Milroy school board candidate: Alicia Eliason

Staff Writer
Redwood Falls Gazette
Redwood Falls Gazette

Why are you running for school board?

I am running for a school board seat in Milroy because I care about the education of not only my children but the children in our community. I see this as an opportunity to shape the future of our community by advocating for the educational needs of our children while also engaging with community members. I strongly believe in the saying it takes a village to raise a child. I see the school as an asset to the community that provides stability, individualized education and a cohesiveness that can be felt throughout the student body.

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

I believe that a school board member is a member of the community that wants to serve their community while also advocating for the balance between fiscal responsibility and successful student academic achievement. A school board member works in collaboration with the school’s administration while also holding administration accountable for decisions that impact the students. Transparency is key to everyone involved from school board members, community members, school staff and parents. Only through an open dialogue between all parties can students succeed to their full potential.

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

I believe that the current school board has done a good job with being fiscally responsible and balancing between the needs and wants of the children. The school partners with SW/WC Cooperative for contracted services that are necessary to running a small district. Services such as mental health, special education, speech pathologists, audiologist, technology, and payroll are all done in collaboration with SW/WC Cooperative. Fiscal responsibility incorporates what the children need such as curriculum while also looking for funding alternatives for what the children want such as field trips. Being the PTO president for several years has helped me to understand the difference between the funding streams while also finding creative ways to get the children what they want. I believe that understanding these working relationships and expanding on them or looking for necessary alternatives will ensure that children have the resources they need to be successful.

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

The greatest asset to the Milroy School District is the administration and staff. Their flexibility, selflessness, and creativity has created an exciting, fluid, and comprehensive learning environment for my children. The educational support and open communication have helped me to realize the differences between my children’s learning styles and the educational opportunities they need to achieve their personal best. As a school board member, I will continue to reach out to staff and administration and utilize them for the valuable resource they are.

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

In my current role as a school nurse, I have had several opportunities to collaborate and work with many organizations. I have applied for and procured two different grants from Southwest Health and Human Services to help pay for flexible seating and new hydration stations for the students. I have also worked with both the Minnesota Department of Education and Minnesota Department of Health to provide the most current evidence-based healthcare for the students at Milroy Public School. I will continue to look for opportunities to work in collaboration with varying levels of government that will provide me insight to being a new board member.

What do you envision as the future of the Milroy School District?

The future of our community hinges on the education that our children receive today. Volunteering time and talents will instill values and provide examples that will create leaders within our community. I envision new opportunities for everyone from our community to come together to support the children in our community. Parent involvement, qualified staff and community support are key elements in providing a successful learning environment for our future community members.

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?

Every school faces their own set of challenges. Each school district is made up of unique children that have individual needs and strive under different circumstances. I believe that the top pressing issue facing the Milroy School is enrollment. I believe that the way to a prosperous future is for the school district to be fiscally responsible while promoting the attributes that are available within the school. Open dialogue, strategic planning, and community outreach will help to find a solution to ascertain what the parents in our community are looking for as it pertains to their child’s education.

Please provide a brief bio of yourself.

My name is Alicia (Brey) Eliason. I grew up outside of Milroy and attended Milroy Public School. I graduated from Tracy Area High School in 2003. I have worked in the medical field my whole life. I started out as a certified nursing assistant and most recently attained my Masters Degree in Nursing. I am currently employed at Carris Health Redwood Hospital in Redwood Falls and have been the school nurse in Milroy for several years. I am married to my husband Ryan, we have three children. Maddox, 8, Ascher, 6, and Sophia, 2. Maddox and Ascher both attend Milroy Public School.