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WHY VOTE SHEILA?
I have had the great honor of serving on the Wayzata School Board since last year's special election. Since taking office last November, I have been focused on being a good steward of this wonderful school district for our students and our community.
Here are some highlights from my time on the board:
Equity: This year I voted to approve our district's Achievement and Integration plan, which advances our goals for attaining meaningful equity in our schools. The steps taken to improve equity truly benefit all students, and I bring this understanding to my work on the board. I am excited to be serving on the board's DEI committee, where I have learned how equity touches every aspect of education. I am committed to maintaining Wayzata's high standards and helping each and every student reach their full potential. I believe that our amazing students, from all backgrounds and family-structures, deserve to see themselves in their education, to be genuinely welcomed, and to feel safe and secure.
Literacy: Thanks to my advocacy, Wayzata is positioned to quickly meet and exceed the READ act requirements recently passed by the state legislature. I have been, and continue to be, an advocate for evidence-based reading instruction in Wayzata classrooms. Wayzata, like many districts across the nation, has been transitioning away from the ineffective balanced literacy practices that have been the norm for decades. By expanding rigorous, structured literacy, Wayzata will be able to reduce the number of students needing extra support, reduce the number of families seeking private tutoring, and help close our district's achievement gap.
Fiscal Responsibility: This year, the board had to make some tough cost containment decisions due to the loss of enrollment revenue during COVID. Thankfully, Wayzata enrollment is back up to pre-pandemic levels, our district is once again growing, and we received historic funding from the state legislature. Even so, we had to make some painful cuts to our budget, as our general fund had been so drastically depleted due to COVID. Together, and thanks to the thoughtful and hard work of Wayzata administration, my board colleagues and I have put Wayzata back on track for long-term financial stability. This will mean less change and disruption for our students going forward.
Small Class Sizes: I continue to focus on keeping class sizes as small as possible. I have worked diligently with my board colleagues and the administration to use our buildings efficiently. This year, we established the elementary school attendance areas for new families moving to Corcoran and Medina, and we approved a change for the '24-'25 school year that will update which elementary schools feed into each middle school. These changes will relieve enrollment pressure on our fullest schools without disrupting existing students. They will also keep cohorts of 5th graders together as they move into middle school. As our district continues to grow, I am supporting the building of new middle and elementary schools in the Northwest of the district.
Excellence: I am a tireless advocate for initiatives to enhance the student experience and uphold Wayzata as a world-class school district. As part of my work on the facilities committee, I have advocated for adding kitchens to the elementary schools that lack them, so all our students can have fresh, nutritious meals daily. I am also championing the installation of solar panels on our buildings, something that will pay for itself, reduce our carbon footprint, and show our students we are willing to take meaningful action to improve their climate future. I am dedicated to fostering a culture of ongoing improvement, ensuring that our school district not only meets but consistently exceeds its potential, providing every student with the best possible foundation for success.
I humbly ask for your continued trust and support in achieving our shared aspirations of unity, excellence, and growth. As a board member, community volunteer, and parent of three Wayzata students, I have a deep understanding of our district's challenges and accomplishments. I am proud of the district we are, and I am eager to help make us even better!
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