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2020 Crookston School Board Election Profile: Marcia Meine

Mike Christopherson
Crookston Times

First off, could you tell us a little bit about yourself? Your family, education, background/previous stops, career, etc.?

    My name is Marcia Meine and I have resided in Crookston since I met my husband back in 1981. My husband, David Meine, is a native of Crookston and graduated from Crookston Public Schools in 1977. We have two children who both attended Crookston schools. Our daughter, Crystal Meine, resides in Crookston with her two daughters. Her daughters are in eighth and ninth grade at the Crookston Public Schools. Our son, Brandon Meine, is from rural Euclid where he lives with his fiance, Nicole Porter. They together have five daughters. Two are currently enrolled in Crookston Schools in fifth grade and pre-school. My husband works seasonally for a farmer in the Fisher area. I spend my time with my seven granddaughters, helping out where I can. Over the past couple of years I have volunteered as a Foster Grandparent within the Crookston School System.

You’ve run for local elected office more than once in recent elections, including candidacies for the school board. You’re obviously running for the board again in 2020. What spurs or inspires you to continue to want to serve?

    My grandchildren have inspired me to run for the school board. I want the best possible education for my granddaughters. I want for them to be given the opportunity to succeed in whatever goal they set in life.

If you had to grade the response and Crookston Public Schools’ overall performance and actions taken during the COVID-19 pandemic, what grade would you give? Please explain.

    I would give them a B+. The communication Superintendent Olson had over KROX Radio was exceptional. He laid out what the schools were going to look like. I feel the teachers along with the students played an important role in making this happen. They handled the situation with the teachers having Covid very well. I don’t know if they addressed with the students everything that occurred during this pandemic. I hope and think issues with mental health still need to be addressed.

Can you list what you think are the three best things Crookston Public Schools has going for it at this particular moment in time, and reasons why you chose these three things?

    At this present moment:

    The way they have dealt with the Covid pandemic has been reassuring.

    The teachers we have within our district go above and beyond their teaching duties. This has a very important positive impact on our students.

    That we have the PATCH program to assist students with their studies. Like I said, the teachers are readily available to help our students when asked.

    These three things make our students feel reassured that things are headed in the right direction.

On the flip side, what trio of challenges facing Crookston Public Schools are the most daunting, in your view? What can/should/needs to be done to tackle these challenges?

    Mental health…suicide, pandemic, everything going on in our state and our country. Maybe have biweekly assemblies with students to address interaction with all students. Making a more positive impact on all students in our district.

    Students need to see authority figures to know that all is going good. The families and students I have spoken to have said they see Superintendent Olson and Mr. Torgerson more than any other authoritative figure. Which leads me to ask, isn’t our Resource Officer supposed to be out and about with all the students? Maybe someone can answer this for me. Plus, where is our principal?

    The commons area, I feel, needs to be more welcoming and inviting. Ask the students what they would like to see. It just feels so institutional. Warm it up. Maybe we should ask our students what they would like to see to make the commons area more inviting.

    Having assemblies with the students on a biweekly basis. Touch base with the students at the start of the week. Have comment drop-off boxes throughout the school that students can drop off questions or concerns they have.

Where do you see Pirate athletics in five years? Do you see the same amount of sports offerings, or less? What do you envision in five years when it comes to Pirate football and track and field facilities?

    I feel the Athletics Department may offer less sports for students to get involved in. This is what I see five years down the road. I would also like to see an increase in the Arts Department for students to get involved in, such as Jazz Band, Drum Line, FFA.

    I look at the football field and track facility we have or shared with the University of Minnesota Crookston as an excellent facility. Yes, the track needs to be replaced, but that would be a fraction of the cost of an entirely new facility. There needs to be some cosmetic things done to the facility. Since we have this why not use it? It is there, let’s make it a Pirate facility!

Please finish this sentence, and try not to simply recite a mission statement: Crookston Public Schools is…

    Now I see: Crookston Public Schools is effective in teaching and supporting our students with talented and dedicated instructors, support staff and administrators.

    I would like to see: Crookston Public Schools is Personal excellence, Respect and friendship, Inspiration, Do what is right, Everyone (PRIDE).

Can you list two people in your life that have particularly inspired you, or two people that you especially admire and try to emulate? Please explain your choices.

    My father. He always told me to go with my gut feeling. He was caring, always put children first in his life. “Children are our future!”

    God. He gives me strength each day. He gives me hope and He is always there when I need to talk to someone.

Marcia Meine