Sun Post http://post.mnsun.com Local News for Brooklyn Park, Brooklyn Center, Crystal, Golden Valley, New Hope and Robbinsdale Minnesota Wed, 22 Oct 2014 21:03:06 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Three Rivers Park District Board of Commissioners: District 2 http://post.mnsun.com/2014/10/three-rivers-park-district-board-of-commissioners-district-2/ http://post.mnsun.com/2014/10/three-rivers-park-district-board-of-commissioners-district-2/#comments Wed, 22 Oct 2014 20:13:00 +0000 http://post.mnsun.com/?p=127319 The two candidates seeking to represent District 2 on the Three Rivers Park District Board of Commissioners are incumbent Jennifer DeJournett and John Skavnak. The term is for four years.

The district includes all or part of Brooklyn Park, Champlin, Dayton, Maple Grove and Osseo.

Jennifer DeJournett

Jennifer DeJournett

Jennifer DeJournett

City of residence: Maple Grove

Age: 41

Family: Todd (husband), 4 children

Education: Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering, MiniMBA (Exec Series); St. Thomas

Occupation: Structural Engineer

Years lived in NW suburbs: 14

Community involvement: Three Rivers Park Commissioner, District 2 (elected 2012); chair of Intergovernmental & Community Engagement (Three Rivers park Board); DL&I Construction Code Advisory Council; former Budget Advisory Committee member, (Brooklyn Park); former vice chair of the Human Rights Commission (Brooklyn Park); former FISCAL advisory committee member (Osseo ISD 279)

Contact information: jendejournett.com; JenDeJournett@gmail.com; 763-200-1358

Why are you seeking election to the Three Rivers Park District Board of Commissioners?

I am asking for your support and vote so we can continue the work that we began together. I will continue to be a good steward of your hard-earned dollar and continue to work towards transparent park district operations.

I will bring my energetic, approachable leadership style to the role and make sure I’m always available and responsive to our community.

As a mom of four young kids and a longtime resident, I know how important the parks are to our families. I will continue to strive to provide our community with safe, well-maintained parks for our families today and into the future.

What are the top two or three priorities for the park district in the coming year, and how would you address them?

Since my election, my focus has been bringing the perspective of families to the park board decision-making process. I will continue to focus on safety in our parks as a main priority as well as working to maintain our outstanding park facilities with affordable programing for our families to enjoy today and in the future. It is important to have transparent park operations and continue to be respectful of the taxpayer’s hard earned dollars.

What do you think is the best way to address the funding challenges that the park district has been experiencing?

The Park District receives funding from many sources, including property taxes paid by the families of our communities. As a result, our Park District isn’t experiencing a funding challenge.

This year, we were able to have a zero percent increase in our total tax levy while meeting the growing needs of our communities. The best way to avoid funding challenges is by taking a long view regarding the needs of our communities.

For example, before a new initiative is undertaken, it is important to examine the current short- and long-term obligations of the park district.  This is why the current Park Board is revising the Five and Ten Year Capital Improvement Plan to improve our ability to review the financial impact of decisions in real time and increase transparency.

John Skavnak

John Skavnak

John Skavnak

City of residence: Brooklyn Park

Age: 68

Family: wife Sandy Skavnak (deceased); children Bryan and Stephen; grandchildren Ethan, Ella, Desmond and Winnie

Education: B.S. from St. Cloud State University; graduate work at University of Minnesota

Occupation: Retired, Hennepin County Workhouse Superintendent

Years lived in city: 35

Community involvement: Former MSHSL basketball official, former chair of Brooklyn Park Athletic Association, current Oxbow Creek Association board member

Contact information: Johnskavnak4parks.com

Why are you seeking election to the Three Rivers Park District Board of Commissioners?

(No answer provided.)

What are the top two or three priorities for the park district in the coming year, and how would you address them?

There are two major issues that I will promote:

1. I will lead Three Rivers to plan and develop a new regional trail along the Bottineau LRT. There are fantastic trails in the south suburbs. I will seek to bring more balance to the north. I will champion the planning, funding and development of this trail.

2. I will enhance the safety within our parks by developing and promoting sound policies and procedures regarding medical emergencies, response times, park safety and security of Three Rivers assets.

What do you think is the best way to address the funding challenges that the park district has been experiencing?

(No answer provided.)

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‘Cripple of Inishmaan’ runs Oct. 24 to Nov. 1 at NHCC http://post.mnsun.com/2014/10/cripple-of-inishmaan-runs-oct-24-to-nov-1-at-nhcc/ http://post.mnsun.com/2014/10/cripple-of-inishmaan-runs-oct-24-to-nov-1-at-nhcc/#comments Wed, 22 Oct 2014 19:51:49 +0000 http://post.mnsun.com/?p=127322 Paul Icenogle, left, plays Babby Bobby, and Mitch McIntyre, right, plays Cripple Billy in the ‘Cripple of Inishmaan’ at North Hennepin Community College. The play runs Oct. 24 to Nov. 1. Tickets are on sale at nhcc.edu/theatre and will be available at the box office 30 minutes before each performance. (Sun Post staff photo by Paul Groessel)

Paul Icenogle, left, plays Babby Bobby, and Mitch McIntyre, right, plays Cripple Billy in the ‘Cripple of Inishmaan’ at North Hennepin Community College. The play runs Oct. 24 to Nov. 1. Tickets are on sale at nhcc.edu/theatre and will be available at the box office 30 minutes before each performance. (Sun Post staff photo by Paul Groessel)

“The Cripple of Inishmaan” will be performed Oct. 24 through Nov. 1 at North Hennepin Community College Theatre.

Director Mike Ricci said that the play highlights the tough, colorful characters of the remote island of Inishmaan off the coast of Ireland. The dark comedy is set in 1934 and is told in Irish storytelling tradition.

Young Cripple Billy has lost his parents and suffers ridicule from everyone in town.

“As word arrives on Inishmaan that the Hollywood director Robert Flaherty is coming to the neighboring island of Inishmore to film ‘The Man of Aran,’ Billy makes it his mission to get cast in the film and be taken away to America, if only to escape his dreary life,” a release said.

“The real star of the show is the play itself, the story,” Ricci said. The performance runs 7:30 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays; 2 p.m. Wednesday and Sunday. An ASL signed performance has been scheduled Sunday, Oct. 26. The play does contain some graphic language.

Tickets: $8 adults, $5 students and seniors

Tickets can be purchased at the box office 30 minutes before curtain, or online at www.nhcc.edu/theatre.

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CEAP’s Feed the Need Oct. 25 in Brooklyn Park, Brooklyn Center http://post.mnsun.com/2014/10/ceaps-feed-the-need-oct-25-in-brooklyn-park-brooklyn-center/ http://post.mnsun.com/2014/10/ceaps-feed-the-need-oct-25-in-brooklyn-park-brooklyn-center/#comments Wed, 22 Oct 2014 19:39:31 +0000 http://post.mnsun.com/?p=127315 CEAP’s Feed the Need, our Brooklyn-wide Food Drive, is a bi-annual food drive at local grocers to raise food and funds to help stock our shelves. CEAP will be at five grocer locations on Saturday, Oct. 25 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. accepting non-perishable food item and cash donations.

  • Brooklyn Center Walmart, 1200 Shingle Creek Parkway
  • Brooklyn Center Cub Foods, 3245 Bass Lake Road/County Road 10
  • Brooklyn Park Festival Foods, 8535 Edinburgh Centre Drive
  • Brooklyn Park South Cub, 7555 W. Broadway Ave
  • Brooklyn Park North Cub, 9655 Colorado Lane N.

The goal is to collect 100,000 pounds of food – enough food to feed Hennepin County families for November and December. CEAP will accept all donations but the most needed items include those for the pantry: pasta, rice, cereal, sugar, flour, oil, and other baking goods.

CEAP also created a video to promote this great event.

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Brooklyn Park police report for Oct. 8-14 http://post.mnsun.com/2014/10/brooklyn-park-police-report-for-oct-8-14/ http://post.mnsun.com/2014/10/brooklyn-park-police-report-for-oct-8-14/#comments Wed, 22 Oct 2014 19:34:29 +0000 http://post.mnsun.com/?p=127313 Following are some of the incidents reported to Brooklyn Park Police Department Oct. 8-14:

BURGLARY:

• Oct. 8 at 3:14 p.m., 6400 block of Douglas Drive

• Oct. 8 at 4:59 p.m., 10600 block of Douglas Drive

• Oct. 9 at 10:11 a.m., 7700 block of Emerson Avenue

• Oct. 9 at 4:16 p.m., 6800 block of 63rd Avenue

• Oct. 9 at 4:51 p.m., 5600 block of 69th Avenue

• Oct. 10 at 2:05 p.m., 8100 block of Irving Avenue

• Oct. 11 at 3:51 a.m., 6800 block of 104th Circle

ROBBERY:

• Oct. 11 at 2:30 p.m., 5800 block of 73rd Avenue

VEHICLE BREAK-IN/THEFT:

• Oct. 8 at 12:47 p.m., 6300 block of Boone Avenue

• Oct. 11 at 12:45 p.m., 8500 block of 78th Avenue

• Oct. 11 at 3:14 p.m., 8100 block of Brooklyne Boulevard

• Oct. 12 at 10:11 p.m., 2400 block of 78th Court

• Oct. 13 at 9:44 a.m., 6000 block of 83rd Parkway

• Oct. 13 at 10:43 a.m., 8100 block of Brooklyn Boulevard

• Oct. 13 at 10:44 a.m., 5800 block of 73rd Avenue

WEAPONS:

• Oct. 8 at 9:50 a.m., 7800 block of Lakeland Avenue

• Oct. 8 at 12:14 p.m., 5800 block of 73rd Avenue

• Oct. 11 at 5:39 p.m., Kentucky Avenue and Candlewood Drive

• Oct. 11 at 7:30 p.m., 5200 block of 84th Avenue

OTHER:

Police also reported 11 assaults, 4 drug or alcohol violations and 24 other thefts.

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Brooklyn Park fire calls, Oct. 9-15 http://post.mnsun.com/2014/10/brooklyn-park-fire-calls-oct-9-15/ http://post.mnsun.com/2014/10/brooklyn-park-fire-calls-oct-9-15/#comments Wed, 22 Oct 2014 19:29:29 +0000 http://post.mnsun.com/?p=127311 The Brooklyn Park Fire Department received the following calls for service during the week of Oct. 9-15.

There were 163 total calls, comprised of 56 fire-related calls and 107 EMS-related calls. Some of those calls included 3 building fires, 1 cooking fires, 9 rescue calls, 7 hazardous condition calls, 12 service calls, 15 good intent calls and 8 false calls.

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Letter: Gates continues to grow; re-elect him in November http://post.mnsun.com/2014/10/letter-gates-continues-to-grow-re-elect-him-in-november/ http://post.mnsun.com/2014/10/letter-gates-continues-to-grow-re-elect-him-in-november/#comments Wed, 22 Oct 2014 19:28:30 +0000 http://post.mnsun.com/?p=127309 To the editor:

First, I want everyone to know I am not a resident of the Central District in Brooklyn Park. However, I have spoken with Rich Gates at least once a week for the last six years.

I have witnessed his defeats (running for councilman in 2002 and 2004), but I also have seen evidence of his complete dedication and commitment to our city by his work on the Budget Task Force in 2002 and 2003.

In case you have forgotten, that was the year the state cut out the Local Government Aid and our city was scrambling to cut $3 million out of our budget. As you are aware, we survived the trauma but still carry the scars.

Rich continued serving our city by being an original member of the Budget Advisory Commission, the Citizens Long Range Improvement Committee and the 85th Avenue Development Task Force.

Then in the 2006-2007 race, Rich was elected councilman. Can you believe that this young man started out with $75 in his pocket and six home-painted signs? No fancy titles, just the guy next door. His perseverance, devotion and service to our city swept him into office.

He is now completing his second term but still has much to give. Rich is seeking a third term.

Rich listens and always responds to citizens. He has the motivation and vision to help direct the course of Brooklyn Park.

We trust him to carry on work with our youth programs, the aging population, keeping the budget tight and not forget our road problems. That is a heavy load to carry.

So I trust the residents of the Central District will once again say yes and vote for Rich Gates as their councilman.

Thanks for taking time to invest in your community.

Merna Kingsley

Brooklyn Park

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Letter: Vote Reva Chamblis for the East District http://post.mnsun.com/2014/10/letter-vote-reva-chamblis-for-the-east-district/ http://post.mnsun.com/2014/10/letter-vote-reva-chamblis-for-the-east-district/#comments Wed, 22 Oct 2014 19:27:30 +0000 http://post.mnsun.com/?p=127307 To the editor:

As 40-year residents of Brooklyn Park, living in the East District for the last 20 years, Wes and I are proud to support Reva Chamblis’ candidacy for City Council. Beyond supporting Reva’s campaign, we encourage our East District neighbors and friends to vote for Reva at the polls on Nov. 4.

As a woman of integrity, Reva consistently demonstrates a strong work ethic and practices thoughtful decision making ensuring many perspectives  have been represented and considered before drawing conclusions.

Reva’s commitment to community volunteering runs deep. Over the last 25 years she has dedicated her time energy and talent to local committees, nonprofits and task forces in the areas of transportation, public safety, human rights, workforce development and planning.

She holds a degree from our very own University of Minnesota, Carlson School of Management and has an active career as a business analyst for a Fortune 500 company in the Twin Cities.

Reva’s vision for Brooklyn Park involve smart business growth, engaging small business and prioritizing job development.

We are convinced Reva has the experience and commitment to take on a challenge of a growing community. She will bring a voice for women and represent the diversity of our great city. She will ask questions, listen and be accessible to all residents in Brooklyn Park.

This is an important election. Every vote counts, and your vote is important. Please vote for Reva Chamblis in the East District.

Judy and Wes Hendrickson

Brooklyn Park

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Brooklyn Park Fire offers reflective bags for trick-or-treaters http://post.mnsun.com/2014/10/brooklyn-park-fire-offers-reflective-bags-for-trick-or-treaters/ http://post.mnsun.com/2014/10/brooklyn-park-fire-offers-reflective-bags-for-trick-or-treaters/#comments Wed, 22 Oct 2014 19:25:09 +0000 http://post.mnsun.com/?p=127303 The Brooklyn Park Fire Department would like Halloween this year in Brooklyn Park to be a safe one. This can be done if families take precautions, especially with young children being out in the dark.

In an effort to push night safety, residents can pick up free reflective bags that can be used for trick-or-treating or other fall activities.

The bags can be picked up from Central Station in Brooklyn Park. The bags are red with reflective panels. “Be Smart, Be Seen, Be Safe” is written across the front, and they can be carried as a backpack or tote bag.

Info: brooklynpark.org.

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Letter: Brooklyn Park needs Joy Marsh Stephens http://post.mnsun.com/2014/10/letter-brooklyn-park-needs-joy-marsh-stephens/ http://post.mnsun.com/2014/10/letter-brooklyn-park-needs-joy-marsh-stephens/#comments Wed, 22 Oct 2014 19:24:09 +0000 http://post.mnsun.com/?p=127301 To the editor:

I’m often asked “What’s wrong with our current mayor?” To be straight up, he’s doing pretty much the status quo. That’s the problem.

Where do you shop? I’m guessing Maple Grove. Where do you go for a nice dinner and a show? Minneapolis? Where do you go to work? Somewhere other than Brooklyn Park? What about the jobs and amenities promised by the companies who receive tax breaks to locate here – see much of that? Think about what your friends and others say about Brooklyn Park. How’s that make you feel?

Brooklyn Park sure doesn’t sound like Minnesota’s sixth-largest city – but it is. Bloomington, identical in size, has the Mega Mall, movie theaters, entertainment, trains to and from the cities, and lots of good jobs from large and small businesses.

That took vision, leadership and a recognition of Bloomington’s place as one of Minnesota’s great cities – a level of vision that’s obviously been missing in Brooklyn Park.

As a small business owner, I’m supporting Joy Marsh Stephens, the DFL and labor-endorsed candidate for Brooklyn Park Mayor because she has that vision for smart growth that will make Brooklyn Park the great city it can be.

George F. Greene

Brooklyn Park

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Nine candidates running for three Osseo Area Schools seats http://post.mnsun.com/2014/10/nine-candidates-running-for-three-osseo-area-schools-seats/ http://post.mnsun.com/2014/10/nine-candidates-running-for-three-osseo-area-schools-seats/#comments Wed, 22 Oct 2014 19:20:30 +0000 http://post.mnsun.com/?p=127289 There are nine candidates running for Osseo Area School Board, which has three open seats that each serve four-year terms. The school board chair receives $750 per month, the school board clerk makes $675 per month and the directors earn $650 per month.

Oduwa Aibuedefe Aganmwonyi

fw23nwosseoboard-OduwaAddress: 7968 Beard Court N., Brooklyn Park

Family: Esohe Aganmwonyi; five children

Education: B.A., Psychology

Occupation: Mental health practitioner

Years you have lived in the school district: Six

Community/civic organizations involvement: The Edo Association of Minnesota (TEAM); Brooklyn Park Lions Club; Parent volunteer – Palmer Lake Elementary School

Have you run for any other office in the past?: No

Contact: oaganmwonyi@gmail.com

 

In your role as a school board member, how would you ensure that all parents and community members’ concerns and questions about district matters are addressed? 

First, have an understanding that all parents and community members’ concerns are important and must be treated respectfully. Ensure that all board activities and meetings are judged by what is being done to improve student achievement, which is the district primary responsibility and all parents’ main concern. As board member, it is important to have focus and align with the district mission if it supports all student achievement. Equally important, be a good listener and attend all board meetings and participate in all decision making process.

 

How would you evaluate the success of the district’s grade reconfiguration that begins in the 2015-2016 school year? 

The success of the reconfiguration will be assessed based on why it was established; boundary access, making credit transfer process a lot easier, etc.

 

What experience or knowledge makes you qualified to be a school board member?

A parent who knows first-hand the challenges parents face in pursuing the best educational opportunities for their children.

An immigrant: I know first-hand how the American Dream depends on the quality of your education.

A business owner/executive: Experienced in setting priorities, managing budgets and making tough decisions. Collaborate with parents and other professionals to ensure client success.

Mental health background: Experienced in monitoring client progress in relationship to established goals similar to monitoring student achievement. Please vote Oduwa Aganmwonyi for School Board.

Pa Modou Ann

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERAAddress: 13647 93rd Place N., Maple Grove

Family: Wife, three boys

Education: MPA in Global Public Policy and Public and Nonprofit Leadership and Management

Occupation: Consultant

Years you have lived in the city or district: 14

Community/civic organizations involvement: Community involvement on social construct issues to enhance human potentials

Have you run for any other office in the past?: Vice president, Minnesota Gambian Community, 2008-2010; Board member, Odyssey Academy, Brooklyn Center 2011-2012

Contact: 763-528-8948

In your role as a school board member, how would you ensure that all parents and community members’ concerns and questions about district matters are addressed?

I will examine the present mediums of communications established to evaluate its effectiveness, after which create forums with parents and community members to hear their concerns and possible recommendations to enhance this important facet.

 

How would you evaluate the success of the district’s grade reconfiguration that begins in the 2015-2016 school year?

I would impress upon fellow board members to formulate an evaluation mechanism to be established to review the effectiveness of the grading reconfiguration.

 

What experience or knowledge makes you qualified to be a school board member?

Firstly, I have been a committed parent, which creates an educating atmosphere for understanding the school system and build relations. I had been a leader as an officer, and involvement with my community.

Susan Brown-Whistler

The candidate did not respond in time to have the Voters Guide profile.

James E. Burgett

 

fw23nwosseoboard-BurgettAddress: 8168 Terraceview Lane N., Maple Grove

Family: Kerri Burgett, three children

Education: B.S., Electrical Engineering

Occupation: I am the senior principal design engineer of a local medical device company

Years you have lived in the city or district: More than 20

Community/civic organizations involvement: I am currently serving the community as a school board member. In the past, I have been a Cub Scout den leader, and was treasurer of a parent group advocating for schools

Have you run for any other office in the past?: I was elected to the School Board of ISD 279-Osseo Area Schools in the fall of 2010, and I am seeking re-election this fall

Contact: VoteBurgett.com

In your role as a school board member, how would you ensure that all parents and community members’ concerns and questions about district matters are addressed?

Currently, we have multiple advisory groups that gather valuable feedback and help guide the administration and school board. They include the Core Planning Team, District Planning Advisory Council (DPAC), Community Education Program Advisory Council (CEPAC), District Equity Leadership Team Advisory (DELTA), and more. Their members include community stakeholders as well as district employees.

However, I believe our schools need to respond more like a world-class customer service organization. I would like each phone call to get answered, and each email to get a timely response. We need to think of each student and parent as customers, and compete for their business.

 

How would you evaluate the success of the district’s grade reconfiguration that begins in the 2015-2016 school year?

The grade reconfiguration is a big project with a lot of moving parts. It affects all schools in the district to some extent. As such, it requires that project objectives and milestones are defined, and success criteria are established. The Project Initiation Plan on the district website identifies key objectives, including: high school facility improvements, new middle level and high school program design, staff transition, student transition, and more. The plan includes a work breakdown structure, team assignments, timeline and budget.

See here for project details: bit.ly/1w9chT2 (link shortened).

I certainly expect that there will be challenges that arise along the way, but we have the team in place to meet them.

What experience or knowledge makes you qualified to be a school board member?

I am currently serving my first four year-term on the school board, and have been elected treasurer each year. I have attended all four phases of the school board member orientation workshops provided by the Minnesota School Board Association (MSBA). I have also attended the MSBA Leadership Conferences, and one National School Board Association (NSBA) conference. As a lifelong learner, I work to keep well informed of issues that may impact our schools and community.

Jessica Craig

fw23nwosseoboard-JessicaAddress: 9201 Garland Ave. N., Apt 140, Maple Grove

Family: Three daughters (ages 7, 5 and 1)

Education: Associates degree, pre-law student at SCSU

Years In District: More than one year

Community/civic organizations involvement: Co-vice president of the Fernbrook PTO; Head chair of the Fernbrook carnival committee; Art Adventures volunteer

Have you run for any other office in the past?: I have not previously run for office

Contact: jessicacraig.net

 

In your role as a school board member, how would you ensure that all parents and community members’ concerns and questions about district matters are addressed?

I believe as a board member we have a responsibility first and foremost to the members of our community to listen. By having monthly meetings on my own time with organizations in our community, I hope to build trust and to show a genuine interest in everyone’s ideas.

Input will always be welcomed and validated.

How would you evaluate the success of the district’s grade reconfiguration that begins in the 2015-2016 school year?

We will need to hear from the teachers directly and other district staff to find out what issues may have arisen as a result of the reconfiguration. I anticipate this to be a successful endeavor, however, as most districts in our state already have this grade configuration.

What experience or knowledge makes you qualified to be a school board member?

I have legislative experience working for the state in a nonpartisan department. I am familiar with legal language and contracts, having first-hand experience preparing documents for committee hearings and the House floor.

I understand the legislative process in a way that most citizens have not experienced. This will help guide me through the research necessary to understand the issues before me as a board member.

Delma J. Francis

fw23nwosseoboard-delmaAddress: 12894 74th Ave., N., Maple Grove

Family: One daughter, age 15

Education: Master of Science in Community Development

Occupation: Substitute teacher

Years in the District: 17

Community/Civic involvement: Two Rivers Chorale; Edinbrook Church (Children’s, Worship and Care ministries)

Have you run for any other office in the past?: I have never run for office previously

Contact: francdj1216@gmail.com

In your role as a school board member, how would you ensure that all parents and community members’ concerns and questions about district matters are addressed?

I would like to join with one or more board members to host periodic question-and-answer sessions for parents and the public in a community forum format.

How would you evaluate the success of the district’s grade reconfiguration that begins in the 2015-2016 school year?

It remains to be seen what the success of the district’s grade reconfiguration will be since it will not be implemented until the 2015-16 school year, but I have every confidence that it will be highly successful. Osseo is one of the few and the largest metro-area school district that has the junior-high format with grades 7-9. I believe that from a maturation standpoint, ninth-graders should be with 10-12th graders, not seventh-graders.

What experience or knowledge makes you qualified to be a school board member?

I have special insight into our schools because I am a substitute teacher in the district. I have taught all grade levels – from pre-school to 12th grade – and I see what we do well and what we need to work on. The Osseo district does an excellent job of educating our children, but that doesn’t mean we’re perfect. For instance, we need to develop new strategies to close the abysmal achievement gap. Our responsibility as a community is to make sure all our students reach their highest potential, whatever that may be. It’s all about our kids.

Robert Gerhart

 

fw23nwosseoboard-Bob GerhartAddress: 12001 90th Ave. N., Maple Grove

Family: Tiffany, four daughters

Education: Masters of Engineering Management

Occupation: Technology specialist and registered patent agent

Years you have lived in the city or district: 16

Community/civic organizations involvement: Community Education Program Advisory Council representative, District Website Redesign Advisory Group, Birch Grove and Rice Lake Parent Teacher Organizations

Have you run for any other office in the past?: Ran for school board in 2012 as well

Contact: electgerhart.org

In your role as a school board member, how would you ensure that all parents and community members’ concerns and questions about district matters are addressed?

I would make it a priority to always respond to any letter, email, or phone call I receive regarding school issues. I would also publicly release the results of every vote, and add any commentary that might help explain what is going on.

I also think the school board at large could be made more accessible and responsive by expanding the amount of meeting content that is recorded and broadcast to the community. I would also like implement a Q&A session as part of regular meetings, where comments and questions submitted by the public via email or social media could be addressed openly.

How would you evaluate the success of the district’s grade reconfiguration that begins in the 2015-2016 school year?

My background and degree in management gives me the skills to not only ask the right questions with regard to the grade reconfiguration project, but to also properly understand the answers. The rollout of Standard-Based Grading a couple years ago was not handled properly, and I want to be personally involved with the grade reconfiguration in order to make sure that scenario is not repeated.

To evaluate the success of the reconfiguration, we first need to understand our goals, budgets and timelines for completion, as well as understand the consequences of failure. With that information in hand, we can keep a keen eye on our progress, identify any issues that arise, and make adjustments as needed in order to ensure success.

What experience or knowledge makes you qualified to be a school board member?

First, I have four of my own kids who go to school in Brooklyn Park, Osseo and Maple Grove. I simply do not think that a person can have the proper motivation to be on the school board unless they have a hand in the game.

Second, I have been attending not just school board meetings, but work sessions and committee meetings as well for several years now. This is where the real business of the district takes place. I not only know what is going on today, I also have a perspective on the history of how we got here. Through this effort, I have already built strong personal relationships with members of the current board, the superintendent, and other key members of the administration.

Third, I have a formal background in management. The school district is responsible for over a quarter-billion dollars a year in taxpayer money. I know that this is not the school’s money; it is the people’s money, and the people want it used as effectively and efficiently as possible.

Radious Y. Guess

fw23nwosseoboard-GuessAddress: 13130 55 Place N., Plymouth

Family: Sean, four children

Education: Master’s degree in Adult Education

Occupation: Educator

Years you have lived in the city or district: 2

Community/civic organizations involvement: Minnesota Department of Education Family Engagement Workgroup, ThinkAgainMN, African Immigrant Services (AIS)

Have you run for any other office in the past?: In 2008, I ran and lost in my bid for the Tulsa School Board in Tulsa, Okla.

Contact: radious@mac.com

 

In your role as a school board member, how would you ensure that all parents and community members’ concerns and questions about district matters are addressed?

I am a skilled community organizer and enjoy designing experiences that allow people from all parts of the community to work on an issue of shared concern. I have experience creating public discussions that builds understanding and explores a range of solutions.

My engagement experience includes mobilizing staff and volunteers, assigning tasks and opportunities, and developing an understanding of the many challenges facing communities that are struggling with achievement and opportunity gaps. My master’s degree in adult education and bachelor’s degree in mass communications have been instrumental in sustaining family, school and community partnerships.

I have experience managing comprehensive strategies and engagement experiences that bring together all of the stakeholders when implementing strategic planning initiatives in schools and communities. I have directed staff to interact with and involve stakeholders in all stages of large, multi-state program planning, design and implementation without exceeding budget.

 

How would you evaluate the success of the district’s grade reconfiguration that begins in the 2015-2016 school year? 

I give it a C-. The district’s grade reconfiguration was a done deal before it reached the community. I didn’t like that. I was disappointed with the district’s decision to disband the campus model as a strategy towards reconfiguration. I believe eliminating the campus model served to resegregate schools in the district. The majority of the listening meetings offered by the district were held on the west side of the district and not accessible to largely lower-income families of color on the east side. Secondly, there was no mention in these meetings of the district’s plans to eliminate the campus model.

What experience or knowledge makes you qualified to be a school board member?

I have practical knowledge working in an educational setting (Colorado Department of Education in Denver for five years, Lincoln Public Schools in Nebraska for seven years, and nine years of experience working on behalf of our nation’s largest and oldest child advocacy organization, National PTA.

I have a track record for charting newer and higher-impact courses. I am experienced in connecting the school with community resources and empowering parents to enhance the work of the school district. I have been awarded a master’s degree in adult education and human resource development, which has enhanced my ability to build and maintain school-community partnerships with diverse audiences. My volunteer knowledge includes leadership with the U.S. Olympic Committee, Board of Directors, Budget and Finance Committee and Chair of the Athletes Advisory Committee. I believe my educational background and volunteer-work related experiences qualify me for a seat of the Osseo Area School District, and I welcome the opportunity to service.

Collette Guyott-Hempel

 

fw23nwosseoboard-Guyott-HempelAddress: 9277 Trinity Gardens, Brooklyn Park

Family: Husband Bill, one child

Education: B.A., Psychology

Occupation: Paraprofessional special education in Minneapolis

Years you have lived in the city or district: 23

Community/civic organizations involvement: Boy Scout Troop 579 volunteer; St. Alphonsus Catholic Church parishioner; previous District 279 DPAC/Edinbrook PTA member

Have you run for any other office in the past? I have run for school board director.

Contact: cmguyott@aol.com

In your role as a school board member, how would you ensure that all parents and community members’ concerns and questions about district matters are addressed?

I believe that we need to have more community involvement in board meetings and work sessions. Too many decisions are being made in work sessions or on the consent agenda without discussion that are not televised and meeting times are not convenient for residents. Board meetings used to rotate to various buildings. I realize that this would not be easy but listening sessions should be at buildings.

The technology levy was promoted as ensuring that all classrooms would have the same equipment and servers would be updated. Board members said that individual iPads for students was not in the plan. Now, students are getting iPads and Mini-iPads. I don’t believe that senior citizens and others should be forced to buy equipment when we have buildings with varying amounts in classrooms.

How would you evaluate the success of the district’s grade reconfiguration that begins in the 2015-2016 school year?

The grade reconfiguration is important for parents that are involved in the Northwest Suburban School District and for our magnet programs or open enroll in or out of the district. My concern is that Brooklyn Park students will once again face limited open enrollment to middle schools and high schools on the west side of Highway 169, segregating students in poverty and further dividing our district. In 2005, no students from Edinbrook Elementary were allowed to open enroll in Osseo Junior High or Maple Grove Junior High.

What experience or knowledge makes you qualified to be a school board member?

I have been actively involved in public comments at board meetings, legislative town halls, Brooklyn Park City Council, listening cafes, community events regarding race, poverty, or education and written letters to the editor voicing the need for smaller class sizes, more educational opportunities through electives and advanced courses, facility and technology inequities that are segregating the district and continue due to choices made by the board in the last 12 years.

The ending of the campus system now results in the Fair Oaks Elementary students being in a school of 94 percent poverty their entire elementary years. Brooklyn Park and Brooklyn Center have filed a formal complaint against the Met Council regarding poverty concentrations/affordable housing ,in part saying that it has impacted our schools negatively and they are under-performing.

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