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Meet the candidate: Marilyn Stewart

Marilyn Stewart is running for a seat on the school board in this year's municipal election.
Marilyn Stewart is running for a seat on the school board in this year's municipal election.(Courtesy Marilyn Stewart's campaign team)
Published: Mar. 12, 2021 at 2:38 PM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Marilyn Stewart is running for a seat on the school board. Alaska’s News Source asked her to answer some questions about her campaign. Here’s what she said.

What school board seat are you running for?

SCHOOL BOARD SEAT B

Can you give me a short description of yourself?

As a dedicated public servant, I have worked at every level of government, including multiple Alaska governors (Knowles and Murkowski) and Anchorage Mayors (Mystrom and Sullivan). I have worked in local and state government, served as President/C.E.O. of a non-profit, and I’m proud to have served in the United States Army. I served as the first Executive Director of Anchorage’s Bridge Builders, I have worked in human rights, community outreach, fostering respect and understanding among all Alaskans throughout my entire career. My public service recognitions and awards have included, Department of the Army and the Airforce Letter of Commendation, and P.E.W. Charitable Trust Foundation’s “Civic Entrepreneur Leadership” Award in 2005. In 2012, I was awarded the prestigious Freedom’s Sister Award by Ford Motor Company, promoting respect among Alaskans and Commitment to strengthening the Alaskan Community. These attributes make me a part of the Ford Motor Company’s Freedom’s Sisters Exhibition alongside Myrlie Evers-Williams, Barbara Jordan, and Rosa Parks. Today I sit on the Alaska Advisory Committee for the United States Commission for Civil Rights. Whether it be fighting for jobs for all Alaskans, inclusive of minorities, or serving alongside other public elected officials, I believe I am equipped to continue fighting for Alaskans - across all ages, faiths, and races. God, Family, and Country: these are my beliefs and my values.

Why are you running for school board?

I believe it is crucial that our children return to school safely and soon. However, this decision must parallel with the guidelines of C.D.C., Anchorages School Board and public health officials. Most importantly, our teachers must have input and be a part of the dynamic strategy process. I believe what we do makes a difference, and we must decide what kind of difference we want to make. I will make sure our education system serves our kids well. I want our kids to have the best future possible. They deserves the best education imaginable. I will work with other school board members in getting the best possible results for our children. We must have a more responsible government and I will work to make sure our education system serves our student’s well.

What will be your focus on the school board?

Returning our kids to school safely and soon. and getting the best possible results for our kids education. Having a more responsible government and make sure our education system serves our students well. Student’s Allocation is a serious issue facing the district.

Do you think students should be back in school, learning virtually, or a hybrid?

I believe it is crucial that our children return to school safely and soon. However, this decision must parallel with the guidelines of C.D.C., Anchorages School Board and public health officials. Most importantly, our teachers must have input and be a part of the dynamic strategy process. Therefore, I continue to support the School District Administrative Policy and Procedure for virtual learning through computer-generated options, homeschooling, and those parents who have selected to send their kids back to school.

Should students in school be wearing masks?

Except for underlying medical conditions, yes students should be wearing masks. We now have a surge in CORVID-19 cases that is caused by a new variant of the virus.

Do you think children were left behind this school year? How can they get back to grade level?

Our schools are some of the most diverse schools in the nation and yes, I believe children were left behind this school year. If our kids, were already behind prior to the Pandemic they probably have fallen further behind. We must take a serious look at the Psychological and emotional abuse of our kids relating to the pandemic - must address this issue soon. Getting them back to grade levels will take the Anchorage School Board, school administrators, teachers, and parents to come up with a workable plan. I am not certain what the plan would look like. However, I bring the dedication, discipline, and willingness needed to assist in the development and implementation of a plan.

How do you plan to address the COVID-19 pandemic in schools?

We must return our kids to school safely and soon. However there is not a vaccine developed for our kids. So for now, I plan to continue to support the C.D.C., School District Administrative Policy and Procedure guidelines for virtual learning through computer-generated options, homeschooling, and those parents who have selected to send their kids back to school.

What’s the largest non-pandemic issue facing the district and what do you intend to do about it?

The largest non-pandemic issue facing the district is those children left behind this school year, and how do we deal with year’s worth of emotional disconnects of our kids not being in school due to the pandemic. Other non-pandemic issues are reductions in student enrollment due to the pandemic and getting the best possible results for our kid’s education. Base Student’s Allocation is another serious non-pandemic issue facing the district.

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