Election 101 Voters Guide: School Board: Leo Babeu
Note: Leo Babeu will be listed on the St. Louis County ballot since the area he represents on the school board is in that county. There are no two-person races for board seats but we felt it was important to get the perspective of those who seek positions on the board. Pat Wilson is not seeking re-election, meaning Kathy Ruberg is the only newcomer to the ballot. She could not be reached for comment.
Q What is the most critical issue facing the school district? How do you plan to take it on?
A Preparing kids for meaningful lives. How will I take it on: look at more opportunities to develop meaningful knowledge and skills, create local post-secondary options, and help committed teachers learn to use new methods to reach and teach all students.
Q What kind of accomplishments in office or in private life make you qualified for this position?
A I led the district’s labor negotiations (two rounds), proposed a framework for regular board and superintendent goal setting, chaired the board during difficult levy campaign and its consideration and implementation of the four-day week. Founding board member of North Shore Community School.
Q Who was your favorite teacher and why? How would you install those qualities in the education students are getting today in Two Harbors and Silver Bay?
A Mr. Warwick was my advanced bio teacher. He was tough, intense, had high expectations for himself and his students, and believed in and instilled in us the value of continual inquiry and rephrasing of critical questions for understanding living systems. He went out of his way to show respect and didn’t merely buddy up to us. He took the time to learn about each of us. Having just a few of those attributes makes for a fine teacher. To experience a great teacher is a life-changing opportunity, and all the district can hope to do is identify those qualities when it seeks out new teachers.
So much is a matter of individual commitment to improvement, as there is no one formula for effective teaching.