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Q&A with District 834 School Board challenger Donald Hovland

Donald G. Hovland

• Age: 83

• City of residence: Oak Park Heights

• Years lived in district: 48 years

• Education: Education specialist degree, University of St. Thomas; master's, history/economics, North Dakota State University; bachelor's, history and psychology, NDSU; fellowship in economics, Claremont Graduate School; graduate studies in various fields, University of Montana, Montana State University, Moorhead State University

• Occupation: Retired school principal, Stillwater Junior High School, 27 years; adjunct professor, UST

• Notable community and civic involvement: Inducted into the University of St. Thomas Alumni Hall of Fame, 2005; consultant on administrative programs, UST; developed and founded Junior High School Student Council Leadership Camp, 1975; Minnesota Association of Secondary School Principals Executive Committee, 1992-96

• Contact: 651-212-0045; donaldhov@comcast.net

Why are you running for the Stillwater Area School Board?

I have lived in this school district for 44 years and have served as both a building principal and one year as an interim secondary superintendent for this school district. I have a strong interest in making this one of the best school systems in the state of Minnesota. I have a sense of what people want from their schools and also know that many feel we can be better.

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

1) Class size. 2) Impact on the entire school district from the closing of three elementary schools and the impact that will have on the remaining schools and the loss of revenue for the whole district if charter schools open in the north half of the district. 3) Lack of trust in what is happening. 4) Potential loss of future referenda caused by decisions made at the district level.

How do you plan to address these issues if elected?

1) I will seek information as to why the decisions were made. 2) I will work to re-establish trust in the school board and the central administration.

What distinguishes you from the other candidates?

More than 47 years of teaching and administrative experience in secondary education and college teaching. Emphasis on administrative processes and leadership in a wide range of educational councils at the national, state, and local levels. Active participation on academic and advisory committees. Strong background in program development and implementation. Expertise as a consultant in restructuring strategies and personnel management. Responsible for improving performance of others by developing good communication, positive relationships, and by being responsive to the diverse needs of individuals and groups. Experience at leading a school through total restructuring. Administrative experience at both the junior high and senior high level. Began teaching graduate and undergraduate level courses in education at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul and Minneapolis in fall 1998.

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