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Election 2017


Yes, I am running agin!

I am looking forward to again representing the 4th District in 2017.

Many people ask me, "How can you stand being on the School Board?", "How can you stand to deal with such corrupt people?", or "Why do you  want to be on a school board after the witch hunt of the last year?" or  "How can you stand to work with such nasty people?"

The answer is simply: 

  • This is not about me. 
  • This is about standing up to trumped-up, public shaming by nasty people that are trying to force you to resign for the simple reason you don't do what they tell you to do. 
  • This is about standing up for freedom of speech. 
  • This is about standing up for democracy.
  • This is about standing up for parents, students, and staff--if they can try to remove an elected school board member, imagine the fear that students, parents, and staff feel. 
  • This is about making our schools successful and a part of our community.
  • We have a new school board and so far, looks to be more independent and willing to break from the past.

In this situation it is fitting to quote from Archibishop Desmond Tutu, Nobel Peace prize winner in 1984:“Having looked the beast in the eye, Let us shut the door on the past, not to forget it, but to allow it not to imprison us.”  Yes, we can make our schools and school board a proud and functioning part of the community.


I will be continuing with the successes that I have imparted to the schools:

  • I have brought the issue of the disparity between Denfeld and East High Schools and am paving the way to getting equity between east and west Duluth.
  • I have brought awareness to the achievement gap and insisted on action.  We have a long way to go, but I was the only board member who acknowledged our problem. Now we have a new board and we are in a position to really find solutions.
  • I have been instrumental in stoppping the drain of money from the classrooms to pay for buildings.  The Administration was pulling, up to $8 million a year from the General Fund to pay for buildings.  I was the only board member who questioned why, but that resulted in cutting that amount in half.  With the new board, I think we can finally stop all the drain of money from the classrooms to pay for building debts.
  • I have brought awareness to the crippling loss of enrollment and have insisted that we hold the administration accountable.
  • We have brought civility to the board room and minority members can now add agenda items.

Compaign Statement:

I am a strong voice, knowledgeable in all my decisions, and have proven  to be an effective voice  for our schools and our community.


A bit about myself. I'm a professional engineer that has spent my life finding, solving, and fixing problems. I worked for many year for the US Forest Service, now I'm an engineering consultant.

 I have two grown children and two step children with my partner Jane.  We are now foster parents.

 While working for the government I was also a Union organizer and was the Chief Steward in Wisconsin for many years and our legislative chair person for six years.

  It has been said that I voice my opinions. It has been said that I have passion for our schools.  Both of those are correct.  If you don't have passion about our education and you are afraid to occasionally take a contrarian point of view and stand up for what is right, you shouldn't be running for schools board. The function of a school board members is to be a checks and balance to the Superintendent, to be a conduit from the community to the school, and to help parents, students and staff navigate the complexities of a bureaucracy.

 We listen to the community. 

 Every thing in our schools is not Rosie.  We have serious issues.  So  the bad news, then I'll follow up with the good news.

 We have a declining student enrollment problem.  We have the lowest number of students in our Duluth Schools in over 100 years.  This is particularly serious in west Duluth. The number of Denfeld graduates is now the lowest since 1926 when Denfeld was built.   We are now about 900 students--this is as low as any time in Denfeld's history.  

 We are losing students to neighboring schools of Wrenshall, Proctor, Hermantown and Cloquet and the charter schools.  Why are we losing students?  We have only 6 period days when all the schools around us have 7 period days which allows better flexibility in scheduling. We have large class sizes.  We have distrust from the community

 We have budget problems.  We've been running budget deficits for eight years, we've spent all our reserve funds. That is causing us to cut staff, counselors, and teachers. 

 Why? We are the only school in Minnesota that is taking money from our General Fund (the classrooms) to pay for past debts. In the last eight year we have taken $37 million from the classroom.  We are only now learning how crippling this is to our schools.  There is no wonder that we are having financial problems.

 One more issue:  We have one of the worst achievement gaps in the state of Minnesota and Minnesota has one of the worst in the country.  I'm not the only one saying this, ask any person of color in this community.  This has also been extensively reported on Minnesota Public Radio. We can no longer deny that, we have to fix it.

 Okay, enough of the bad news.  How about the good news?.

 We have great buildings, we have great teachers, we have great staff.  I'm running for school board and I'm a strong, knowledgeable and effective board member.  In the last two years, our Board has turned around. Under my urging, we've changed policy to allow any Board member to add agenda items (Yes, only the Chair and the Superintendent could do that in the past). We are now broadcasting all our meeting on YouTube.  We are even addressing the budget and academic issues. We are now responsive to all board members and starting to regain trust of the community

 As an example, I have been working with the Denfeld staff and parents to address the Denfeld issues.  And on June 5, next Monday, we are having a special board meeting at 4:30 at HOCHS.  Please join us to learn and be part of the solution and to support Denfeld.




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