My family and I have lived in the district for over
20 years. During this period, we have been strong
supporters of public education and have been well
served by the school system. Our daughter, Meg,
graduated from Henry Sibley High School in 2003
and completed a degree in dietetics from the
University of Illinois. She and her husband, Dale
Koch, have three precious littlegirls. Our son, Ben,
graduated from Henry Sibley in 2005, received a BS
in environmental horticulture from the University
of Minnesota in 2009, and married Suzy Klotzle this
summer. Claire, our second daughter, is majoring in
music education as a sophomore at University of
Northwestern—St Paul. Our youngest two children,
Joe and Rose, are a freshman at Henry Sibley and a
seventh grader at Heritage E-STEM Magnet School,
respectively. My wife, LaRae, has held a number of
positions within the district including several long-
term substitute positions, tutor, and home-bound
instructor. She is currently teaching all-day
Kindergarten at Somerset Elementary.
A Decision to Run for Re-election...
As the filing deadline for the current election cycle approached, I gave serious consideration to the question of whether or not I could continue to make a difference. Direction was ultimately found in training that our superintendent, principals, and cabinet were receiving – the Balanced Leadership Framework published by McREL. This framework defines 21 leadership responsibilities derived from a meta-analysis of 35 years worth of studies examining the relationship between leadership and student achievement. The finding I noted was that longevity matters. Patient, persistent leadership that is focused on the right goals produces higher student achievement. Admittedly, an individual board member’s role is much less significant compared to that of a building principal. But butterflies and dominoes have both been shown to have a destabilizing effect. Changes in boards often lead to changes in superintendents that result in a new direction to the detriment of student achievement.
It was upon this insight that I determined I needed to provide district voters an opportunity to choose the stability an incumbent brings to the office.