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School board gathers as new team forms

School+board+elect+Liz+Weisberg+had+signs++placed+all+over+the+district+and+won+16.6+percent+of+the+votes.
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School board gathers as new team forms

School board elect Liz Weisberg had signs  placed all over the district and won 16.6 percent of the votes.

School board elect Liz Weisberg had signs placed all over the district and won 16.6 percent of the votes.

Photo by Chas Morgan

School board elect Liz Weisberg had signs placed all over the district and won 16.6 percent of the votes.

Photo by Chas Morgan

Photo by Chas Morgan

School board elect Liz Weisberg had signs placed all over the district and won 16.6 percent of the votes.

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The history of the school board has been a bumpy one and there has been conflict within the board and with families.

“I think we’ve struggled the last three years since the decision to close schools, to work together as a board and move forward together. There’s been some division and it seems like not an ability to work together,” newly reelected school board member Shelley Pearson said.

Pearson has already served one term as a school board member and is choosing to do another term because she is “finishing what I wanted to run for, to make a difference to serve the community to make sure we’re making the best decisions for our kids.”

Pearson won with a commanding lead and received about 18.5 percent of all the votes for the election or about 16,104 votes from the people of Stillwater. 

The campaign for a school board member is not an easy one and takes a lot of time, effort and manpower. Pearson said she is “very pleased. And a little surprised that it was the top [in votes], but I had a lot of people working really hard placing sings and bringing literature around. And it does help when you’re on the board because more people know you and have been watching how I vote and how I interact with the public and other board members. So that makes a difference.” 

Pearson added, “And what I really was pleased about is that I did well throughout the entire district. So it wasn’t just pockets of the community but had a lot of widespread support from the whole district.” 

It’s my desire that we make the best decisions possible for all of our students and consider their needs and where we might not be meeting their needs and how we can do better and how we can incorporate their voice in our work and hear more from them, what’s important to them.”

— Shelley Pearson

Pearson’s message to the students is, “It’s my desire that we make the best decisions possible for all of our students and consider their needs and where we might not be meeting their needs and how we can do better and how we can incorporate their voice in our work and hear more from them, what’s important to them.”

Liz Weisberg is a teacher at a preschool in Marine St. Croix and similar to Pearson she became a school board member because she was upset with the decisions of the board in years past and wanted to see a change in the community and better the schools for her and her children.

Wesiberg was a teacher at Withrow elementary the year the decision to close the school along with Oak Park and Marine elementary schools was made. “We [Weisberg and family] live in Withrow district, and my son went to Withrow and when it was announced that they wanted to close three schools… I couldn’t believe it,” Weisberg said. 

Weisberg believes the community trust with the school board is not nearly where it should be and “would absolutely love to start rebuilding trust in the community… it’s been a very long time since people felt like there were a majority of the school board members they could trust. And so that is the thing that I want to do first… People need to know that their opinion matters because I feel like the community’s been shut out of a lot of big decisions and they’re tired of that happening.”

Pearson and Weisberg agree that the time for change is now and the voters seem to agree with them.  The history of closing schools and having a mismanaged budget seems to be in the past and hopes are high for the new members Tine Reihle, Liz Weisberg, and Mark Burns and school board veteran Shelley Pearson.

School board members are elected to four-year overlapping terms, with elections being held every two years. At the end of a four year term, members may run for re-election to successive terms.

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About the Writer
Chas Morgan, Layout Editor

Hi my name is Chas Morgan, I am a senior this year and I am the Spotlight Layout Editor! I am very interested in graphic design and I love photography....

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