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Marsha Adou: Stresses improving student achievement

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Woodbury, 55125

Woodbury Minnesota 8420 City Centre Drive 55125

Video at bottom of page, below article

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Marsha Adou

Age: 60

Residence: Woodbury

Family: Married with two children

Occupation: Self-employed and a former design director working with multinational companies

Why she's running: "I want to continue my strong commitment and dedication to public education."

When Marsha Adou, who is seeking her second term on the District 833 School Board, moved to Woodbury in 1986 with her husband and two children, she got involved with Early Childhood and Family Education programs.

She was convinced of their value and that more emphasis was needed to get kids ready to go to school. Parents need to understand how important their involvement is, she said.

The board must also heed research that indicates improving education is tied to high expectations and teacher quality.

As to how she would deal with "perceived inequities in technology" in schools, Adou said the district is working hard to get technology in all schools.

At East Ridge High School, Adou said the district didn't consider building a school equipped with "old technology."

The district has been fiscally prudent, she said, and is financially better off than most other districts.

If state funding stays flat and the district's budget needs to be cut, she would consider recommendations. "We all need to work together," she said.

Adou said the idea behind allowing students to change high schools to take advantage of an academic program is good.

However, she doesn't want mass transfers that would negate the effects of new attendance boundaries.

"It's not fiscally sound to duplicate programs," she said, but students need to have good reasons to transfer.

Adou said she supports world language programs in elementary schools. "I've been working for that ever since we moved here," she said.

With school board decisions pending on how to use $5 million in surplus funds from the 2006 construction referendum, Adou said she wants more information.

"I want to think ahead," she said, "and ask what is the most effective way to use it."

Among the choices is buying land for a future school or retiring the district's debt to ease property taxes.

"We need to be thoughtful of taxpayers," she said.

The district didn't meet national standards, Adou said, in the number of science classes being taught, but met the state standard of two years of science to graduate. More science classes have been added in recent years.

"But we can't rest and say we're fine," she said. "We need to make sure."

School board members need to communicate well and solve problems, Adou said.

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