Q&A with Shakopee School Board Candidate Caroline Valdez | Jordan

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Name Age: Caroline Valdez, 46 years old.

Address: 1814 Westchester Lane, Shakopee

Family: My husband Delfino and I have lived in Shakopee for 20 years. We have two children, Arianna and Aidan, who attended Shakopee area Catholic school and are now attending Shakopee High School. My husband and I speak Spanish. We have a 3 year old dog named Angel and are involved in the Twin Cities film community. We produced a short film called The Chancla for the Z-Fest film festival.

Use: I am currently a Supervisor, HR Ops, Talent Acquisition for a global medical device company, and manage a team.

Education: I have an MBA from ITT Technical Institute and a BA in Political Science and Spanish from Minnesota State University, Mankato.

Hobbies interests: I like to dance salsa, travel and exercise. I am a basketball and athletics mom. Last year I was the volunteer coordinator for the Shakopee Field and Track Booster Club, and I volunteered for the Shakopee Basketball Association.

Previous experience: The majority of my experience has been in human resources, vendor management and sales. I have experience working for global software, for-profit colleges, and non-profit healthcare companies. My experience includes: recruiting for IT and data analytics, telephone screening of candidates, negotiating offers and consulting with hiring managers. I also helped students with mock interviews, resume writing, salary negotiation, and student placement, when I worked for a for-profit college as a director of career services.

Contact information: [email protected]

Why do you want to serve on the school board?

As a current member of the school board, I want to continue the momentum I started. I want to be the voice of the community, an active listener and help students achieve their goals.

What are the three main elements of your platform and how would you approach them?

My top three priorities are to focus on the school board’s vision and priorities and make them an ongoing priority as they evolve.

1. Financial viability. Offer reasonable class sizes, pay average teachers and support staff, and keep our unrestricted fund balance at 8-12%. To do this, I will ensure that we follow a structural budget.

2. Equity and inclusion. I will focus on making sure students feel included and belong. I will also help the school district increase employee diversity by making Shakopee the employer of choice and the desired workplace.

3. Student learning performance. I will support a learning assessment system by relying on our academic professionals.

School board meetings have been contentious in recent years, with disagreements over masking policies, curriculum and other issues. How would you encourage civil discourse while serving on the board?

I think it’s OK to agree to disagree. We have to listen to each other and find a solution that works for both parties. Also, we have to trust and follow the process and support the decisions of the leaders regarding the issues. The school board makes decisions based on facts and the best interests of students.

Did you support last year’s operating tax? Why or why not?

Yes, I supported the exploitation tax. I think it’s important to support our teachers, to have smaller classrooms and educational programs, and to support student learning opportunities. I had confidence in the direction of the funds and the direction of the district. I am invested in the future of our children.

Describe your leadership style:

I am a people person who enjoys building relationships in order to create opportunities for others to succeed professionally. I’m an Includer who focuses on building teams and manages a team of Technical Assistance Coordinators. My main focus is to build confidence, empower, praise, take responsibility and be an active listener. I am a genuine person who focuses on the positive in people and has strong integrity.

Why should people vote for you?

As a parent and human resources professional, I will listen to the community, connect with the community, and put the best interests of our students and staff first. I promise to focus on the main issues in the community, be open-minded, take responsibility and provide solutions to problems. Over the past few months at the Shakopee School Board, I have received invaluable training and knowledge that has helped me understand the role of a school board member and the needs of the community.

In the past 10 years, have you been convicted of one or more serious misdemeanors, or been involved in a personal or business bankruptcy or foreclosure?

No.

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