The student news site of St. Louis Park High School

The Echo

The student news site of St. Louis Park High School

The Echo

The student news site of St. Louis Park High School

The Echo

Sra. Korman, teacher by day school board by night

Park Spanish teacher runs for Bloomington school board
Kaia Myers
Spanish teacher Nelly Korman assists freshman Solin Mendes-Duffy with an assignment Oct. 24. Korman is running for Bloomington school board for the 2019 election.

What inspired you to run for the Bloomington school board?

The first time that I ran for the school board was 11 years ago, so that was in 2011. So it’s going to be 12 years since I joined the school board in Bloomington. And the reason for why I ran back then, was because I’m an educator. I’ve been an educator now for almost 30 years. I have my little kids, my young kids going into the schools. So as they started attending schools, I became more involved in the school. And I began to gain more understanding of what the education system was like in Minnesota because I come from Colombia. I come from a different education system and I got pretty interested in that and I started attending school board meetings, and I really liked them. I found it interesting. And I also became engaged in the process of redistricting the boundaries. Bloomington, at the time, was doing that. (Since) that changed I ended up going to more board meetings and I found that very interesting. Education was my passion at the time, and continues to be now. But I also noticed that there was no representation and there had never been representation of people of color — especially Latinos in the school board — in Bloomington. So I thought, “Oh, this is interesting. Somebody should be representing the amount of students we have in the Latino community in our school. Somebody should be running. I can be that person.” Why not? Why not me? I can do this. So I would say my main inspiration was the fact that I’m an educator, and that I’m passionate about education. I’m passionate about community service, because that was the other thing. Coming from Colombia and living in Bloomington, I found it to be a welcoming community. And I found that I’ve done that and I have received a lot and I wanted to give back to the community. So the best way to do that was through what I knew best, which was education.

What are you most looking forward to about running for the Bloomington school board?

I decided to run again for school board, because there’s still a lot of work that needs to be done on behalf of our students in Minnesota — not just Bloomington — but everywhere. One of the big things is funding. We went 20 years without receiving proper funding from the legislature, which left public schools in a very difficult financial situation. Where you have seen school districts going through budget cuts and reduction of services, not enough services for schools. It’s important to continue to advocate so that we receive more funding. The needs of our students have also increased. We have more students with special education needs. We have students that need more mental health support and we’re also in changing times, and so we need more innovation and more programs that will provide students with more opportunities as well. New opportunities and things they can look forward to are my priorities, and I want to be part of the school board again, so I can continue to advocate for those needs that we have in our public school system. Not only for Bloomington but for Minnesota, being a teacher in Park has given me a lot of perspective. I get to see how much my students need and where (their) struggles are. 

How have you balanced teaching and being on the Bloomington school board?

I’m a teacher all day, then I’m on the school board of one of the biggest districts in one of the biggest cities in Minnesota. We’re number four. On top of that, I’m also going to graduate school. So I’m going through a doctoral program in Educational Leadership and learning at the University of St. Thomas right now. And so on top of that, I’m running a campaign. So how do I do it? With a lot of work, dedication and purpose to the job that I do in this school as a teacher allows me to have the firsthand experience being in the classroom, being with my students. I feed myself with the energy that I get from my students, and the knowledge that you guys have (and) grow with you. When I do my school board work, I find myself in a position where I can make decisions. I can make decisions, I can impact policies, I can actually make policies. So I’m impacting policies, programs, initiatives and then I can advocate at the legislature so that instead of being tired after my work, that actually re-energizes me. You know how people have different ways of renewing themselves and their energy? For me, it is that work that I do, and when I know that I can be of service to others. When I can be within my community and be with the students there too. So the following day, when I come to work, I feel good. It’s kind of weird. But I guess it’s just that everything I do in my life is all about education. Nothing else. Well, besides my family, but in my family, all we talked about is education and service.

Why is this important to you? 

Education matters a lot to me. It is where we have the base of our society. The very, very base of the roots of our society. (It) starts with our kids when (they’re) little and (they) can get that proper education in. If we want to have successful communities, safe communities and prosperous communities we need to look into the very beginning of it, which is the education of our kids. The most valuable human beings in our society are the kids, so this is why it matters to me because I want to make sure that whatever I do in my life, is with the intention of making this world a better place for everyone, not only now but in the future. And I truly believe in public education. So, giving you the tools that you need to become successful, and not only professionally successful but also personally, that you are effective members of our society and  you’re also happy later in life matters a lot to me. So that’s why I do it. And I will continue for as long as I can.


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About the Contributors
Caedon Exsted
Caedon Exsted, Echo Staffer
Hey, my name is Caedon Exsted. I am a junior and this is my second year on Echo. I live in St. Louis Park with my parents, 5 siblings and 2 dogs. In my free time I enjoy hanging with friends and watching new shows on Netflix.
Kaia Myers
Kaia Myers, Managing Editor
Hello! My name is Kaia. I’m a SENIOR and this is my second year on Echo. This year, I am a managing editor. I’ve been to every coffee shop in Minneapolis and spend a lot of time going to them and drinking wayyy too much coffee. One of my talents is being able to spot the skyline from everywhere in the metro area. In my free time, I love running, hanging out with friends, and making smoothies. You can find me at lake Bde Maka Ska eating Punch :).

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