Laurie Raymond

Laurie Raymond
Buffalo, MN

How long you have lived in the district?
27 years

Family:
I have been married to LeRoy Erickson for 11 years; he also taught at Buffalo High School.   LeRoy's two daughters, Kim and Steph graduated from District 877 Schools.  

Occupation: 
I am a retired educator who spent my entire career teaching in District 877.  I began teaching social studies at what is now BCMS in the fall of 1978 and retired in January this year.   Currently I'm an educational consultant for an ACT tutoring company and a scorekeeper for Bison Girl's Basketball.

Community or School District Involvement:
I have been a volunteer scorekeeper for Bison Baseball for 12 years; I volunteered as a Mock Trial coach in 2011, after serving 10 years as head coach and deliver Meals on Wheels through my church. 

I have done several activities in my classrooms to promote civic engagement in students.  

  • In 2009, my students raised over $700 and donated that to the Armed Forces Service Center at the Lindberg Terminal.
  • In 2010, my classes collected, packaged and shipped 40 care boxes to members serving in the military. Students wanted to make this drive local so I collected names from students and also connected with the Wright County Blue Star Mothers for names.
  • I have coordinated students being election judges for the City of Buffalo, registering students to vote and helped coordinate Wright County judges and attorneys into our classrooms on Constitution Day and President's Day.

As an educator, I served 20 years as the social studies department chair, a member of the building teacher leadership team and as a new teacher mentor.  I volunteered to work with 9th grade students who were transitioning from the middle school to the high school. 

Extracurricular roles I've done include Student Council Advisor for 26 years, Mock Trial coach for 10 years, scorekeeper at girls volleyball and basketball games, class advisor and 7th grade volleyball coach.     

Recently, I worked on the MN Supreme Court visit when they conducted an oral argument at the high school.  Part of the program included a luncheon that brought together the student guides, the Justices and the Buffalo Chamber of Commerce.  It was the first time the Court had participated with such a diverse group of people in a school visit.

Qualities you will bring to the school board if elected:
I bring a passion for public education and the influence it can have on a person's life.  I was the first person in either of my parent's families to graduate with a college degree.  It was the influence of teachers during my own schooling that showed me the power of education and led me to being an educator.

As the chair of the department for 20 years I have worked with the following:  budget reductions, staff cuts, hiring new staff, curriculum additions, curriculum revision and state mandated programs such as:   Profiles of Learning, Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments, No Child Left Behind, etc.  

What do you believe is the most important issue facing education today? 
One of the biggest issues in education today is being able to continue having an excellent school district as the state and federal governments continue to make changes in funding and mandates.

The present board has been fiscally responsible.  They understand the economic struggles families are going through as they set budgets and ask residents to renew the levy.    

The reauthorization of the levy will allow students to continue to have choice of programs in our schools.  Choice is essential for students and their families.  Program choices are evident in all schools whether the district offers all day kindergarten, the Quest Gifted Program at the Middle School, Phoenix, Wright Technical classes and college credit classes at the high school.

Another important area is to support new and current staff training and sharing best practices in education.  Mentoring is critical so that new staff become a partner with current staff and they work collaboratively.   The sharing of best practices is vital as state and federal testing and standards continue to be a part of educational policy in Minnesota. 

I support partnering with families and staff to do what is best for students.