a deep foundation of skills and experiences, I believe it is time for me to serve our District. My reason for seeking election is clear. I am not seeking an office or title – merely an opportunity to serve our community.
I place great importance on serving one’s community and believe every citizen should take advantage of the opportunities they are given to serve. I consistently serve with integrity and honesty; striving to address issues and challenges with fiscal prudence and an inclusive, non-partisan orientation. Elected officials must listen, communicate and, ultimately, build consensus. They must be smart but, more importantly, wise in their deliberations. The public’s trust is sacred and must always be respected.
In my professional life, I have directed higher education and health care/human service organizations for 25 years. Currently, I serve as President of the Adler Graduate School (www.alfredadler.edu), which owns and oversees the Jim Ramstad Community Service Center. Together with these leadership roles, I have taught both undergraduate and graduate-level courses for 30 years and have also published children’s literature.
In my personal life, I have coached youth sports in Plymouth and Wayzata for 20 years. I have also served and continue to serve on numerous non-profit and community boards and councils, and have volunteered in numerous other community organizations.
My wife and I have already guided two adult children through Wayzata Public Schools and college, and our third child is currently enrolled in Wayzata High School. As 26-year residents of Plymouth, each of our children has benefited greatly from Wayzata Schools, for which we are grateful.
I have taken the time to speak with and get to know several current School Board Members and our Superintendent and believe I will effectively complement them and the important work they are doing. I sincerely believe I can contribute to Wayzata Public Schools in a variety of ways.
Among the extraordinary people I have met who are seeking election to the Wayzata School Board, others may be smarter than me. I can’t know that. However, I am quite sure my foundation of leadership and educational experiences is second to none. What’s more, I am certain, I will not be outworked, if given the opportunity to serve.
I am reminded of something my now 30-year-old daughter once told her Sunset Hill Elementary School kindergarten teacher when asked – at age 5 – what her father did for a living. Katie amused her teacher when she replied, “I think my daddy is a doctor, just not the kind that does anybody any good”. I have told that story many times and, inevitably, people find it funny – but it has also inspired me over the years. Now, 25 years later, I would like to serve Wayzata Public Schools and, in the process, honor my daughter’s challenge and “do someone some good”.
In summing my orientation to community service and my desire to serve Wayzata Public Schools, I would offer this quote by President Theodore Roosevelt. The first requirement of a good citizen in this republic of ours is that he shall be able and willing to pull his weight. He should not be a mere passenger.
Please contact me (firstname.lastname@example.org) or 763-476-4011) if you have questions or comments concerning my candidacy.
I ask for your vote on November 5 and for your support as I seek to contribute to the work of Wayzata Public Schools.
I WILL CREATIVELY SERVE WAYZATA PUBLIC SCHOOLS IN AREAS THAT INCLUDE:
• The rapidly increasing size of our student population and the schools serving our students must be carefully managed. More specifically, we must be both thoughtful and creative as we develop and utilize our buildings, as we establish the geographic areas from which individual schools draw students and, most importantly, as we serve each and every student in an individualized manner.
• Our resources are abundant, but ultimately finite. Remain creative and wise as we balance fiscal prudence and our obligations to accommodate rapidly maturing educational strategies/technologies and shifting student, family and community needs.
• Address achievement gaps that persist between groups of students.
• Evaluate school start-time options as we seek to optimize students’ academic success.
• Assist in the ongoing development of student support services – for example, the expansion of school counseling and other services that help to support all students’ educational experiences and, ultimately, their academic success.
• Build upon data-driven assessment strategies as we seek continuous improvement in teaching and learning.
• Expand students’ opportunities for community service – match our District’s reputation for academic excellence with a reputation for community service.
• Expand students’ opportunities to develop leadership skills and an understanding of their obligations as citizens.
• Treat the growing diversity of our student body as an extraordinary learning opportunity for all students and staff
• Help students to develop a clear understanding of the process for setting life goals, for establishing clear plans for pursuing those goals and for developing a work ethic that supports goal achievement.