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September 2021 Meeting - Let's Get Schooled About School Boards

Updated: Sep 20

Our September meeting featured a discussion about the role, function, and limits of school boards. There are six school districts within Dakota County holding school board elections this fall so the meeting was a great opportunity to learn more about the issues. Our guests included:


Kelsey Waits - Chair of ISD 200 (Hastings) School Board Kelsey was first elected to the ISD 200 School Board in 2017 and has been serving as School Board Chair since January 2020. Kelsey is committed to public service and is active in many organizations, both locally and statewide. She currently serves on the Dakota County Extension Committee, Friends of the Pleasant Hill Library Board, Blueprint Foundations Board, OutFront Minnesota Action Board, and Hastings Environmental Protectors. Kelsey is also a founding member of THRIVE Hastings. Kelsey is the mother of two amazing children who continue to inspire her every day. Kelsey holds a Master's Degree in Public Policy from the University of Minnesota's Humphrey School of Public Affairs and is currently pursuing her PhD. Kelsey also has a Master’s in Statistics from the University of Connecticut, and a Bachelor’s in Psychology from Wellesley College.

Joanne Mansur - Chair of ISD 197 (West St. Paul-Mendota Heights-Eagan) School Board Joanne Mansur is a member of the ISD 197 School Board. She was first elected in 2011 and is currently serving her 5th year as School Board Chair.

Abigail Alt - Treasurer of ISD 191 (Burnsville-Eagan-Savage) School Board First appointed to the ISD 191 School Board in 2013, Director Alt was first elected in 2014, and re-elected in 2018. In her tenure of service, Director Alt has: served three times as chair; served in other leadership roles including vice chair and treasurer; advocated directly with State and Federal officials on behalf of our students; received MN School Board Association’s (MSBA) Rising Star award; participated in grassroots advocacy through MSBA’s Delegate Assembly; served on Board subcommittees including Policy Review, Negotiations, and Student Performance and Achievement; and worked together with the Chamber of Commerce, County, City, and local partner organizations to increasingly support and reveal the varied, unique paths that lead to success for our youth. Outside of her board service, Alt has also served as a parent volunteer, PTO secretary, Girl Scout Troop leader, as well as on the governing committee for her son’s Boy Scout Troop.

Jackie Magnuson - Chair of ISD 196 (Rosemount-Apple Valley-Eagan) School Board Jackie Magnuson was first elected to the ISD 196 School Board in 1989. She is appointed as board representative to the Association of Metropolitan School Districts (AMSD), Continuing Education/Vocational Relicensure, Equity Advisory Council (EAC), Metropolitan Educational Cooperative Service Unit (ECSU), Q Comp Educational Improvement Planning (EIP) Team, and Schools for Equity in Education (SEE). She has served on the board of directors for the Minnesota School Boards Association (MSBA) and National School Boards Association (NSBA).


The meeting was held virtually via Zoom. Video of the meeting is available below:


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