My name is marina kosak and i am passionate about serving kids i’ve, been in the field of education for 25 years, and that passion has really fueled my career. I spent 10 years as a classroom teacher and 15 years in administration, both at the high school and middle school levels. So i really know about serving kids and working with staff to create an environment of learning that every student can succeed in. So when we talk about, you know what’s good for kids it’s, also about what’s good for staff too, because essentially they’re the ones that are driving what our kids are are learning every day. So i want to give back to my indian prairie school district community and not with all the knowledge that i’ve gained in the last 25 years. So i think i can bring that to the table from an educator point of view, and you know ask questions that may come from looking at data that other people might not be aware of because they haven’t been in the education field. So i think i bring that viewpoint to the table. I also have been to my share of school board meetings and participated in several of them, and i really understand what goes on on both sides of the table. And i understand the ins and outs of a school board and it appeals to me to give back to my my community in this way the award winning schools that we have here in district 204 that’s.
What brought us back to the school district. We we lived here, we moved out of district, and why did we do that? So we moved back in for the award the award winning school district, the diversity that we have in our schools that we attract from all walks of life, i think, is something to be applauded as well, because we’re bringing that that those different cultures and those different Traditions into our schools so that our students are learning about other other ways. Um, i think our athletics, our activities, our extracurricular extracurriculars, are just beyond comparison to many of our surrounding school districts. I will, as i sit in this tv production studio, my daughter who went through neuqua is thriving because of the media program that we offer here in 204 and here at neuqua valley, so i’ve seen it happen. I’Ve seen our kids rise to you know whether it’s in the arts and whether it’s performing arts, whether you know they’ve, been my kids, have involved in athletics and they’re, all thriving outside of just not just in the classroom but thriving outside of the classroom as well. So i think those are all things that we should be proud of when, when you look at all you know just not the awards, but the sense of pride that 204 students have when they leave here and that they carry with them from the time they start To the time they finish Music Music, so i think we one of the big things we need to look at is the achievement gap.
I did in looking at the last set of data that we have because of 2020. We don’t have the the covin year. We’Ll call it the covid year data, but when we look at the 2019 data, we we have a significant achievement gap here in district 204 and i think that’s something we really need to look at closely um. We are above the state, you know beyond the state average in in different categories, when we look at that achievement gap, so that’s something. I think we really need to look at very very closely in the next couple years. Some other things are diversity. I know equity and diversity is very important and i think indian prairie is off to a great start. Looking at the diversity page, the retention and higher the hiring first of of of teachers, and that retention is going to be so important in the next couple years. As we know, everyone keeps telling us there’s going to be a teacher shortage, so i think it’s really important that we are giving our teachers the the professional developments, giving them the things that the tools that they need and the resources that they need in their classrooms. To to help them stay in indian prairie, because it’s it’s going to be um, i don’t know it’s going to be dry out there. You know um, so i think it’s really important that that we’re also working with our staff to make sure that they they want to stay here.
So i think, equity and and that achievement gap are two of the biggest things and, of course, as you said, um. What does education look like for the fountain for next school year? We just don’t know yet, because those i mean the the higher above have not decided in our in our state yet what’s what we’re going to be looking at. So i think that will be an issue that we will have to face come the summer or fall when those decisions are made. They need to know that i’m going to do right by kids um. I think i, when i started out talking, i talked about you know: i’ve been serving kids for for 25 years and i want to continue to do that and they’re going to be my focus. You know we also have to make sure that we are being fiscally responsible at all as well along the way when we’re helping our kids. So i think when we look at those things you know that are important and everyone. Everybody has different things that are important to them. I think people need to know that i am a listener and i will not only hear and listen to what they’re saying but communicate with them as well. So what’s important to one person might not be important to someone else and they’re gon na have something that’s important to them and it doesn’t matter but i’m going to listen, because i think that’s how we make our community a better place and that’s.