Three candidates vie for two school board postsThree candidates are running for Hudson Board of Education posts in the election Tuesday, April 5. Incumbents Dan Tjornehoj and Lynn Robson are being challenged by newcomer James Kubiak. All three candidates submitted essays regarding their interests in running for school board.
Three candidates are running for Hudson Board of Education posts in the election Tuesday, April 5.
Incumbents Dan Tjornehoj and Lynn Robson are being challenged by newcomer James Kubiak. All three candidates submitted essays regarding their interests in running for school board.
James L. Kubiak
Address: 209 W. Canyon Drive
Residency: Hudson area since November 2007
Occupation and work experience: I began my career with IBM where I developed a foundation in IT and systems engineering. Subsequently most of my career has been as a management consultant with Deloitte, PriceWaterhouseCoopers and Computer Sciences Corporation. Currently I do freelance consulting projects such as serving as an expert witness in lawsuits related to IT issues.
Prior Elected Experience: None
Prior Civic Involvement:
Family Information: Married to Jody Kubiak, four adult children, grandchildren who attend Hudson schools.
Education: University of Notre Dame, BA in Communications and Marketing; numerous training seminars on leadership, management and various technical subjects.
While my wife and I have lived in the Hudson area for less than four years my involvement with Hudson and Hudson schools began many years before when one of our daughters married a Hudson native. We began to visit and spend time in Hudson over the years and as time went on we started to attend school functions in which our grandchildren were participating. We have experienced our grandchildren’s movement through elementary school, middle school and now high school.
When we decided to downsize from our family-sized home of 35 years in the Twin Cities we looked at various locations and were continually drawn to Hudson which is how we have become happy and satisfied Hudson residents.
I received a great education from the public high school that I attended in Indiana and our four children were well educated in public schools in Michigan and Minnesota. Each of them used that educational foundation to go on and receive degrees from universities in Minnesota. Now our five grandchildren are receiving fine educations at public schools in Minnesota and Wisconsin. These experiences have resulted in my being a strong supporter of our public school systems.
As I have settled into the Hudson community I became more aware of school district activities by reading about them in the Hudson Star-Observer and discussions with family, friends and acquaintances. Last spring this interest turned into action when the articles began to appear about salary increases being granted to the administration of Hudson schools. After doing some research, two colleagues and I prepared a report which discussed the salary increases and the circumstances surrounding them. This report was reviewed with the president of the Board of Education. Subsequently portions of the report and the administration’s rebuttal were published in the HSO.
As a result of the experience of preparing and discussing the findings and implications of this report, I believe that the Board of Education needs to develop a more transparent approach to communicating with the public.
After studying the recent demographic study which was developed for the district I believe that the Hudson schools are faced with the need for additional secondary space. It is time to develop a plan to acquire land and plans to move forward with solutions to the upcoming space shortfalls. The 2010 census information has recently been released which shows that St. Croix County is once again the fastest growing county in Wisconsin.
My work experience as a management consultant for over thirty-five years will allow me to make positive contributions to the board of education. I have worked with clients in city, county and state governments. I have worked with several of Minnesota’s educational computing consortiums which provide administrative services to all of Minnesota’s school districts. I believe that my experiences and practical knowledge in both the public and private sector would provide a beneficial addition to the Hudson Board of Education.
Daniel M. Tjornehoj
Address: 104 13th st.
Residency: Hudson, 28 years in district
Occupation and work experience: Attorney
Prior Elected Experience: Incumbent school board member
Prior Civic Involvement: Greater Hudson Kiwanis Club, president-elect
Family Information: Married to Kris; children Jessica, John and Jamie
Education: Luther College and William Mitchell College of Law
As an incumbent candidate for the Hudson Board of Education I believe that I have the knowledge and experience to help guide the board and school district through these challenging economic times. I am personally committed to helping solve our current budget challenges while maintaining the strong tradition of quality education in Hudson that provides great value to our community and taxpayers.
As I look back at what we have been able to accomplish over the past several years, I am especially pleased with the board and school district’s commitment to its strategic plan, HSD2025. This plan has been the guiding force behind our efforts to improve student learning and achievement through establishing “SMART” (Specific Measurable Attainable Realistic Timely) goals for each of our schools. The results from these goals have been impressive as our schools work to improve student achievement in reading and other core subject areas. Our staff understands the importance of enhancing their own skills and best practices that help them attain improvements in their classrooms.
I support our district’s efforts to help prepare students for the future through research and strategies that better prepare our Hudson graduates as they continue their education in college, technical school or in the workplace. I believe that if our schools maintain or create partnerships with these higher education institutions and businesses as well as stay abreast of their evolving curriculums and practices, then we can adapt our programs and curriculum as we help our students effectively transition to their next learning environment.
As Hudson continues to grow, the community and the school district needs to continue to plan appropriately in order to accommodate this growth. When I was school board president a few years ago, I was excited to be part of the planning and building of a new elementary school, River Crest. As we worked with the community in developing and considering a number of different options prior to building this school, we decided to construct a facility that met our standards as both a great learning center but also one that met our strategic planning goal of being environmentally sustainable. This project also taught us the importance of working effectively with our neighbors and community business partners in completing a major building project.
In December, the board received an updated report from its demographer that the growth in the Hudson School District continues despite the economic downturn. Hudson remains an attractive place to live and raise a family as it was nearly 30 years ago when my wife, Kris, and I first moved to Hudson and began our family of three children. My story is not unlike others who have enjoyed being part of a vibrant community that values strong schools, beautiful parks and recreational areas, and countless arts and music opportunities. In fact, just last year the school district received recognition for its music education programs. Our middle school has also been recognized as a “school of excellence.”
We are now facing space issues at both our middle school and high school. I personally believe that we are approaching a point where we need to build a new secondary facility that this community can use now and be proud of for years to come. Our current high school has experienced a number of different improvements and additions over the years but it now fails to meet our future needs. That is not to say that this facility will not continue to serve as important educational space, but we need to address our future space needs soon.
As the world, the country, the state and Hudson experience changes and new challenges, we need to find new ways of turning these challenges into opportunities. At times these challenges seem insurmountable until we witness events like the Japan devastation and then see how these events can bring people together. I’m confident that we will be able to successfully work through the challenges facing this district and that will benefit our community and children.
I continue to view my service on the school board as a privilege and important responsibility. Each role that I have served on during my years on the board has taught me a great deal about this district. I continue to be impressed with the excellent administrative team that we have in place as well as the great staff and teachers. I am committed to improving our schools and equipping our students for success.
Address: 1274 Hwy. 35
Residency: Hudson, 15 years
Occupation and work experience: Business owner
Prior Elected Experience: Incumbent school board member
Family Information: Married to David; five children: Kyle, 23, Jenna, 21, Paige, 20, Danielle, 10, and Camryn, 5
Education: University of St. Thomas, bachelor’s degree in international business, marketing and German
My name is Lynn Robson and I am seeking re-election to the Hudson School Board. I am committed to community service and feel that the school board is the most important way I can contribute. My approach to school board service is premised on the belief that a quality education is the foundation for success in life. Furthermore, I believe that it is the responsibility for citizens to ensure that opportunity to all its children.
I am an independent business owner. I have also worked as a corporate controller and an executive manager in land-use development. My diverse work history gives me a distinctive perspective for a school board member. I have two children who attend Hudson schools and will for the next 13 years. As a result, I have a vested long-term commitment in the quality of education in Hudson. As a school board member, my priority is to provide our students with the quality of education they need to become successful and productive members of our community in a fiscally responsible manner. Today’s children will be tomorrow’s leaders.
As a school board member, I take the time to study the issues, listen to the opinions of community members and come to the meetings prepared to make fair and reasonable decisions. I represent the voice of the voters and enjoy the opportunity to advocate their sentiments.
Due to budget constraints, the system of education we are accustomed to is being challenged and must change. At the same time, we are poised for progress. How do we continue to give our children the education that they deserve and how do we honor our responsibilities to the community when resources are being cut drastically? The solutions will be found in determining which cost-cutting measures will have the least impact on educational goals. The commitment and responsibility that I feel for the education of our children will remain in the face of these cuts.
One issue that will spotlight our financial constraints is the district’s documented need for secondary space. We need to continue the work of identifying what the secondary space should be. The question is more complicated than what should we build and where should we build it. We need to have a clear understanding on the future of education and how it will be delivered. We need to evaluate how technology impacts the way education is delivered, how we plan to deal with the predicted and measured growth of our community all while respecting the financial difficulties that this economy has presented. These are all tough problems that need to be resolved with community involvement. If Hudson wants to continue to be a strong community that attracts desirable growth, we need to maintain the quality of education that our community has come to expect.
If I am re-elected, I will continue to bring energy and researched solutions to the board and help engage the community in district efforts. I appreciate the opportunity to serve the Hudson community and respectfully request your vote on April 5.