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Voter Guide: Moose Lake School Board

 

October 2, 2020

Donna Kirk

Donna Kirk

Background

As a licensed teacher, my experience spans over twenty years of teaching both in person and online in K12 schools as well as in higher ed preparing future K12 teachers. For seven years I have directed a grant funded program to provide STEM opportunities in conjunction with local public schools.

What made you decide to run for school board this year?

As a newer member of the community, I have experience and a fresh perspective that I desire to use to serve the Moose Lake community.

What do you think are the top two issues facing the school district and how would you go about tackling them?

One challenge facing schools across the nation is the declining enrollment in public schools. With various options available for students to select from, ensuring that Moose Lake school district continues to offer high quality education for each grade is an ongoing endeavor.

Along with quality classroom education are issues such as transportation, athletics, and other extra-curricular interests. Each of the myriad of components that constitute the whole educational setting plays a role in the student learning environment. Balancing needs for all students for a holistic educational experience with available resources can be a challenging task.

To assist with aligning needs and resources, continuing to establish partnerships with businesses and groups in the community as well as leveraging potential funding from grant resources is one strategy to aid in finding the needed resources for the needs of our students. From partnering with businesses to offer internships or sponsorships to partnering with Master Gardeners to establish school gardens, the possibilities are numerous. Additionally, there are various grant funding sources that can benefit teachers and students. If elected, I would bring over 10 years of experience with forming partnerships and successful grant funding to share with the school board.

Elaborate on something you think the school board has handled well over the past two years.

Budgetary concerns are a priority for any school district and the pandemic has magnified costs adding strain on schools. One budget category of concern is bus transportation which is historically a challenge for any district to manage. In an effort to reduce costs, the school board has explored a cooperative program in conjunction with Willow River and Barnum school districts which is an example of a beneficial cost saving endeavor.

The coronavirus has changed education in many ways. Are there things we can learn from the reaction to the pandemic even after it passes?

The pandemic has interrupted what each of us called "normal" and has brought reflection on what is most important in our daily lives and work. An outpouring of people reaching out and assisting family as well as others in the community as we navigate these uncharted times has been inspiring and perhaps has reminded us all of some of the most basic and valued components of our lives and our community. Keeping these things in mind when the pandemic abates might serve us and our community well.

Why should people vote for you?

The school system is a vital component in a community which not only educates the future but also reflects the current pulse of the community. I bring a robust and diverse skill set and experiences that I desire to utilize to serve the community as a school board member.

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Lisa Anderson-Reed

Background

I have served on the Moose Lake School Board for 20 years.

There are three generations of Moose Lake graduates in my family, including my dad (Lyle Anderson), my daughter (Danika Reed-Probst), and myself. The information/training I have acquired is invaluable and has provided expertise that makes me an asset.

What made you decide to run for school board this year?

I want to continue to promote a quality educational system. I will focus on advocating for a supportive learning environment and promote sound educational practices.

What do you think are the top two issues facing the school district and how would you go about tackling them?

The biggest challenge facing Moose Lake Community School at this time is the reopening of the 2020-21 school year during Covid-19. There have been many challenges and difficult decisions made to ensure the safety of our students and staff. Moose Lake Community School staff has spent many hours in the development of the Restart Plan. My decisions will be guided by the knowledge of the experts at the local, county, state, and national level.

The budget is always an issue at the forefront of school administrators. The current Moose Lake School Board works closely to balance student needs and budget issues to assure a quality education for all students.

Elaborate on something you think the school board has handled well over the past two years.

The current board works closely together to balance student needs and budget issues. Respect among members of the board is integral in providing quality education and consistency in the budget decision-making process. Communication and coordination is paramount. Inclusion of students, teachers, and staff in the decision making process is essential. It's important to ensure that community input is incorporated. I feel current board members are incorporating respect, communication, staff input, and community involvement in decision making.

The coronavirus has changed education in many ways. Are there things we can learn from the reaction to the pandemic even after it passes?

As a current school board member, I have learned, to a higher degree, the importance of how education is a cooperative effort between the school, students, and parents. And how important communication is.

Benjamin Anderson

Another issue is the importance of opportunity (internet access, etc.) for every student. School board members need to support and endorse equal opportunities for each individual student.

And, in spite of all that is happening right now, focus on student achievement/education is vital. These issues will remain in the forefront even after the pandemic passes.

Why should people vote for you?

Vote for me because of my many years of experience on the board. During this time of unique challenges during Covid, experience is of utmost importance. I have no hidden agendas or ulterior motives. Again, I will focus on advocating for a supportive learning environment and promote sound educational practices.

 
 

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