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Candidate Viewpoint: Wayne Johnson

By Wayne Johnson

Hi, I am Wayne Johnson and I am running for a seat on the School Board. Mary Beth and I have been residents of Cottage Grove for over 15 years and we have a son attending Oltman Middle School and a daughter attending Armstrong Elementary School.

I am currently on the Cottage Grove Planning Commission and was on Community Education Advisory Council for two years. Mary Beth was employed as youth coordinator for Community Education for over 10 years. She administrates the Box Top Program for Armstrong Elementary.

My desire to participate in the community has always been present. I am fortunate now, being owner of a business, to have the time necessary to be a successful member of the school board. As a member of the school board, I will be able to utilize my over 20 years in upper management. The knowledge that I have gained working with budgets, cash flow, labor negotiations, marketing, technology and team building will help me work with other members, administration, parents, students and residents of south Washington County.

I believe long-term planning is critical to the success of the board and the schools. Realizing how a decision today will affect tomorrow and years to come is a key requirement of any manager or board. The two-mile walking policy resulted in a decision to change school times.   The benefits potentially gained have been reduced by the hardship experienced by high school students who are required to walk.

The implementation of technology by the district is admirable. However, I don’t believe the necessary planning regarding effects on infrastructure or benefits versus cost is done.  Knowledge of what is needed along with bigger picture vision for future commitments is needed.

I support International Baccalaureate, Spanish immersion and the Gateway program. However, we should also be spending resources on getting students ready for trade schools.  College is not the only path to success. We need to ignite a passion for learning for all District 833 students.

Working together we can make the right decisions that will move our district forward.