In 2022, voters will elect one member to the Centennial School Board in a special election. The candidates are:
About the Candidate: My name is Craig Johnson. I am an insurance professional and a 16-year resident of Lino Lakes. My wife and I have been married for 14 years. I have had two of my three daughters graduate from Centennial. Their experiences have varied but they enjoyed their time in our schools and both have benefitted from their education.
I have served on three community boards over the past 10 years. Lino Lakes Charter Commission, president of Lino Lakes Beyond the Yellow Ribbon and a volunteer at Best Prep, a high school advocate for career preparation. This experience has allowed me to understand the importance of working together and the dynamics of a board with differing opinions.
If elected, I will focus on the quality of our education. Every single child deserves an equal opportunity to learn. Our school district needs to “partner with families” to accomplish this. We need transparency in providing parents a look into what their kids are learning day-to-day. I will search for the best avenue to provide this public transparency without having our teachers spending significant time “outside the classroom” responding.
- School Safety–researching and planning for any and all incidents in Centennial Schools that can affect the safety of our students, teachers, paraprofessionals and employees.
- Improvements in Reading and Math proficiencies – How are we teaching our children? How much time do we focus on these critical components of education? If we don’t teach our children how to “learn to read” in kindergarten thru 3rd grade, they may never be proficient in “reading to learn” throughout their middle/high school experiences and beyond…
- Focus on money spent directly in classroom to support students, teachers, and paraprofessionals. Where is our money spent? How much of the funding actually reaches the classroom?
- Broader career preparation post-high school, such as opportunities in the Trades. The opportunities in specific trades are immense yet we aren’t focusing on options for children whose best career opportunities are not at a four-year university.
Goals if Elected: If elected, I will focus on the important issues listed above. One key focus should be special education and also finding positive opportunities for children whose education plan is complicated by personal learning difficulties and at-home issues. There are additional issues that need addressing such as keeping political biases out of the classroom. Politics are generally divisive. Two sides with differing viewpoints on how to solve issues. While I strongly appreciate critical thinking, our primary focus needs to be teaching our kids to the highest academic standards. Bringing the social issues into the classroom with kids in elementary and middle school can be detrimental and can bring up additional concerns.
I am running “for the community”. I will reach out to teachers, parents, youth and community members. I will have discussions at the state level on how legislators fund our school and mandates that make our school’s operations more difficult.
Endorsements: None listed
About the Candidate: A lifelong Minnesotan, I grew up in Round Lake in southwestern Minnesota, where I was very active in my community and school. After graduating from SV-RL-B High School I attended Winona State University where I received my Bachelors of Science in Nursing. I have been a nurse for almost 20 years at Abbott Northwestern hospital. The majority of my career I worked as an ICU and ER nurse and currently work in Cardiovascular Diagnostics. I love being a nurse and helping others!
My husband Simon and I have been residents of Lino Lakes and a part of the Centennial School District for 17 years. We have three children- Sydney is 14 and will be attending CHS in the fall. Dominic is 12 and will be attending CMS and Calvin is 8 and attends Centerville Elementary. Our kids keep us very busy with their school and extracurricular activities. When I do have free time, I enjoy baking and cooking, reading, attending and volunteering at Our Savior Lutheran church, walking or biking our communities’ beautiful trails, and organizing and completing DIY projects. Most of all, I enjoy learning new things and connecting with people!
Important Issues: The safety of our kids and staff in our schools is of utmost importance. Safety looks like having up to date safety policies, procedures, and plans. Security measures in place with properly functioning equipment and technology. Safety also means providing positive learning climates, ones in which children feel included, encouraged, and cared for. Schools provide environments of safety by having resources such as school psychologists, counselors, social workers, therapists that can help the mental needs of the students.
Equity is an integral part of quality in education. Equal opportunities and access for all children to quality teachers, schools, teaching materials and facilities enhances the overall learning outcomes for children, their well-being, social development, and reinforces the quality of the education experience. When schools provide their students with resources that fit individual circumstances, the entire classroom environment improves. The importance of equity extends to our society as a whole.
Goals if Elected: I will work to ensure the district has comprehensive plans to address school-related activities where students are safe from violence, bullying, harassment, and the influence of substance abuse. I will advocate for staff training, adequate resources, along with encouraging community education. I will also be a proponent of governance that promotes positive learning climates.
I will be a champion of equity. In equitable communities, the opportunity to succeed increases for everyone. The benefits of focusing on equity in education lead to higher test scores, better health, stronger social atmosphere, longer average life spans, and economic growth.
I will demonstrate integrity and honesty by listening to varying perspectives and ideas. I will work collaboratively with staff, parents, students, and community members. I will be open to participating in productive, transparent discussions that represent and take into account varying perspectives to help make the best decisions that share Centennial’s vision and mission.
Endorsements: None listed