In just a few short weeks, Edina voters will be able to weigh in on four open seats on the school board.
The election will be held Nov. 5. All school board seats are at-large, meaning the entire school district will be able to vote for each seat.
Nine people—seven newcomers and two current board members—are vying for the seats.
Early each week, Patch is running a profile of one of the candidates.
Today, meet Randy Meyer, a current board member and father of two Edina students.
Occupation: Chief Operating Officer, Gel-Del Technologies, Inc.
Which neighborhood do you live in? Morningside
Facebook page or other contact information: www.randymeyer4.us, email@example.com
What unique perspective, experience or expertise would you bring to the school board?
Edina Public Schools
consistently rank among the top public school districts in the state and
nation. The rankings—and the many awards that our students, teachers and
administrators receive—are the result not only of individual efforts but also a
system that continues to learn and collaborate across all levels to creatively
address the challenges that all public schools face.
This kind of learning and collaboration takes strong and experienced leadership. As a school board member, I have served on the Board Policy and Finance and Facilities Committees, as the school board representative to the Edina Park Board, and as Board Treasurer.
I currently serve on the Board Human Resources Committee and, for the past almost six years, have served as Board Chair.
Experience has taught me that experience matters. As a parent of two children attending Edina Public Schools and as an Edina homeowner, my commitment to our district is long-term. As a board member, I will continue to work hard for you, leading on responsible financial management, sound policy, and working with the community to keep our district moving ahead.
What are the top challenges facing the Edina School Board?
As a district, our top
priority is our students. Our drive to provide each student with the highest
quality education commits us to face our challenges with openness,
collaboration, and innovation.
Earlier this year, the board adopted a new mission and strategic plan for the district. This plan, "All for All," seeks to close the achievement gap and other gaps that impact learning. Implementing this plan effectively is one of our greatest challenges.
A recent opinion piece in the Star Tribune (Let’s give adolescents a chance to really grow up) suggests that young people are suppressed by the current education system and that the solution is to “Change schools to let young people advance as fast as their efforts or abilities will take them, in every field.” The article continued, “If learning were personalized, those who needed more time would get more time and would learn more. Those who could go faster would go faster and would learn more. That’s competency based progression.”
These statements align closely with our "All for All" mission.
Making our mission a reality for all students requires specific board actions that fall into three areas: policy, finance, and leadership.
As the policy making body for the district, our challenge will be to ensure that we have the policies needed to guide implementation of the strategic plan effectively. To do this, we need to determine where new policies are needed, where existing policies should be updated and improved, and we need to direct the superintendent to revise staff handbooks and procedures to be in agreement with board policies. Last, we need work with the superintendent to make sure board policies are adhered to at all levels.
As the district’s financial stewards, our challenge is to make sure all financial decisions align with the "All for All" mission. It isn’t enough to make sure programs are adequately funded; we need to make sure they are appropriately funded. This means considering not only how much funding is needed, but also how best to allocate that funding to achieve our goals.
As a board, we hire and supervise one employee: the superintendent. Our challenge is to hire the best and then do our best to guide and support his leadership. As it relates to the strategic plan, we need to work with the superintendent to develop annual and long-term goals that facilitate and benchmark successful implementation.
What role does a school board member play in helping raise academic achievement for all students and close the achievement gap?
As a district, part of our
mission is to provide all students with the skills, knowledge, creativity,
self-worth, and ethical values necessary to thrive in a rapidly changing,
culturally diverse, global society.
With that mission as our foundation, the increasing diversity of our student body is an asset. With this asset also comes challenges that the district has been working hard to address.
Edina students who report minority status or who participate in free or reduced price lunch programs are less likely to be proficient in math or reading as measured by the Minnesota Comprehensive Assessment.
Our new strategic plan seeks to close this achievement gap, as well as other gaps that impact student learning.
The role of the school board is to guide the policies and finances of the district and to set the strategic direction. As discussed above, successful implementation of our strategic plan will require the board take action in the areas of policy, finance, and leadership.