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Wayzata is a premier suburb located 11 miles west of downtown Minneapolis. With a population of 4,500 people, Wayzata is a tight-knit community which is known for its vibrant downtown and picturesque setting on Lake Minnetonka. A popular destination for visitors, Wayzata’s downtown is home to a number of specialty shops, boutiques, professional services, and restaurants.

Monday, October 24, 2011

School Board Voter Guide: Joan Curtiss

What previous educational experiences do you have? Where did you go to high school and college? What kind of degrees have you obtained?

I graduated from Edina West High School, and have a Bachelors of Science, Business Adminstration from University of Minnesota business school.

This educational background will be utilized as a foundation of my knowledge for the Wayzata School Board.

What professional experience do you have?

I have over 20 years of experience working at four different companies in the Twin Cities including work at General Mills and I am currently the Vice President, Human Resources at Waycrosse, Inc.  Waycrosse is located in Wayzata and at the Cargill Office Center.

My skills and experience working in a leadership role in the business community will be instrumental in the work necessary on the Wayzata School Board, from reviewing budgets, consensus building and driving solutions to difficult problems.

What do you see as the greatest strengths in our district?

The greatest strength are the collection of people in the district from the students, parents, staff, Superintendent and his administrative team, to other community members.

The key will be building and growing the effective partnership withing and between each of these groups for the best interest of all students and the community at large.

What do you see as the most pressing problem in our district?

The most pressing problem in our district is to finalize and implement the strategic road map so that future decisions are aligned with it.

The current Board may get this implemented, but the most difficult work is to make it an effective roadmap for future decisions. There will continue to be change in the district and to provide a world-class education to all students in the district there will have to be laser-focused and there will tough decisions ahead.

What specials strengths do you believe you would bring to the School Board?

I am bring a collection of strengths to the Wayzata School Board including:

  1. My 20 years of experience in a leadership role in business
  2. My role as a parent to 4 daughters who have successfully graduated from Wayzata schools including participating in 4 varsity sports (soccer, hockey, golf and tennis) and have been fortunate to go to 8 state tournaments and be part of a team that has won 2 state titles.
  3. My involvement in the community as a Site Council member, PTA Vice President and President, Senior Party Co-chair, Sunday school teacher and Confirmation Guide, Guardian ad litem
What do you see as the School Board member's role and responsibility in the effective administration of schools?

The Wayzata School Board member works for all members of the community and needs to work with each group effectively.  Specifcially, the Board makes policy and oversees the district's budget, curriculum, personnel and physical facilities.

With my experience in the community, as a parent and as a leader in the business community, I can be an effective listener and consensus builder to help bring the best ideas forward for the district.

If elected, what is the first issue you plan to address?

The first issue is to address the most pressing issue.  For now, I see that as the strategic roadmap implementation.  But as I talk more with parents, staff and other community members, there may be other pressing issues that emerge between now and January 2012.

Anything else you would like to volunteer?

I encourage everyone to vote November 8, 2011.  It is important to our community and school district to have the best School Board members.

I ask for your vote - it will be an honor to serve as a Wayzata School Board member.

What is your website address?

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