Name: Janie Farrar
Family: Husband, Dave; four children, Nathan, 10, Andrew, 8, Luke, 5, and Elizabeth, 2
Address: 2663 Ridgeview Court, Red Wing
Occupation: Full-time mom and community volunteer
Education: Bachelor of Arts in political science, minor in public relations from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities
Prior and current civic involvement: Blandin Community Leadership Program participant in 2012; Red Wing Elementary PAC (co-chair since
2010); Red Wing School District Referendum committee 2008; Red Wing School Foundation; Member of 2011-12 Red Wing district-level School Improvement/RTI committee; current YMCA Board member, 2011 co-chair and 2012 chair of YMCA Annual Support Campaign; YMCA Sunshine Corner Preschool Parent Advisory Board 2006-2009; United Way of GPW Community Investment volunteer 2010-2011; Cornerstone Community Church Leadership Team; Chartered Red Wing MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers).
What are your positions on the three referendum questions and why?
I will vote yes on the first question, as the current tax levy is reasonable. Our class size reforms have been important, and need to be continued.
I will vote no on the other two questions, as I don’t believe that the district has made a compelling or clear argument for either proposal. There has been limited community and teacher input — all deserve
more time to contribute to this process of what’s best for our students and Red Wing as a whole.
I am not yet convinced that moving all our K-4 students to one building is the best option for our community; I would favor neighborhood schools.
I thank the board and district for their effort at looking to the future of what is needed in our district, but more time and community input is needed for these large decisions.
What is the biggest issue facing the Red Wing School District right now?
The biggest issue is meeting the needs of every student. Our district is making huge strides as we implement practices which are focused on interventions for our students. Teachers are continuing to differentiate their teaching methods according to each individual student, and we need to give them the needed support. Community programs are beginning to address all aspects of a child’s success.
Together, we can all make sure that every student graduates, and has been equipped with life-long tools for success in whichever direction they are best-suited.
I also think that we need to realize the school district’s importance to the overall health and vitality of Red Wing. Strong schools equal a strong community and a healthy local economy.
What skills or abilities would you bring to the School Board?
I would bring a voice for our younger families in Red Wing. I am in the midst of the same challenges that many families with young children face in Red Wing, and I plan to bring that to the board. I would be committed to helping recruit and keep strong teachers, as teachers are the most important component to academic success. Their input needs to be valued and heard.
I would also bring skills in communication and reaching out to all the sectors of our community to hear and gather input. With my non-profit experience, I have the desire to collaborate with all necessary organizations to ensure that every student’s needs are being met: from being fed to being properly trained for a future career.
If elected, what would you hope to accomplish in the next year?
I would work with my fellow board members to ensure our district stays financially sound, focusing our resources on research-proven programs and curriculum. I hope to work on communication with the district staff and the community. Transparency is vital: I would like to establish a method for continuous dialogue among the board, teachers and parents, such as with Facebook or email.
I would also like to support projects for early-childhood education, increased parent involvement and mentoring in schools. I would hope to increase enrichment opportunities for our students. I would work with private and non-profit organizations to give our parents and students more possibilities to ensure their success.