Minneapolis school board at-large (vote for 2)


Vying for this position are Collin Beachy, Sonya Emerick, KerryJo Felder and Lisa Skjefte.


Beachy is currently in his 21st year of teaching. This is his eighth as a special education teacher with Minneapolis Public Schools.  “I come from a family of teachers, and I am a strong advocate of public education,” he said. “I am running for the school board in part to help restore the trust that we have lost with the public. I believe that a school district cannot be run with a corporate mentality, one that treats its employees, students, and families as inventory on a spreadsheet rather than investments into our future. I am part of the Safe and Stable Schools slate and am DFL and union endorsed. My priorities will be ensuring that our teachers and parents have the tools they need to provide the best education possible for our students. “

How will you reduce the achievement gap between Black and White students in the district?

There are curricular frameworks that respect diverse populations while at the same time stressing academic rigor. If we are to be serious about our commitment to closing the gaps, we need ensure our staff are fully versed in how to implement these frameworks into their teaching methods through targeted and intensive professional development training sessions.

How will you change the culture of a top-down management approach and seek to include the voices of teachers, paraprofessionals and other staff in decisions?

I am fully union endorsed intend to ensure that the people who are truly the ones keeping MPS running will be priorities. This district has lost the trust of the community. Under the current system, the flow of information comes from the administration to the board. That information now needs to be fully vetted by those stakeholders who will be most affected by administrative decisions.

How will you bridge the gap following the strike between teachers/paraprofessionals/parents/students and administrators?

There are two clear paths for us to follow post-strike.  After Chicago’s teacher strike, the fighting resumed. After the Los Angeles teacher strike, the administration, school board and unions created a process separate from negotiations to avert another strike. I would like to encourage us to pursue a process like the latter rather than the former.

How will you follow up on the Comprehensive District Design and evaluate the changes?

I would ask the following questions: 1-What are the long-term visions and goals of the CDD. 2-What are the benchmarks for the long-term vision? 3-Have we hit our targets and what are the next steps moving forward? 4-Has the public been fully and dutifully informed? 5-If we did not hit our benchmarks, what are the plans to address where we fell short? 

What are your ideas for educating students holistically?The public mental health crisis that was building before the pandemic is definitely affecting many of our students. I believe a quality education should include one that addresses our students’ academic as well as non-academic needs. Ensuring our students have access to wraparound services such as tutoring, enrichment activities in the arts, and workforce development should be a part of our educational services.


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