Milroy school board candidate: Kim Jenniges
Why are you running for school board?
I was originally elected for the Milroy District Board in 2012 and have been the Board Chair for five years. I decided to run for my third term because I think it’s very important for our community to have a school. Communities thrive more when there is a school. We have seen several neighboring communities have businesses and churches close after schools have closed. I don’t want to see that for Milroy.
From your perspective, what is the role of a school board member?
To work with the community, the school, and fellow board members to ensure a quality education for the students within the district. School board members represent the community overall. This can mean complex and difficult decisions where not everyone agrees. The reward is watching students grow and move on to be successful members of the community.
How would you as a school board member balance fiscal responsibility and ensuring students receive the services they need?
School funding and budgeting is very different than the business world. Many state and federal funds can only be spent in a certain manner. Understanding those things is the first step. Ultimately, our job is to make sure students receive the education they need. Many schools in our area work together to find ways to meet that goal, including Milroy. Being creative is a necessity to remain fiscally responsible. For example, sharing teachers with other school districts, working with the Southwest West Central Service Cooperative (SWWC) on solutions, and working with teachers on flexible solutions within the classroom.
What do you think is the Milroy School District’s greatest asset? How would you as a school board member best utilize that asset?
My kids attended school in Milroy. I saw the differences that Milroy School brings to students. The small class sizes allow flexibility and individual learning plans based on your child. I also saw my children develop strong relationships with their teachers. Those relationships prepared them in their transition to high school. I want to make sure that the school continues to provide that experience for the children in our community.
How would you work to collaborate with other units of government at the local, state and federal level?
We partner with local units of government to provide student activities and unique opportunities to learn. From a state and federal perspective, being involved with the Minnesota School Board Association (MSBA) and Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) is important to advocate for our students education.
What do you envision as the future of the Milroy School District?
As I stated earlier, communities thrive when there is a school. I would like to work with the community, board, school administration, parents, and teachers to come together on the school’s vision, goals, plans for the future. Milroy Schools was planning a strategic planning session in April of this year and due to COVID-19 had to cancel. I look forward to when we can reschedule this event and together address challenges and develop a plan to help Milroy Schools prosper.
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?
The land within our district includes a small percentage of home owners and a larger percentage of agriculture land owners. The result is causing taxes to be “off-balance” among property types. A potential solution to re-balance the property tax burden will be on the Nov. 3 ballot in the form of two questions. If both questions pass with yes votes, this will result in a tax reduction to homeowners. For agriculture land owners, the net change will result in a tax increase, however, the district would remain one of the lowest property taxes in the area for agriculture owners.
Please provide a brief bio of yourself.
My name is Kim Jenniges. I was born and raised on a farm south of Milroy and a proud Milroy School alum. My husband and I have since purchased the home where I grew up. We have two children, Dawson (15) and Morgan (19). Both attended school in Milroy and have been successful in their academic careers. My husband owns an Auto Body business on our home place. I work for Avera Health as a Director of Quality, supporting all Avera hospitals. Both of us work out of the home and enjoy being part of the Milroy community.