Last night I had the great opportunity to visit Stoner Prairie Elementary school. It was a good visit. Principal Chris Olson gave me a tour of the building and then I was able to stay and listen in to the PTO meeting. Again, I can only say, Wow! Chris was very gracious in the tour and it was quite apparent that he is a strong advocate for the Stoner Prairie educational community. While he and I did not get to talk in depth about school issues, he did present a brief overview of the history of the school, some of the current issues it faces, and some things to think about for the future. I sincerely appreciate Chris’s time.
I then attended the PTO meeting. It was very impressive to see so many parents in attendance. The PTO group has helped raise funding for a number of projects with some playground equipment being a large purchase just this past year. They put a lot of work into their fundraising efforts. They also help support activities that help promote cultural awareness, healthy choices, and general student fun. It was a great group to spend time with and listen to. They have a number of events coming up including a movie night this week and a Fun Run in April.
As a school board member, I think it is important to go out to the school sites and build relationships. As a board member you represent students and their families from across the district. I believe it is vital to make efforts to attend these meetings to listen to the work that is being done. It often highlights where school funding may be falling short or identifies issues the board has not seen as important. I really value the concept of school communities identifying their needs. Who better to say what a school needs than the people who work with that school on a regular basis? Therefore it is all that more important to get out to those school communities and ask for feedback. As a board member I am committed to going out to the schools regularly and asking for that feedback.
On Thursday I will be at the Verona Lions Club meeting. It is at the Klassik Tavern in Verona. The meeting begins at 6:30 p.m. The Lions of Verona are celebrating 25 years of service this year. They are always looking for more members, so come on out and commit to some community service while enjoying the company of others. I will have some campaign literature and yard signs along for anyone who is interested.
Finally, on a very positive note, I am starting to receive campaign donations. It is a very humbling thing. I have an extremely hard time asking for help, especially when it comes to money. Seeking a spot on the school board shouldn’t be about spending a ton of money. As a challenger, I have a disadvantage so I do have to spend money in an effort to get my name out. I haven’t spent a ridiculous amount of money, but I have spent enough to make a dent in our family’s finances. The money I am receiving from those who support me will be used to cover costs I have already extended out of my own pocket as well as future expenses as we get closer to the election. So, to those who have donated or who will donate, Thank you. Maybe campaign finance laws will change to make it affordable to anyone who wants to run in the future. Enjoy the beautiful Spring weather.