Mark M. Simmonds

The views and information expressed in the following responses are those of the candidate. The district has only made minor edits for clarity, such as correcting misspellings.

Mark M. Simmonds

Mark M. SimmondsWhy do you want to be a member of the ISD 199 School Board?
As a product of public education myself, my heart is in public education. I want to see ISD 199 strive to not only meet the goals of our community, but surpass them. I bring a strong work ethic with me as a student athlete and then coach. I know what it takes to ensure kids are successful as an inner-city coach and mentor. As a former military member and a current public servant within the fire department, I can work within a team dynamic. As someone with a young child just beginning his scholastic journey in District 199, I will be fully engaged to ensure that he and his peers receive the best educational experience possible.

What experience do you bring to this position? How have your experiences prepared you to fulfill the responsibilities of a school board member?
I graduated Augsburg College in 2015 with a physical education degree with additional work in secondary education and special needs education. I have had a passion for education since secondary school when I was a teacher’s assistant in PSEO (Post-Secondary Enrollment Options) working with children with autism. I have volunteered several times with the Special Olympics and have always been a strong advocate for children with special needs, ensuring everyone has a voice. I have had the privilege to be a part of numerous successful committees throughout my educational journey as well as with several philanthropic organizations. I feel that, through my positions within my educational, volunteer, and philanthropic organizations, I am well-suited to ensure our students’ success well beyond the classroom.

What are the most important issues concerning the Inver Grove Heights School District, and how would you address them?
I believe that diversity in all aspects of a child’s educational experience enables them to better handle life’s challenges. A well-rounded student can communicate through examinations of their education, but it will be apparent in the way that the student interacts with the community and beyond. I feel that, through community outreach and opportunities in and out of the classroom, we will enable our students to succeed in all areas of life. I believe that, as a district coming out of a year of isolation, we need to enable our students to interact with the community through charity and outreach.

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