Roseville School Board Candidates Talk About How They Differ From Opponents
Voters will elect three school board members Nov. 8.
Editor’s note: Six candidates are vying for three positions on the Roseville District 623 School Board in the Nov. 8 election.
School Board Chairwoman Lisa Edstrom and Board Clerk Tom Ring face challengers Christopher J. Heinze, Shoreview; Mike Boguszewski, Erin Azer and Kaying Thao, all of Roseville. In August, these candidates shared their views with Roseville Patch.
Today, in the last of three articles, Roseville Patch focuses on the responses of each specific question posed by the local chapter of the League of Women Voters at a recent forum in Roseville. Monday, the candidates addressed class size. Thursday, they focused on the achievement gap. Today, they tell us why they are different from their opponents.
What makes you different from other school board candidates?
Kaying Thao: Well, that’s kind of obvious [she is Hmong] but I’ll say it. Our board needs to be reflective of the community members we serve, and currently it is not. I don’t think I need to say any more than that.
Erin Azer: I’m a parent of very young children. My kids represent the future of this district. I also was a school teacher. I’ve worked with administration, teachers and students. I’ve worked with parents. I’ve worked with the community. I know what goes on in a school. I’m optimistic. I’m positive and enthusiastic. I’m not saying [other candidates] are not, but I’m super enthusiastic.
Tom Ring: I have more experience than anyone else at the table and I benefit from that. I’ve seen the [demographic] change in the district. I’ve watched this district succeed, and I’m proud that I was part of that.
I have history in the district. I have street credit. I have credibility with the administration. Those things don’t happen overnight. Edward R. Murrow once said, “To be credible you have to be truthful and consistent.” I have been those things, and my voice is listened to. I have earned that. Anyone here could also earn credibility, but I’m already here.
Christopher Heinze: All of us bring different things to the table. I’ve got young kids in the district. What the board’s going to do five years from now, or 10 years from now is going to directly affect my children. I’m going to be around for a while. I’m an attorney. I’m a teacher. I’ve served on boards. Between now and Nov. 8, I will listen to you. My campaign is your campaign.
Lisa Edstrom: I have combined experience of over 36 years if I consider all three of my kids, who went to school in this district. I think that experience is worth something. It’s admirable to look at the future, but it’s also helpful to look at what’s worked for your kids. I’ve experienced everything from special education to gifted and talented education for my own children.
I also have the experience of being on the board. Those of you who have new jobs know it takes some time to get a feel for the organization–to build trust and relationships with employees. I have a good relationship with the administration. I have the trust of much of the staff in the district. That’s worth something when you need to get things done. That’s what I bring to the board.
Mike Boguszewski: I may have the most experience working with [complex] issues and problems, in health care and education. It’s also an issue of [my] attitude. Roy Wilkins, a leading civil rights leader in the 1960s, said, “Nothing should be overlooked in fighting for a better education. Be persistent and ornery. That would be good for the lethargic education establishment.” I would be persistent and ornery, not in a disrespectful way, but thoughtfully and carefully, working to be creative in all that we do.