Thank you for your support.

Thank you for your interest in our community and our schools. Thank you for you interest and attention to the issues at hand. During my campaign over the preceding weeks I have met a lot of wonderful and dedicated folks who truly care about the future of the district and our children.

 

As many of you know I am opposed to closing Marine, Oak Park and Withrow Elementary schools. In order to keep these schools open, all three open seats for next year must be filled with candidates who would like to halt progress on the BOLD initiative. As many of you know each of us can vote for three candidates.

 

In order to attempt to help consolidate votes for the same three individuals and not ‘water down the vote’ I am suspending my campaign as of today. I feel keeping these schools operational is too important to let my ego get in the way of the greater good.

 

I ask that you carefully consider your votes, being mindful of the consequences that closing these schools may have on the social fabric of this unique district.

 

I plan to stay active in a more background role to help the district if and when I can.

Please feel free to reach out to me if you have questions about my decision. I wish ISD 834 the brightest of futures and thank you all so much for your support and love of our community!

 

Sincerely,

 

Jerry Clark

Who

I grew up in Stillwater, the son of a mother who taught music at Lily Lake, Marine,  Stonebridge and eventually Stillwater Jr. High and Oak-Land Jr. High and a father who taught industrial arts and physics at Stillwater High School.

I had a wonderful experience as a student at Stonebridge Elementary when it was a very free, open and unique experience “where we build bridges instead of walls”. Stonebridge served me well, but it was a concept that’s not for every student. I went on to attend Oak-Land Jr. High where the struggles of adolescence made for a less enjoyable experience through no fault of the educators. I felt they did their best with us. High school, for me, was a good experience and I truly enjoyed the variety of class offerings available at the time. I did very well in school and left town to attend Carnegie Mellon University.

For the next few years I would come back to town for a while and leave again, traveling all over the country for various opportunities and eventually joined the US Army in 2004 at age 26. I joined the Engineer Corps as a bridge builder. In Iraq I had the opportunity to really serve the people of that nation by building bridges that allowed farmers and shepherds to get their crops and livestock to the market on the other side of the Euphrates River. While Serving as a Squad Leader there I was lucky to get to interact with the local population and really see that bridge building served a logistical as well as an emotional function. Helping local farmers and herders with their daily tasks helped to endear us to each other. I found a real love for public service during this period of my life and have been missing it ever since.

After my years of Active Duty service I served as a Sergeant in the reserves for 2 years while earning my BS in Journalism at UW – River Falls. I briefly worked as a journalist for the Twin Cities Daily Planet.

The job market was pretty tough in 2010 so I started my own business. I worked as a handyman and remodeler for the next few years until deciding to take a position as a Customer Service Representative at Andersen Windows. It has been a great experience working for them.

I decided to run for School Board because of my love of this community. These last few years have been very challenging for the district and I cannot stand idly by. I have no children. This is not about me. This is about helping our community develop happy, healthy, productive and engaged citizens by preserving and improving our schools. I will enjoy meeting you in the next few months!

Sincerely,

Jerry Clark