Fridley School Board member Brad Richter resigned from the board in September, kicking off an application process for a replacement.
Because less than two years remained of Richter’s term, the board was able to take applications and make an appointment to the vacant seat. Board members Marcia Lindblad, Chris Riddle and Brad Richter began their service on the board when they were appointed in similar vacancy situations.
The Board received four applications for the position, and the process concluded with the appointment of the new member, Mary Kay Delvo, at the Nov. 20 board meeting.
A North Dakota native, Delvo is the director of advocacy for the University of Minnesota Alumni Association, working with alumni to help them speak up for the school at the legislature and support the school with their time and talent.
Delvo is a 15-year Fridley resident and has two children who currently attend Fridley Middle School. She’s a member of the Columbia Heights-Fridley Rotary Club and has never run for a school board or council seat.
“I have two children there, so I think it’s important to be involved in the schools, and this is one way I can lend my professional skills and background to the schools. I’m not able to volunteer during the day because of my work schedule, so I can contribute during the evenings (on the board),” Delvo said.
She noted that, besides Riddle, there is little parent representation on the current board makeup, although the other members are parents of children who formerly attended school in the district.
“I can bring that (parent’s) perspective to the discussion, as well,” Delvo said.
As a new board member, she wants to listen and learn, then provide her perspective as a parent of current students in the district, hearing her children’s thoughts about how the school is running.
“I want schools to be higher funded,” she said of issues in the district, “but that’s a bigger issue.” Richter’s term that Delvo is filling runs through Jan. 6, 2014, and she noted that such big issues might not be able to be addressed with about one year in office. “I’m testing the waters and seeing what it’s like; I’ll learn about the process and see what issues come up.”
She said it seems to her that the district and board are running well and are currently well governed, and she’s not aware of any big issues on the horizon.
“Our schools are extremely important – they’re the hub of our community, whether you have children in them or not,” Delvo said. “It’s important to get involved with children, schools and community groups – many, many parents already are – it’s a critical link for the community, and the kids learn from seeing parents involved, as well.”
To contact Delvo with questions, comments or concerns about the Fridley School District and Board, email her at Marykay.firstname.lastname@example.org.