Patti Pokorney (Incumbent)

Patti Pokorney
Buffalo, MN

How long you have lived in the district?
26 years

My husband, Mark, and I have raised three children; all of whom attended our local public schools from kindergarten through high school.


Medical Laboratory Technician

Community or School District Involvement:
My children's school years provided me with a number of opportunities to be involved in the classroom, with organizations and ultimately on the school board for the last eight years.  Now, I'm an "empty-nester" who works part-time and volunteers at church, for charity organizations and the schools.  I just love it when I get to volunteer to work with students, serve them lunch or get into our schools in any way.

Qualities you will bring to the school board if elected:
While serving on the board of education for two terms, I have been able to attend training sessions on school finance, parliamentary procedure and learn about the ever-changing legal "dos" and "don'ts" of student and employee rights and responsibilities.  I have also been able to work on a number of committees with our school district staff, administrators, other board members and members of our public. These joint ventures have been the most valuable to me as I have gained insight and a deep respect for the knowledge, expertise and passion that guides the course of education for our local children.

What do you believe is the most important issue facing education today?
Education is a dynamic field where the goals are continuous improvement for all children, a stimulating and rewarding work environment for adults, and effective management of dollars for tax payers.  During my tenure on the school board, I have seen years of enrollment growth, program implementation, and stable finances morph into no growth, budget reductions and unpredictable funding.  No matter the situation, I have always tried to make decisions in the students' best interest because they are the ones who ultimately benefit or are hurt by any change in policy. 

I think it is essential to build greater community support for our school staff and faculty as they work tirelessly to deliver a quality education for all students and help students meet the challenges of our changing world.  How we deliver education is being increasingly driven by legislators.  As we meet those requirements, mandates and funding stipulations, our local control and the needs of our local students can get diminished.  It is important to accumulate data, understand local needs, measure ourselves against regional and national entities, continue to innovate, build partnerships and foster a desire for life long learning.