Redwood Area Board of Education candidates: Mark Dressen

Staff Writer
Redwood Falls Gazette
Redwood Falls Gazette

Why are you running for school board?

I want to be an active member of our community, I want to make a difference. Being a life time resident working 30 years of Law Enforcement, of that 17 years as Police Chief, as well as 21 years as a volunteer fire fighter, past member of the Lions as well as a volunteer with many local organizations, I am excited to bring that knowledge and experience to the school board position.

From your perspective, what is the role of a school board member?

Public confidence. To guarantee the best decisions for our communities and the whole educational system. To hold accountability, to ensure that the school district is responsive to the values and priorities of their community.

How would you as a school board member balance fiscal responsibility and ensuring students receive the services they need?

Being fiscally responsible is important, while retaining dedicated teachers with the passion to educate. We also need to supply the resources needed to reach success for all.

What do you think is the Redwood Area School District’s greatest asset? How would you as a school board member best utilize that asset?

The campus itself, the RACC, the Orrin S. Estebo Career Development & Training Center are just a few of the many entities we have to offer. Our education system offers the best educators, along with all the other employees to achieve our district to be one of the best. Making this possible is because we are fortunate to have a giving and involved community. Promote our campus. Continuous education and training for education staff. Supplying the resources and equipment needed to achieve success. To retain the top educators we have as well as filling positions with the same high quality educators.

How would you work to collaborate with other units of government at the local, state and federal level?

Knowing the mandated guidelines that must be followed, but there are also opportunities that can be explored to gain extra funding, programs to qualify for. That all takes time and effort, with my experience working with entities of the government to find all the opportunities that will enhance our school district.

Do you think the school district’s current strategic plan is taking the district in the right direction?

In reviewing the 2019-2024 Strategic Plan I’m excited to see it become more than just words on paper. I will ensure the board keeps this as their focus. In the last 30 years of experience I can put those words into action. As leaders we need to stay focused on the plan/strategy in this changing times.

Other than the above topics, what do you think is the school district's most important issue that needs to be addressed. How would you work to resolve it?

COVID-19 within our school district and our community is one such example. Now more than ever government and communities are divided when it doesn’t need to be the way. My resolution is to keep communication open and transparent. Making sure school board meetings are advertised so people with concerns feel comfortable to attend and voice their concerns. Welcome questions, listen to what is being said, and research and find the best solution. We all know and understand compromises need to be made if the communication is there, as well as the information as to why the decisions are being made should help resolve this breach.

Please provide a brief bio of yourself.

One thing for sure, I am not going to be a board member that occupies a seat, I am going to be a voice for the community. There will be times we may have to agree to disagree, but I will listen to concerns and we will try to come up with a fair and sound resolution. As I shared in the previous questions I can also include: eight years of the Southwest Chief’s Association president, 17 years of Local County Drug Task force, Blandin Foundation graduate, six years as church deacon, implemented and achieved the Cops Grant for the Resource Officer within the local school system.