WATCH: St. Michael-Albertville School District Candidate Forum

Watch video from the Oct. 16 voters' forum featuring St. Michael-Albertville School Board candidates Jim Shovelain and Jeanne Holland.

Two of the four candidates for St. Michael-Albertville School Board took part in the St. Michael-Albertville Women of Today/St. Michael Patch Candidate Forum last week. 

Jeanne Holland, the lone incumbent to participate in the forum, and challenger Jim Shovelain gave introductions and answered questions. Their portion of the forum lasted about 25 minutes, emceed by Mike Schoemer, Patch Associate Regional Editor. 

About the candidates: 

Jim Shovelain

My wife, Marie, and I have had the joy of raising five children in the STMA school district.  Our youngest, Dominic, is currently a junior in the high school.  I am a volunteer for a variety of organizations in the community and recently have had the pleasure to serve in the following community leadership roles:

2010 – Present, Member of the Great River Regional Library Board of Trustees

2008 – 2012, Head or Assistant Coach, STMA Youth Baseball

1999 – 2005, St. Michael Catholic Church Parish Council (Chair 2001-2003)

1998 – 1999, Member of the STMA School Curriculum Committee

1984 – 1992, St. Michael Catholic Church Finance Committee (Chair for 2 years)

What are the top issues for District 885

1)  To make certain all students of St. Michael-Albertville Schools stay on target to meet the state academic achievement standards. I believe this is done by working with the strengths and weaknesses of each student as they prepare for life after high school.

2)  To ensure we are financially responsible to the community by managing our fiscal budget appropriately to diminish future tax increases.

3)  To make sure that parents are empowered to play the significant role of guiding their children through the education process.

Serving on the STMA school board is an opportunity for me to give back to the district which has given many gifts to my five children.  My experience with their progression through the education system gives me a unique background to contribute in this role.  I believe we need to continue to make sure that our students receive an education that will serve them in the challenges of their choice of employment and lifestyle.

The fact that our District ranks in the top academic standards in the State of MN, is a credit to our administration and staff.  We need to continue to support our administration and staff and provide the necessary assistance to enable STMA to improve on this ranking.   My experience as a professional accountant with attention to detail at Xcel Energy for over 36 years provides me with an invaluable understanding of appropriately managing operating budgets.

The many years of volunteering as a member of the Jaycees (president of Monticello Jaycees (1977 to 1978), the Knights of Columbus (Grand Knight 1982-1983), and as a Pro-Life Advocate, speak of my commitment to youth, family, faith, and community.  I believe I would serve well the STMA School Board. Jim Shovelain for STMA School Board. Phone: 763-497-3909 or email Shovelain@juno.com

Jeanne Holland

My Name is Jeanne Holland and I am running for STMA school Board.

My history with STMA is I attended STMA and graduated in 1982 along with my Husband Wes a Wright County deputy. We raised 5 kids (Eric, Connie, Drew, Brent & Bryan) who also are alumni of STMA. I now have a grandson who is in the Fieldstone elementary school. I have served on the STMA board for 12 years and appreciate the opportunity to serve the residents of St. Michael and Albertville and feel honored to be giving back to a district that has served my family so well.

I attended the Wright Technical center in Buffalo and because of the nursing program I attended there as a Jr. & Sr. in High School, it launched my career as a nurse. I have served on that Board as the STMA board representative for 8 years and enjoy working with the 7 other board members from the schools they represent to continue the great tradition of this Co-op district. I enjoy seeing kids moving forward in their career pursuits and it also keeps me plugged into what our neighboring districts are doing as well. Along with that I continue to volunteer with the Boy scouts of America, the St. Michael Catholic church, and mission work at a health clinic in Jamaica.

The issues facing STMA, as well as our surrounding school districts, is school funding equity. In the past 2 yrs we have been continually meeting with our legislators and our organizations MSBA (MN school board assoc.) and SEE (schools for equity in education) to fight in making our funding equal to that of the metro schools. It’s not fair to jeopardize our children’s education due to where they were born. That being said we have a wonderful community that has taken on the extra burden and approved tax money for both schools and levies and I believe I have an obligation to be a good steward of that money. I will continue to try and keep class sizes small as well as grow the programs to offer kids. I made visits to all of our schools last year and am so impressed with how energizing and rigorous our school curriculum is and we are so lucky to have outstanding teachers/support staff and exceptional administrators who provide a great learning atmosphere for our kids. I also noted how happy our kids and staff are. So was not surprised when we were among the few Star Tribune “Top work places” this year. In an age where money is tight and education is often viewed with a negative microscope this is a huge award! Our staff continues to put kids first and I hope to continue working with such a great team of educators to propel our district into one of the best in Minnesota!

I want to thank you for letting me serve the community in this position and hope you grant me more time to serve our kids.



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