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Rachel Banks Kupcho

Rachel Banks Kupcho

Address: 7618 York Ave S #1113, Edina

Education: Hamline University - Master of Public Administration, St. Olaf College - Social Work

Occupation: Community organizer

Community involvement: Community advocate and voting rights educator within Tribal & Urban Indian communities throughout Minnesota.

Contact information: Rachel Banks Kupcho at 612-222-0258, or Nathalie Pedracine, communications director at 763-377-0829

Why have you decided to run for school board?

I’ve been a Richfield School District resident since 2007 and my daughter is a 5th-grader at Richfield STEM. I’ve been a volunteer with the American Indian Parent Advisory Committee and the STEM PTO. I have also volunteered with Moms Demand Action, educating the public about common-sense gun laws and responsible gun ownership. Schools need to be places of learning and children need to be safe and feel safe while there. I am running for Richfield School Board because I am committed to improving the lives of students from every background throughout the district. I want to be able to meet parents and guardians where they are at, hear their concerns, and be an active participant in dialogue with them. Families that feel supported will continue to be engaged, which will mean better outcomes for students.

What do you feel is the number one issue facing the Richfield Public Schools and how would you address that issue if elected to the school board?

I think the number one issue right now is student representation. By properly representing students, families, teachers, and leaders across the district, we can contribute to the students’ success, both short and long-term. In addition to that, I think we need to address and tackle the disparities that the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted within our education system.

Do you have specific ideas or areas of focus you would target to improve education in Richfield? If so, describe those ideas and why you think the board would act on them.

Our children are the leaders of tomorrow and education is where we can all contribute to creating a safe, diverse, and welcoming environment for all students. I believe it is imperative that Richfield Schools’ faculty and staff reflect and represent the student body in order to create a positive, healthy learning environment for all. When students see their likeness in their teachers and all around them, their confidence in the classroom is strengthened and their outcomes improved. Additionally, providing a curriculum that reflects not only an accurate accounting of our state’s history and our original inhabitants, but an accurate accounting of our nation’s history is critical.

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Eric Carter

Eric Carter

Address: 6210 Logan Ave. S.

Education: Bachelor of the Arts in Mathematics and Computer Science; Master’s of Science in Computer Science

Occupation: Chief Technology Officer of a local technology company

Community involvement: Richfield Boys Basketball Association (RBBA), Richfield Football League (RFL), Richfield Public Schools (RPS) Activities Advisory Committee, and RPS Technology Advisory Committee

Contact information: ecarter47@gmail.com

Why have you decided to run for school board?

In 2012, my oldest son started Kindergarten at Richfield STEM. I walked him into school every day. At the time, I wasn’t sure if he would go to Richfield High School, but I knew then that if I wasn’t part of the solution, I was part of the problem. Ten years later, I feel the same way.

What do you feel is the number one issue facing the Richfield Public Schools and how would you address that issue if elected to the school board?

First, I think it’s important to understand what a school board member can influence. They can impact the district’s policies, vision, and they supervise the school’s superintendent. I think the issues we’re facing today are the same as 10 years ago – safety and our children’s overall education. To be clear, I don’t think these are issues that are only impacting Richfield. Schools all over the nation are dealing with kids bringing weapons into schools or students bullying other students. I believe it’s apathy in our community. We need more students and parents to get involved. We need more people to stand up to say it’s not OK to bully. It’s not OK to bring weapons into our schools. I’ve talked to a number of parents about this topic. I expect them to help watch over my children, the same way I’d watch over theirs. It truly takes a village. If I’m elected, expect to see me out and about in the community. Come talk to me. Let’s talk about how we can make Richfield Public Schools a destination district.

Do you have specific ideas or areas of focus you would target to improve education in Richfield? If so, describe those ideas and why you think the board would act on them.

For me, I keep coming back to curriculum. I had the opportunity to sit in at the last Richfield Public Schools Board meeting. The discussion was around sex education. I’m amazed at how politics keep creeping into our schools. I want to ensure that our children are taught to think critically. To ask questions. To try to understand more about the world they live in.

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Tim Pollis

Tim Pollis

Address: 7425 Girard Ave S, Richfield

Education: BS, Villanova University; MS and PhD University of Nebraska-Lincoln (all math)

Occupation: Actuary and Reinsurance Broker

Community involvement: School Board 2014-present; Richfield Baseball, Inc. Board 2008-2021; various other youth sports volunteer roles

Contact information: pollis.tim@gmail.com

Why have you decided to run for school board?

I want to keep working at trying to improve the district. I also want to help guide it through to whatever the end of the COVID situation looks like and return to “normal.” The role is not what you might call conventional “fun” but it is a role I enjoy and care about.

What do you feel is the number one issue facing the Richfield Public Schools and how would you address that issue if elected to the school board?

We have a few issues that are ongoing and improving, but remain incomplete. We need to make clear the list of current opportunities for all and increase those opportunities; improve the achievement for all; and, communicate more clearly in all aspects of our operation. If we align the district’s funding with the district’s strategic plan we will take significant steps towards achieving these goal.

Do you have specific ideas or areas of focus you would target to improve education in Richfield? If so, describe those ideas and why you think the board would act on them.

We need to be better at maintaining and growing our retention of students from our district. If we can work towards the items listed in the above question, and communicate the success of those efforts clearly enough, then we should be able to do that, assuming people have been honest with us about the reasons they have opted for public school in neighboring districts.

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