Three running for South St. Paul School District board

With four seats open in South St. Paul's school board elections, only three candidates have filed.

Incumbents Wendy Woods Felton (who did not return the Review's questionnaire) and Amy Williams, along with challenger Kristie Hood, are all in the running for what seems to be an election where everyone running wins and the board will still have to appoint a member.

Unlike past years, there is no "ward" system in play in the school board election. Thanks to a legislative decision, board members will now be elected "at-large" across the district by voters Nov. 4.

Kristie Hood

Kristie Hood

Amy Williams

Amy Williams

Kristie Hood is looking to get into her first term on the school board, she has been the office manager of the orthodontic practice of Dr. Tammy Meister for 20 years.

Hood, 44, is married to Dennis; they have three children. All three have gone through the South St. Paul school system, including one currently a sophomore at South St. Paul High School.

Hood says her experience in small-business management has honed many skills that would be valuable on the board. She has served on many boards and committees relating to the city's school district, including athletics. During this time, she says these boards have had a special emphasis on fundraising for the schools.

"Exciting changes are happening in our district," she says. "Because of community generosity and passing of the recent referendum, we have projects currently going on or near completion at all three schools."

She says keeping school infrastructure updated is for the better of students, and those projects still need close monitoring as they come to completion.

"By repairing and maximizing the existing infrastructure, we are preparing for future district needs," she says. "We will need to monitor the projects to keep them progressing on-time and under budget."

Amy Williams is a 44-year-old stay-at-home mom who has served one term on the school board. She has been married to Dan for 16 years, and they have three children who all attended South St. Paul schools. Before her decision to become a stay-at-home mom, she was a finance banker. She graduated from the University of Memphis, where she earned a degree in English and political science.

She said that she wants to return to the school board to continue working on ongoing projects that will boost achievement at several levels.

"I would like the opportunity to continue my work on the South St. Paul School Board," she says. "We are in the midst of constructing a new stem program and transitioning our 6th grade over to our secondary campus. Pre-K programming is in its infancy, as well."

She said that the biggest thing that she wants to accomplish is getting more kids to achieve in school, and to make sure those that are falling behind get the resources they need.

"We truly have the opportunity to move the needle on the achievement gap early childhood through graduation, like never before," she says. "I believe in my ability to be a good steward of the taxpayers' dollars, and if I am re-elected, I believe I can represent our district's interests well."

 


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