Marin seeks her 3rd term

Published 10:10 am Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Incumbent Jill Marin is interested in continuing student success through different tracks if she is re-elected to the school board.

She is running for her third term.

Jill Marin

Jill Marin

Marin, 51, works as a marriage and family therapist in an independent practice, a minister at Grace Christian Church and a chaplain at Fountain Centers.

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She and her husband, George, have two children: Elisha is a psychology student at Metro State University and works as a music teacher at St. Theodore Catholic School and at Fountain Centers, and Suzie is a public relations student at North Dakota State University.

Both of Marin’s children went through the Albert Lea school system.

Marin enjoys spending time with family and friends and being active in the community. She said she enjoys volunteering, being on various committees, being involved with Leaders Partnering to End Poverty and other community activities.

On the issue of the proposed calendar, Marin is undecided. She is still gathering information from the community and she said she enjoys gathering that information.

Marin said she wants to see if there’s support in the community with moving forward with the calendar and she believes the board owes it to the community to take a look at different options that may be beneficial.

While Marin said she does see some potential benefits from the calendar change, she said she wants to be sensitive as well to the community’s support for it and to see what problems there may be and how those problems could be worked on.

One change Marin has felt was beneficial was recent staff changes in the district. She said one thing the board has tried to do is put people where they will be the most effective, and she believes the staff changes have done that.

Marin said the district also aims to give students an equal experience across all the buildings, and she believes the students now have that more balanced experience.

Another change Marin supported was the grade realignment that moved the sixth grade to Southwest Middle School and the eighth grade to Albert Lea High School.

Marin said the change was made as thoughtfully and deliberately as possible, and the board problem-solved along the way. She said the layout of the high school works well in that the eighth-graders have their own area while also being close to high school activities they may participate in.

All of the schools’ spaces are now being utilized as well, Marin said, and that the district needed the room to move the sixth-graders. She also believes the pairing of sixth and seventh grade at the middle school is working well.

On the subject of early childhood education, Marin believes it is very important, which is why the district implemented all-day, everyday kindergarten well before the state required it, she said.

She said she sees the importance of early childhood education. The district is one of five to be considered for a grant that will add more to the early childhood education program, Marin said.

Marin said she’s interested in pursuing a well-rounded approach and likes that tracks have been established for students. She said these tracks help identify what might be most appropriate for student interests, whether the student is headed to university, technical college or the workforce.

Marin said she’s also interested in increasing ACT scores and graduation rates. She wants to see the district maintain fiscal responsibility, as well.

One thing Marin said is important to her are openness and honesty. She said she wants to be open and honest with the community about whatever programming or ideas the board is considering, and to receive community input on that.