I have believed from the very beginning our biggest opportunity and most important asset is the rich diversity of culture, talent, and passion we can find in every corner of our large district. With a continually growing community both in population and racial diversity, I set out in 2020 to make a positive impact on the culture of our district and ensuring equity is considered in every decision we make. Now less than two years later and following a global pandemic that challenged the resilience of all of us, we find ourselves eagerly ready to press forward addressing the academic challenges and opportunities that continue to face our staff and scholars.
Over the last couple of years, the school board has managed to navigate a global pandemic, multiple public emergencies due to racial injustices, challenges in the community, and the growing needs of staff and scholars. The school board successfully:
I am a dad, coach, volunteer, and relentless advocate for equity in a number of systems from local government to state government and nationally. Growing up in a family of six, with one consistently working parent on a very modest income, education was everything; and the only reason I am able to serve as a school board member today. Attending a different school almost every year of my life as a student, I was a kid that would easily fit into that highly mobile category. It was teachers along the way that made an imprint and fueled me to continue forward in working toward some version of my success. Our schools and community play a vital role in propelling the success of our kids.
Unfortunately, the data shows the success of too many of our scholars is already dictated and predetermined by intentional and unintentional exclusionary policies and systems. It takes all of us, school board, district staff, scholars, and community to change the system so that none of our kids slip through the cracks. I believe with some continued persistence and innovation, we are well on our way, as seen in all of the successes we’ve witnessed in our scholars from academics to sports to music and performing arts.
Aside from the opportunity to be a dad of 4, serving as a District 279 school board member has been the biggest honor of my personal and professional life. Time sure flies! I thank you all for the continued support and collaboration as we continue to press forward this November.
Thomas Brooks, ISD 279 - Osseo Area School Board Member