Today, something for local readers. If you live near me, specifically in Southwest Allen County school district, I have a voting suggestion for you.
Meagan Milne for school board!
I got to know Meagan a couple of years ago. She and her family had moved here from the Indianapolis area, and her kids took piano lessons from me. Meagan wasted no time getting involved in the schools here, volunteering a lot and attending meetings to educate herself about the district where her kids attended school. I was on the board of one of the school groups, and she often asked me questions about various things. I was impressed with her level of curiosity, and the way she was a good listener. She wanted to know all there was to know.
So, I was excited to learn the Meagan has decided to run for school board.
Here’s a Q&A with Meagan:
What’s your background?
I earned my J.D. in 1994 from the Indiana University School of Law in Bloomington, where I served on the Indiana Law Journal. Previously, I graduated with highest honors in 1991 with my B.S. from the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign. I put my law degree to work helping the State of Indiana, working for twelve years as an attorney for four judges on the Indiana Court of Appeals. My husband, Dave, is also a lawyer and attributes much of his success to the foundation he received as a student in SACS. In 2009, we moved from Carmel to Fort Wayne. Consequently, we have had the opportunity to compare SACS with another stellar public school system and have been very impressed with the teachers, staff, administrators, and families here. We now have two middle school students at Woodside: William is in 7th grade, and Catherine is in 6th grade. Both our son and daughter attended and thrived at Aboite Elementary and continue to receive a superior educational experience in SACS.
Why are you interested in serving on the school board? How are you involved in the schools and the community?
Both of my parents were teachers, hence I was raised to value education and was fortunate to attend high-performing schools in the Chicago suburbs. Not surprisingly, I became very interested and invested in our children’s education and have always supported their schools and teachers. In addition to volunteering countless hours in classrooms and for myriad special events, I have served as PTO co-president in Carmel and assisted on various district committees. Among my recent achievements was bringing the “straight donation” campaign to Aboite Elementary. This approach to fundraising ensures that 100% of donations go to the school; at Aboite it raised approximately $30,000 over the last two years (300% of the amount raised by prior fundraisers). I also served as a co-secretary for the Woodside PTC and now chair the teacher appreciation committee at Woodside. Outside of my commitment to educational matters, I volunteer to represent the interests of abused and neglected children as a Court Appointed Special Advocate. In addition, I serve as a board member for the Chestnut Hills Homeowners Association and as the Vice-Chairperson of the Girl Scouts of Northern Indiana-Michiana Board of Directors. Moreover, I am a certified legal mediator with civil and family law training.
What’s your political affiliation?
While Indiana law requires that candidates for school board appear on the ballot without a party designation, I am generally conservative with spending and strongly believe in being a responsible steward of public funds. Having successfully worked for appellate judges appointed by Republicans and Democrats, I have a history of thoughtfully examining issues without bias. My legal background, coupled with my ability to perform appropriate cost-benefit analysis in matters that affect us all, would be well-utilized in working to “improve the quality of education for all children.” See SACS Board Policy goal.
What’s your profession?
Currently, I am fortunate to stay at home, volunteer extensively, and support my husband and busy children while exploring the opportunity to begin a legal mediation business. When my family lived in the Indianapolis/Carmel area, I worked as a lawyer for our State’s appellate court for over a dozen years.
As a SACS board member, what issues would interest you, and what would you like to see changed?
As a Board member, I commit to study the issues and work cooperatively to affect positive change. I would like to ensure that our students are well-prepared and highly competitive for whatever future they may choose – be it in a STEMs field, the arts, a trade, or some other career. I agree that objective measures are necessary for improving education, but such criteria cannot be used in isolation. Instead, an exceptional education is the result of a partnership between families and schools, and I believe that teachers and administrators should have strong support to do the best job possible. I know that with the recent full funding of all-day kindergarten, class sizes will need to be monitored. I also understand that as our facilities age, we will need to carefully weigh how our limited financial resources are allocated among competing interests. In addition, I hear concerns about nutrition/exercise/wellness in our schools, embracing technology in a safe manner, scheduling issues, global readiness, and even traffic patterns. Bottom line: while the world of education is facing challenging times, I find it extremely exciting to be a part of progress and creative thinking for Southwest Allen County Schools.
If you have questions or comments for Meagan, or if you’d like to help with her campaign, you can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks for your consideration. I think it’s a lot of fun to actually know a candidate running for office. It’s even better when it’s someone who I respect and think would be a real asset to the school board.