The Southerner

Recent election brings new perspectives to MPS school board

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Recent election brings new perspectives to MPS school board

Above is Kimberly Caprini, one of the new at large school board members, inside the poetry house in South’s Writers' Room. Caprini was very excited by the house, since she used to be involved in spoken word. As at-large director, Caprini (and Josh Pauly, another newly elected at-large director) will have the task of representing all of the Minneapolis city districts within the one MPS district. “The city wide director has the responsibility of kind of...making sure that we’re looking at everything across the board instead of just one district looking at the needs and wants of their own schools in their area,” she said.

Above is Kimberly Caprini, one of the new at large school board members, inside the poetry house in South’s Writers' Room. Caprini was very excited by the house, since she used to be involved in spoken word. As at-large director, Caprini (and Josh Pauly, another newly elected at-large director) will have the task of representing all of the Minneapolis city districts within the one MPS district. “The city wide director has the responsibility of kind of...making sure that we’re looking at everything across the board instead of just one district looking at the needs and wants of their own schools in their area,” she said.

Kinsley Wilcox-McBride

Above is Kimberly Caprini, one of the new at large school board members, inside the poetry house in South’s Writers' Room. Caprini was very excited by the house, since she used to be involved in spoken word. As at-large director, Caprini (and Josh Pauly, another newly elected at-large director) will have the task of representing all of the Minneapolis city districts within the one MPS district. “The city wide director has the responsibility of kind of...making sure that we’re looking at everything across the board instead of just one district looking at the needs and wants of their own schools in their area,” she said.

Kinsley Wilcox-McBride

Kinsley Wilcox-McBride

Above is Kimberly Caprini, one of the new at large school board members, inside the poetry house in South’s Writers' Room. Caprini was very excited by the house, since she used to be involved in spoken word. As at-large director, Caprini (and Josh Pauly, another newly elected at-large director) will have the task of representing all of the Minneapolis city districts within the one MPS district. “The city wide director has the responsibility of kind of...making sure that we’re looking at everything across the board instead of just one district looking at the needs and wants of their own schools in their area,” she said.

Kinsley Wilcox-McBride, Staff Writer

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Last Tuesday, in addition to the many government positions being voted on, Minneapolis voters also got the opportunity to elect new school board members, and approve more money for the Minneapolis Public Schools (MPS) district.

The MPS district asked for a referendum, which now passed will increase school funding by 30 million dollars total. The new money will be received through an increase in property tax for Minneapolis residents.

In addition, board seats were also up for grabs last week. Among winning candidates are the new at-large board members Kimberly Caprini and Josh Pauly.

Caprini has lived in Minneapolis since the early eighties, and has been involved in the MPS school district for 12 years. Caprini feels that her rich history through all of Minneapolis is what has best prepared her for her daunting new title. “I’ve looked at it from a parent’s perspective, and then also from the fact that I’ve lived all over the city,” she said.

“I feel that I’ve got a sort of upper hand, so to speak, because growing up here and being able to see the evolution of the city, I have also been apart of that evolution,” said Caprini. “I remember when areas were isolated in one way where it wasn’t very diverse, or there wasn’t a rich sense of many different cultures that lived amongst one another.”

She plans to use this knowledge of history to envision and execute what will be the very best for MPS students moving forward.

As at-large directors, Caprini and Pauly will have the task of representing all of the Minneapolis city districts within the one MPS district. “The city wide director has the responsibility of kind of…making sure that we’re looking at everything across the board instead of just one district looking at the needs and wants of their own schools in their area,” she said.

Caprini hopes to influence the district in a way which will make things equitable and fair for all of the schools throughout the city. Currently, the district is in the process of something called the Comprehensive Assessment. “[The Comprehensive Assessment] is an opportunity to see how we can provide the best quality education meeting the needs of all of our students over the 12 years that we have them in Minneapolis public schools,” explained Caprini.

Essentially, members of the Board of Education are evaluating current school structures and systems intact, and envisioning new models of how these set ups could improve. Caprini will be apart of this process once her term starts. “I want to make sure that within that change, we are literally focusing on the best education and opportunities for all of our students, and making sure that we are preparing them for 20 years down the road,” Caprini said.

Caprini connected the Comprehensive Assessment to the 2040 plan of Minneapolis. “I have my own opinions and ideas about what I foresee, and a lot of that has to do with the 2040 plan that the city has,” she said.

“[The 2040 plan] speaks very little of Minneapolis Public Schools and what the connection is to the city in the next 20 years, so that concerns me,” expressed Caprini.

Speaking to her concern about the ties between Minneapolis, and it’s schools, Caprini said that she is “not naive to the fact that our city is changing. And our schools are changing because everything around them is changing.”

Another newly elected member of the school board is Josh Pauly, who also holds the title of “at-large school board member.” Pauly and Caprini hold many parallels in their vision and plans to pursue in their new positions. “Kimberly and I are new and hopefully we can do some great things,” Pauly said.

Pauly was the only person running for an at large seat who had previously worked as a school teacher. He feels that this will help him bring some important insight. “There was a need for someone who had been in a classroom,” said Pauly.

In addition to being the only board member with a history of teaching, Pauly will also be the youngest member of the board. “I’m a millennial so there’s nobody to represent my generation on the school board,” Pauly said. “They’re all significantly older, kind of a homogeneous age group of active parents, and I respect that perspective very much but I thought there was room for a younger voice.”

For Pauly, a proper support system being provided to students is a priority. “We have some of the worst ratios of counselors to students, and nurses, and social workers. It’s really important that we have access to those for our students,” Pauly said. Because he was a teacher, Pauly has a personal understanding of the importance of small class sizes, and the impact that has on personal support a teacher can give, as well as overall class functionality.

This is similar to Caprini, who shared that the biggest issue she sees throughout MPS is stability, both at the district level and for individual students.

“Kimberly and I are new, and hopefully we can do some great things,” Pauly said. They will start their new at large board positions as of January, and are both eager make positive impacts on Minneapolis schools.

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About the Contributor
Kinsley Wilcox-McBride, Staff Writer

With all seven pets in tow, sophomore Kinsley Wilcox-McBride begins her second year as a member of the newspaper staff here at South. Wilcox-McBride started...

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Recent election brings new perspectives to MPS school board