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Q&A with District 834 School Board challenger Michelle Deziel

Michelle Deziel

• Age: 45

• City of residence: Lake Elmo

• Years lived in district: 17

• Education: BA in English, Rockhurst University, Kansas City, MO. Teaching Licensure, University of St. Thomas Collaborative Urban Educator Program

• Occupation: Licensed school teacher

• Notable community and civic involvement: Stillwater Schools committees: member of World's Best Workforce (WFWB), Curriculum Advisory, and Bridge to Excellence (BtE) Annual Review. Served on a committee with other parents to interview superintendent candidates for 2015-2016 school year.

• Contact:

Why are you running for the Stillwater Area School Board?

I'm running to make School District 834 the best it can be for my children and all children. I believe that the district is on the pathway to success with the leadership of Superintendent Denise Pontrelli and her team. I support the Building Opportunities to Learn and Discover (BOLD) plan. It sustains funding for student programming for all students within the district. It is implementing the Bridge to Excellence, the long-term strategic plan for District 834. It effectively and efficiently uses resources for the benefit of all students within the district. I want to continue to advocate and support these efforts.

What are the biggest issues in District 834 for residents living in Woodbury?

The biggest issues are implementation of BOLD, transitioning sixth grade to middle school, transitioning ninth grade to the high school and completion of Brookview Elementary in Woodbury.

I think it is important for people to understand that if these under-utilized schools in the northern part of the district remain open, they will continue to drain resources that BOLD plans to use for the schools that are in the southern part of district.

How do you plan to address these issues if elected?

The BOLD plan is implementing the Bridge to Excellence (BtE) strategic plan. Transitioning to different school models and completion of Brookview Elementary are all parts of BOLD. If elected, I would continue to support implementation of BtE.

What distinguishes you from the other candidates?

Due to my involvement on committees and regular attendance of school board meetings, I have the awareness of the issues and the history. I have been following this situation more closely than the other non-incumbent candidates.

All of the candidates, existing school board and administration agree with the Bridge to Excellence (BtE) strategic plan. BtE is the part of the planning process that involved community participation.

We are in the fourth year of this five-year strategic planning process. Implementation of BtE requires an administrative plan.

Candidates who do not support BOLD need to present specific solutions, not a vague new community process to implement the strategic plan. They have not done this.