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School Board candidate profile: Leilani Holmstadt

Leilani Holmstadt

Cottage Grove resident Leilani Holmstadt wants to be more involved in her community, which is why she is a candidate for District 833 School Board.

“Education is the foundation of our community and our country,” she said. “I want to be a part of that.”

Holmstadt, who runs her own business and has a background in social work, said her experiences in cost-benefit management, effective communication, decision making, implementation of state guidelines and keeping her customers’ interests in mind prepares her to serve on the School Board.

A big issue facing District 833 is the renewal of its expiring levy as well as requests for a levy increase and a land bond.

Holmstadt said she will be voting against all three questions this November.

“I’d like to see an itemized budget in order to see that the money is needed,” she said. “I want to see how it’s being spent, what’s needed and if there’s any waste.”

On the bond question, Holmstadt said she doesn’t feel that additional land is needed because there is more than adequate space on the East Ridge High School campus.

Holmstadt said she does not feel the district is moving in the correct direction by using iPad devices in the classroom.

“There are a lot of schools that have tried this and have failed,” she said. “iPads are not a replacement for traditional learning. There really needs to be a balance and from what I hear there’s not a balance now.”

Additionally, Holmstadt said she feels that the district needed more forethought to the implementation.

“I’m not sure they planned it out very well — they put the cart before the horse,” she said.

Amber Kispert-Smith

Amber Kispert-Smith has been the schools and Afton reporter at the Woodbury Bulletin since 2008. She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Minnesota. She previously worked as a reporter for Press Publications in White Bear Lake.

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