The South Washington County School Board has five seats up for election in 2013.
Four members will be elected to four-year terms; one will be elected to fill the vacancy of the two-year term expiring Jan. 4, 2016.
There are 14 people vying for the four-year terms and three candidates for the two-year term. The election is Nov. 5.
Raj Gandhi, of Woodbury, is vying for a four-year term.
Check back on Patch for more candidate profiles.
Patch: Why are you running for school board?
Gandhi: This is an opportunity to be involved in the lives of my children. I have administrative skills that are useful for volunteer boards and I want to do work in a way that benefits our community.
Patch: What qualifications do you have?
Gandhi: I have a B.S. and M.S. in electrical engineering from Iowa State University. I'm a volunteer President of Woodbury Soccer Club, Director of Soccer for Woodbury Athletic Association, First Lego League team coach (middle-school age) and Church A/V Volunteer.
Patch: How are you voting on the three ballot questions? Why?
Gandhi: I support all three.
However, I disagree with the way that district is taking credit for some decreases in taxes to show a nominal $6 increase where the actual incremental cost is $18.
To personally help the referendum questions pass, I've analyzed the budget and I have personal conversations with community members where I talk about the value of high school graduates to our community.
That is, the return on investment of each child in public school for our community is high.
Patch: What is the biggest challenge facing District 833 schools? How would you address it?
Gandhi: I believe that population growth is going to be the biggest challenge for District 833 in the next few years.
Overcrowding in the middle school ages and on the East side of the district could put further stress on busing, schools and families.
Patch: Anything else you'd like to add?
Gandhi: The question of iPads in schools comes up frequently with regards to the schools.
Last year I wrote my own iPad app so I know a lot about the platform. I agree that the iPad platform is the best choice for schools because it isn’t just an eBook reader or an Angry Birds player. It is a good standard platform to produce bi-directional multi-media content.
Five years in the future, I’d like to see iPads present or available for all kids in the district. On the other hand, schools aren’t the best at adopting new technology. I'm aware of the T3 program within the district and don't necessarily agree on the implementation of iPads heading to classrooms.
For example, teacher training and adequate WiFi infrastructure are necessary.
Please visit my Facebook page to learn more about my background and stance on issues. Feel free to leave me a question: www.facebook.com/RajGandhi833.
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