Note: Answers provided have not been edited for grammar, misspellings or typos. In some instances, candidate claims that could not be immediately verified have been omitted.
Website: Candidate did not respond.
Office sought: Antioch District 34 School Board (4-year Terms)
Family: Married to Tom Neumann Three Children - Helena 13, Amelia 11 and Joseph 8
Occupation: Homemaker for the past 13 years. Prior to that worked at 3M in St. Paul for 7 years in new product development in both laboratory and marketing functions.
Education: Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering, University of North Dakota, 1992 Master of Business Administration, University of Minnesota, 1998
Civic involvement: Candidate did not respond.
Elected offices held: District 34 Board of Education (2008-present)
Have you ever been arrested for or convicted of a crime? If yes, please explain: No
Key Issue 1
I would continue the work this board has begun to improve our facilities and eliminate our portable classrooms. I support these much needed upgrades for capacity, safety and comfort. I feel we?ve hit the point where it's not fiscally responsible to keep putting money into maintenance and operation of Antioch Elementary School.
Key Issue 2
I support efforts to add additional technology and rigor to our classrooms through training, support, and technology. I would like to recognize our educators that lead and demonstrate these efforts.
Key Issue 3
I support making our school lunch more fresh and healthy. We see some changes happening at the federal level with the national school lunch program but I believe we can do more on the local level to give our students a more nutritious meal that in turn improves their performance at school.
What do you think about the shift to the common core standards? How big a role do you think the board of education should play in setting the curriculum for students and what ideas do you have for changes to the current curriculum?
When more rigor and consistency are brought to our already strong curriculum, I view this as a strong positive. I give credit to our educators as I appreciate all the work that goes into this type of transition. As it becomes part of our everyday, the students will benefit and we will see continued improvement in our test scores. Regarding the board role in curriculum, I believe the board should be well educated on proposed curriculum and we may add some tone or emphasis but the details should be handled by our educators.
How satisfied are you that your district is preparing students for the next stage in their lives, whether it be from elementary into high school or high school into college or full-time employment? What changes, if any, do you think need to be made?
Antioch Upper Grade School is in the process of revamping the master schedule to further challenge our students. I strongly support the 21st century thinking and am very proud of how we?ve incorporated technology thus far. This year we have equipped fourteen classrooms throughout the district as 21st century classrooms and we have plans to add 30 more next year. There is definitely positive work in progress to better prepare our children for high school.
What budget issues will your district have to confront and what measures do you support to address them? If you believe cuts are necessary, what programs and expenses should be reduced or eliminated? On the income side, do you support any tax increases?
We will likely face budgetary issues due to facilities. We have one 85 year old building, Antioch Elementary School, and numerous portables. We have been hosting community engagement meetings to gather input on proposed facility upgrades. These upgrades are long overdue. Along with this, we deal with continued financial uncertainty from the state.
As contract talks come up with various school employee groups, do you believe the district should ask for concessions from its employees, expect employee costs to stay about the same as they are now or provide increases in pay or benefits?
We just completed contract negotiations with our teacher's union this past fall. I feel the result was a fair balance given the difficult economy in which we find ourselves. This is a three-year contract that would mean negotiations at the end of my next term if reelected. I think it's premature to give specifics on the next contract as much could happen in the next couple of years with the economy and the state.
If your district had a superintendent or other administrator nearing retirement, would you support a substantial increase in his or her pay to help boost pension benefits? Why or why not?
I won't support substantial increases to boost pension benefits. These are the types of practices that have contributed to our state's current troubled financial position.