Every year, the citizens of New Haven elect three new school board members. This year, there are five candidates: Lauren Zobrist, Kyle Quick, Meg Parks, Mike Oetterer, and Diane White. The election date is set for April 4th.
Each candidate was interviewed and asked questions that came directly from the NHHS community. Ms. Zobrist’s responses are outlined below in order to give her a chance to speak to the community directly and to offer New Haven a better understanding of what she is all about.
Q: Why are you running for the New Haven School Board of Education and how do you intend to be a participating member?
A: I live in the New Haven School District and my children will attend school in the district. I believe education is essential to good citizenship and is important to life because it enables people to contribute to their community and their country.
I will be a balanced and responsible leader on New Haven’s School Board. I will strive to uphold the District’s mission, and maintain our District’s strong educational and community values and vote in the best interest of all students.
Q: Tell us about yourself: Where did you grow up? Do you have family? What community activities have you previously been involved in? What ties do you have to this school district?
A: I was born and raised in St. Louis. My husband and I met in college more than 15 years ago. After living in Washington for a few years, we moved back to New Haven to raise our family. My husband is a proud graduate of NHHS and, next fall, our oldest daughter, Lydia, will start kindergarten at NHES.
I served on the NHSD’s Track Project Dinner Auction Committee for 2 years. In addition, I am currently the secretary for the Town & Country Women’s Club and member of the American Legion Auxiliary. I have previously served on the United Way’s Power of the Purse Committee.
A: The school board's key responsibilities are to establish goals and evaluate outcomes for the district, hire and evaluate the superintendent, approve and oversee the annual budget, adopt and evaluate policies, connect with the community and assure school district performance.
Q: What is your plan to make sure students get the best education possible?
A: I will serve as the educational advocate for our community’s youth by adopting policy to move the district forward, advance students academically and support character development to help students become responsible, caring and contributing citizens.
Q: Why do you feel you’re a good candidate for the school board?
A: Volunteering on the Track Project Dinner Auction for 2 years allowed a closer connection to the school district. I was thoroughly impressed with the administration, faculty, staff and students. I also spent several years working in administration in higher education in St. Louis.
But, most of all, I genuinely care about our community and its residents. I would be honored to function in this important role.
Q: What is the biggest strength of our school district?
A: Simply put, the district has a tremendous tradition of high expectations in every area – academics, music and athletics. In addition, students enjoy small class sizes and faculty have access to strong professional development programs and leadership.
Q: What would you like to see changed in our school district in the next few years?
A: As a candidate, I am not aware of any changes that need to be made at this time. I will be objective and accountable and work to enhance the District’s tradition of excellence.
Q: What is your vision for the future of the New Haven School District?
A: My vision includes ensuring students are challenged to reach their full potential, and have a premier educational experience. I want students encouraged to be lifelong learners, be able to problem-solve and think critically, have integrity and self-respect and want to give back to their community. And, finally, ensuring all students will graduate from high school and proceed from high school graduation to a college, post-secondary vocational or technical school, or high-wage job with workplace skill development opportunities.