The Shakopee School Board conducted interviews with three finalists for board member Reggie Bowerman’s seat, which he is vacating this month after announcing his resignation in July.
Bowerman told The Shakopean in July that he is making the choice to resign because his family is moving to Missouri to be closer to his and his wife’s aging parents.
The finalists for Bowerman’s seat are Jeffrey Smith, Timothy Brophy, and Tamra Tyler. You can watch the full video of the interviews in the video below, courtesy of Shakopee Public Schools. Be warned that there were audio issues during Tyler’s interview, so she is difficult to hear at times.
Smith, Brophy, and Tyler were chosen as finalists from a group of seven total applicants. Acting Chair Judi Tomczik explained the current board members did not know the identities or names of any of the candidates until after they had chosen their three finalists at the Dec. 9 meeting.
Board members are seeking public input on the finalists before the board makes its decision on Jan. 6. After they select their preferred appointee, there is a state-mandated 30-day waiting period before that person can take the oath of office. The board anticipates its newest member will be sworn in on Feb. 10.
Bowerman’s term is set to conclude at the end of 2020, meaning there will be an election to fill it again in November 2020.
According to an email sent from Shakopee Public Schools today, the finalists gave the following responses in their written applications when asked why they would like to serve on the Shakopee School Board:
Jeffrey Smith: “Public Education is critical to the success of our community and our nation. Whether in a leadership role or just providing another set of hands, we owe it to our children to give ourselves to contribute to their academic achievement. As a member of the board, I would invest my time and effort to understand the needs of the students, the district, and the community, and promote goals that meet those needs.”
Timothy Brophy: “First, my wife, Jennifer, and I have been members of the community since May 2000. We have watched the district grow and rise to meet the challenges of an ever-evolving educational landscape. Jennifer became a district employee in 2004 teaching 7th grade Life Science at what is now East Middle School. It is as true today as it was at that time how impressed I am with the district’s commitment to excellence in education. Now that our two daughters have moved into high school and middle school levels respectively, I feel I have the capacity, and more importantly, a civic responsibility to give back to the extent I can be of value to the Shakopee School Board. Second, it is exciting to witness what Shakopee is doing to elevate the classroom experience with a clear focus on the success of our students. In many ways the district is reshaping the educational paradigm starting with early childhood development all the way through equipping students for career/post-secondary opportunities. I am absolutely aligned with the district’s mission and “Education Forward” philosophy. As evidenced by being awarded “best public high school” by Southwest News Media Corporation this year, Shakopee is developing strong brand recognition and garnering the attention deserving of such a commitment to excellence. It would be an honor to serve with the Shakopee School Board to help further the great work that is taking place here.”
Tamra Tyler: “As a public school special education teacher (in Minneapolis), I am interested in the opportunity to serve on the Shakopee School Board to advocate and uplift all students by focusing on student achievement. With my experience as a teacher, I will bring to the board the perspective of being a teacher and as a staff who works directly in a classroom setting, while expanding on the needs of students with special needs so that we can fully address the whole student experience to improve their education in our school district. I would also like to work collaboratively with the board to advocate for fully funded education at the state level so that our students can receive the best education that they deserve.”
To access contact information for board members so you can provide feedback on your preferred candidate, click here.