To the editor:

School board elections sometimes fly under the radar, but they are vitally important to a fair and functioning society and the wellbeing of our children. Of the many candidates who have filed for District 196, three stand out: Bianca Virnig, Art Coulson, and Sakawdin Mohamed.

Bianca has been a public health champion, helping schools provide a safe learning environment for students and staff as a resource to convey best practices for contact tracing, personal protective equipment, and building safety during the pandemic. Her contributions to the COVID-19 response were recognized by Dakota County with the 2021 Public Health Achievement Award.

Art’s years of service as an incumbent School Board member imbue him with a historical understanding of which policies have worked, which have not, and which are due for revisiting. He has unequivocally supported students of every background and ability to access every resource the district has to offer. District 196 schools owe their excellence to Art.

Sakawdin’s story echoes that of so many immigrants who have arrived in the U.S. seeking freedom, safety and opportunity. He came, in his words, “as a refugee, a young man with nothing but a dream and hope for a better future.” He earned multiple degrees in public finance and budgeting, established deep roots here, and now he wants to give back to the community that welcomed him.

Bianca Virnig, Art Coulson, and Sakawdin Mohamed represent the ideal combination of professional, governance, and life experience we need represented on the District 196 School Board. Where others want to diminish, they want to grow. They deserve your votes.

Mike Supina


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