I was the opening speaker at the School Board's open forum session on October 19, 2021. Here are the comments I wrote and spoke:
Open forum talk for Oct 19, 2021
Pete Kelzenberg- Afton
Good evening Chair Petri, members of the board and Superintendent Landsfeld.
I would like to thank you for your efforts in making our district as good as it can be in spite of obstacles that have tested us recently..
I hope to be joining you in a couple weeks. I am imagining what it might be like…. The community will be looking for leadership as we debate topics important to our district. Parents of students will be watching. Others will be looking for me to make mistakes, then celebrating those mistakes.
What has me more concerned, though, is the thought of the levy not being approved. I imagine the emails and calls I would receive from residents and wonder how I would respond: …….
I know you have to make big cuts, but please don’t cut my child’s adaptive sports program.
I know you have to make cuts, but please please don’t cut the paraprofessionals who help my child participate in class..
I know you have to cut, but please figure out a way to keep class sizes reasonable so my child can get a fair amount of attention from the teachers.
Please keep the specialist who helps my child deal with personal struggles so he doesn’t fall behind.
Please don't cut the art and technology programs that are inspiring my kids to dream about their future.
Please don’t cut the athletic program that has my child interested in fitness and well being.
Thanks for taking the time to read my email, but can you assure me that my information is secure?
Will you still have enough funds to reinstate my bus service that had to be cancelled?
My child really loves his teacher, can you figure out a way to keep her from being laid off.
Don’t cut GATE. Don’t cut dual immersion.
My mother loves to watch her grandchildren’s concerts. Please don’t let that end.
She also enjoyed Community Education classes before Covid shut that down. Please make sure those come back.
Please do not raise the fees for the athletic association to use district facilities.
You get the point. I hope that we can avoid these unnecessary conversations. and instead focus on making Stillwater Area Public Schools the best district in Minnesota. This community deserves good education and funding will allow us to continue high quality programming, staffing and services.
We need to vote “YES” for both levy questions.