She’s only been retired from the ISD 279 school board for a few weeks. For former school board member Kim Green, it’s too soon to know how she’ll spend her newfound free time.
But what Green knows for sure, is that her passion for teachers, students and education will never wane.
After nine years of serving as a board member for Osseo Area Schools, Green says that her retirement from the position came at a good time in her life. Her two children--who started and ended their primary education in the district--are grown, her daughter engaged. And with most of her time taken up by full-time work for Intermediate District 287, Green doesn’t have the same availability to be in the schools.
Mainly, trust in the district and board members both old and new has allowed her to step down without hesitation.
“I am a huge advocate for public education,” Green said. “I have a high level of trust in our leadership. We have a strategic plan and being a part of that was an incredibly wonderful learning opportunity.”
Green says that her time on the school board was filled with both highs and lows.
“Budgetary reductions, labor agreements, school closures, those are all decisions filled with emotion,” Green said, reflecting on school board challenges. “Student expulsions were always hard for me. I never got used to that.”
But, in what she says is one of the most challenging elected official offices you can hold, Green takes many highlights with her.
“Engaging in constant learning about public education in general gave me a venue to advocate for fair equitable funding and policy making,” Green said. “Overall, being a part of something that positively affects 21,500 students was pretty amazing.”
Green said that the positive takeaways from her time on the school board are many. The creation of the Northwest Family Services Center was particularly rewarding. “If our kids aren’t healthy, they can’t learn,” Green said of the center. “There are a few of these centers in the state and this one is being looked at as a model nation-wide.”
Green is also proud of the district’s STEM magnet school, another national attention-grabber.
“We have exceptional departmental leadership and out-of-the-box thinking,” Green said. “There are many wonderful things that this district does.”
In coming years, Green knows that board members will face difficult decisions, like looming budget cuts. “I think the largest area of reduction is going to come from staff,” Green said. “Good communication is going to be key. But even with that, it will be difficult to please everyone.”
Raising awareness for students with mental health disorders, focusing on personalized learning with the use of technology, and addressing the needs of students in poverty are all issues that hopes will be addressed in the future.