The Free Press, Mankato, MN

October 15, 2013

Looking through wider lens

By Amanda Dyslin adyslin@mankatofreepress.com
The Mankato Free Press

---- — MANKATO — Kristi Schuck entered into her first term on the Mankato Area Public School Board four years ago with an open mind, but she was also a mother of three.

So among the various things she's learned as a public representative, Schuck has greatly valued “looking through a bigger, wider lens” and understanding the impact of decisions on 7,500 kids versus just her three.

“And I like that challenge,” she said. “It's definitely been great to enhance that scope and see through to that bigger picture … and see that this is bigger than one of us.”

Schuck of Mankato is running for her second term against incumbents Jodi Sapp and Kinney Eberhart, as well as challenger Abdi Sabrie. There are three seats up for election Nov. 5.

Schuck's first term was a rewarding learning experience, she said, and now she's prepared to better use that knowledge if re-elected.

“My second term is what I owe back to the constituents,” Schuck said. “The first year and a half is a really, really good learning process, and you're just gaining your understanding of the depths (of the position).”

Schuck said she has been proud to be a part of a board and collaborated with administration who truly believe that “all means all” — all students will learn, she said. She hopes to continue the rewarding experience of being involved in important decisions that affect the entire community, including those without children in the school system.

Being involved in several district committees — including the energy, transportation, wellness and community education and recreation committees — also has made Schuck feel like she's having a positive impact.

“I get really charged up about the committees that I'm on,” she said. “That's where a lot of the real work happens.”

Schuck and her husband own Two Fish Studios, and she works as a wellness coach at the Mankato YMCA. The Schucks' three children attend Mankato schools in second, fifth and seventh grades.

Schuck is also active in the community, serving on the BackPack Food Program committee, the Mankato Planning Commission and coaching with the YWCA's Girls on the Run.

She volunteered in the past with Envision 20/20 and the Downtown Renaissance task force. She served for six years on the board of directors for VINE Faith in Action.

Schuck said volunteering adds to her perspective as a School Board member by putting her in direct contact with various demographics and diverse populations in Greater Mankato. Interacting with so many people in varying capacities teaches her a great deal about different perspectives, which she brings to her position with Mankato Area Public Schools, she said.