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Candidate Viewpoint: Susan Richardson

By Susan Richardson

As a mother of two children who has been married for 31 years, I understand the value of a good education and have spent many years volunteering in the classrooms. I possess degrees in both biology and microbiology and am a former AP biology teacher.  Upon moving to the Twin Cities, I became certified as a medical technologist/clinical laboratory scientist and conducted clinical research trials for a pharmaceutical company in the U.S. and Canada.

During the course of my campaign, I have listened to the concerns of many of our community members. Increased walking distances have negatively impacted many of the students and families in our district. When making transportation decisions, it is important to understand the hardships many families must endure and the added worry these decisions cause. Is it right that our students are forced to walk while our teachers and administrators have a $750,000 travel budget?

Nationalized programs, like Common Core, create a bureaucratic nightmare for parents, students and teachers by handing over local control of our schools to bureaucrats far removed from our classrooms. Educators need to respond quickly to the needs of the students they serve. Curriculum choices belong in the hands of local taxpayers.

You deserve a budget that discloses costs of specific education programs. A cost/benefit analysis is the only way to judge the effectiveness of programs offered by our schools. This analysis is not to be found in the budget matrix configured by an outside consultant.

Parents are concerned about the use of iPads in the classroom. The use of cutting-edge technology implies cutting-edge performance. In reality, critical thinking skills and hands on learning will unleash the creative and innovative power of our students and inspire them to ask bigger and better questions. This is the goal of a genuine education.

Rather than stepping into the future, let’s enable our children to leap forward by offering families something of value.

The administration of this district answers to you and I would be honored to serve as your representative on the South Washington County School Board.