Candidate profile: Katie Schwartz
City: St. Paul Park
Family: Husband, Tony; daughters, 18 and 9; sons, 10 and 3
Education: Working toward bachelor’s degree in computer forensics cybersecurity at Rasmussen College
Occupation: College student
Katie Schwartz has a daughter who graduated from Park High School, a son at Grey Cloud Elementary, a daughter at Pullman Elementary and a son headed for preschool.
That exposure to different programs within District 833 is good background for the School Board, Schwartz said.
Also, she served on a school boundary advisory committee and has been a school volunteer for over 10 years.
“I just feel like this is the next step for me,” she said of running for School Board.
Schwartz’s eldest daughter was in a gifted and talented program. Her eldest son has autism and she said her youngest daughter is an average student. She said the district does well to prepare excelling students for college, and it has good programs for students with special needs. She is concerned about “average learners.”
“I just wonder what’s out there for them making sure they’re ready to go on to (post-secondary) school,” she said.
This is Schwartz’s third bid for a School Board seat. She ran unsuccessfully in 2011, and she applied for an appointment to fill an open seat in early 2013.
Schwartz said she supports the referendum this fall but wanted the district to include funding so middle school and high school walking distances could be 1.5 miles or less instead of the current 2-mile limit.
The district’s move toward personalized learning via student-issued iPads this fall has been mixed so far, Schwartz said. While it’s early in the year, Schwartz said she has heard that Park students are not using the devices as they should. But, she added, iPads are a great idea for elementary school students because those children may not have other access to technology, she said.
Schwartz would like the iPad program to start only with elementary school students.