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Tom Heinen is Running for Cambridge-Isanti School Board

Reason for running:

I am at a point in my life when I feel a calling, a need to be involved in guiding the policies surrounding our children’s education. I believe the school board should consisted of people with differing backgrounds and diverse ideas. We tend to elect many board members with an educational background, not suggesting that is harmful, I simply believe the board should be more diverse to foster new ideas and discussions. If elected I will lead with an open mind, a desire to understand, a questioning attitude and a commitment to be fair and transparent.

What are my top priorities:

I will ensure curriculum is focused on academics like reading, writing, mathematics and history. I do not believe every student inspires to, or needs to, go to college. I will ensure the curriculum continues to include industrial art, automotive, and agricultural options. We also need to address the sharp drop in MCA test scores caused by COVID and figure out how we get this group of students back on track to meet their goals and achieve their dreams. I recognize that teachers and support staff need to be supported by the administration/school board and I will commit to listening to concerns and ideas. I will work with all staff to ensure district policies remain supportive. The draft Strategic Plan sets a solid foundation for the future of our educational system; however, we need a well define understanding of the strategy and the details defining how the district will execute this strategy. In my career as a business leader, I have developed and executed many strategic plans and if elected I look forward to the opportunity to finalizing and executing the districts new Strategic Plan.

What are my thoughts on the district’s budget:

I will apply my experience gained through many years of managing a cost center and will identify spending that does not add value in educating our children. I understand this will not be an easy task and it may lead to some difficult decisions. I’m not talking about simply cutting cost, I’m referring to a thorough review of spending, in all areas, with a fresh set of eyes and a different view. I will also engage our local Representative in discussions about State education funding, policy and potential ideas to address the gaps.

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