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District 833 School Board candidate: David Pyrz

Name: David Pyrz

Age: 41

City: Woodbury

Occupation: Assistant Vice President, Corporate Accounts — Ecolab

Family: Wife, Carrie Pyrz; daughters Addison, grade 6, and Emerson, grade 4

Incumbent or challenger: Challenger

How do your skills or experience set you apart as a candidate?

Growing up as the son of a school teacher and an Army veteran, I have always had a passion for education and a desire to serve my community. Upon completing my MBA with emphasis in Marketing, Finance and Strategic Management, I began working at Ecolab in St. Paul. This education and professional experience have equipped me with the necessary skills in strategy, execution, financial management and talent development to be a strong addition to our board. Combined with my experience building strong working relationships, I am well prepared to work with the administration, always reminding ourselves that we work for you, the people of 833. It is time to take our district from 'great' to 'world class.'

What do you believe the school board can do to narrow academic achievement gaps?

The board should ensure that the two primary areas of focus of all decisions are the safety of our children and the interaction of teachers and students in every single classroom in the district. Every decision should include the question, "How will this impact the teachers and students?" We must set more clear, transparent and measurable definitions of success. We must hold ourselves to higher standards. We must insist upon execution at world class levels. This means rewarding top performances in the district and helping to improve and coach those who aren't operating at a world class level. Focusing on improvement everywhere, defining success, measuring performance and driving continuous improvement in execution will help close achievement gaps.

Is the budget and school funding the biggest challenge facing the district?

Safety of our children is our biggest challenge and, in my opinion, is far more important than any fiscal measure. In fact, world class districts don't celebrate balancing the budget; they simply expect it to be done, and they hold the administration and board accountable if unsuccessful. We've had a tough year in District 833 regarding safety. Multiple data breaches and horrific acts by a school bus attendant expose our need for improvement. I have professional experience in driving significant, measurable improvements in safety and I can help make District 833 a world class, safe environment for our kids. I am in favor of the pending referendum, but I prioritize the safety of our children above all else in our district.