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Maple Grove Voice

Election 2016: Osseo School District 279 School Board Candidate Jesse Winkler

Oct 27, 2016 10:27PM ● By Wendy Erlien

Jesse Winkler

Jesse Winkler is among 10 candidates on the 2016 election ballot for three seats on the Osseo School District 279 School Board. 

Osseo School District 279 candidates were asked several questions via email by Maple Grove Voice. Below are the responses from Jesse Winkler.

Q:  What is your professional/personal background as it relates to the Osseo School District/School Board?

A:  My partner Thomas and I are residents of Brooklyn Park and are adoptive parents to five foster kids ranging in ages 5 to 17. I am a graduate of North Central University with a degree in Youth Ministry.  I currently work for Minneapolis Public Schools as the Administrator to the Board of Education where I create an environment between the Minneapolis Schools Superintendent and the Board of Education which allows open communication, analysis of potential problems, and the correlating solutions.  I am involved in the school district at multiple levels; at the local level by being involved in my children’s after school activities and athletic events as well as PTO meetings. At the city level I am actively discussing support for school programs with city council members and mayors.  And at the state level I am advocating for additional resources which will help make our students successful.

Q:  Why are you running for office?

A:  I am running for school board to ensure every student has a brilliant tomorrow.  All too often, the discussion surrounding public education and solutions to solve situations becomes about adults.  Having five foster kids, I have seen firsthand how bureaucratic systems respond when kids are in need.  The system has become too inconvenient for families to navigate and the pressures on students to perform, conform and be tested are mounting.  I am running to provide a different narrative; that when surrounded by dedicated and effective teachers, access to resources, the ability to engage in and master social awareness, and maintain powerful relationships, students will excel beyond what we think they’re capable of. 

Q:  How do you feel you can make an impact by serving on the Osseo School District School Board?

A:  As a school board member, I would play a vital role in increasing student achievement through smart governance and strategic policymaking.  I will accomplish this by articulating a clear vision for the Osseo School District, and will partner with district staff to raise expectations and set achievable goals and benchmarks to get us there.  I will partner with others on the board to be good stewards of our financial resources and to ensure that resources are being allocated in a way that aligns with our strategic plan.

Q:  What do you feel is the biggest challenge facing the school district?

A:  I feel our biggest challenge as a district is twofold - the persistent achievement gap as well as ensuring we are providing educational equity.  As a board member, I want to see our schools demonstrate strong academic gains and support all students to graduate college and career ready.  We must prevent the gap students face at schools but also work to diminish the gap in our communities related to wages, jobs, and housing.  Our public schools must serve all students and demonstrate social change not perpetuate the status quo.  I will advocate for an emphasis on early childhood education, rigorous curriculum, meaningful standards of achievement, and ensure the needs of our teachers are being met.  We must be intentional about engaging our students in the achievement gap and education equity, defining solutions, and driving change.

Q:  What would you like voters/community members to know about you?

A:  I want voters and the community to know that I will be a school board member who listens to learn, and then partners with the staff, students, and the community to come up with solutions that are best for our students.  I will provide the same follow up to concerns that I would expect as a parent.  I will build solid relationships that I can lean on to support students and families.

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