Heather Kurlinski is running for Place 1 on the Melissa schools board of trustees. She is a parent to two children in the district and said she wants to see the board be more proactive in reaching out to the community for comment.

Kurlinski has lived in Melissa for three years and owns her own communications business. She has a master’s degree in English and business administration and graduated from the University of Nevada Las Vegas.

Q: What kind of experience would you bring to the board of trustees? What qualifications do you have?

A: Well having a communications background, I’ve worked for several non-profits and corporations. So I‘ve worked with a lot of big organizations that have various audiences that they need to communicate with and I help them find the best way to communicate. You know, what the best channel is, and also help them craft that message. And I feel as a parent and community member that our board, they don’t communicate with the community and with parents. The administration communicates and the teachers communicate, but we don’t hear from the board and there’s no informal channel for the community to communicate with the board. So I feel like I would bring that. And also my background in business and my background in education. I have kind of a unique blend of those two things. I’ve also been a grant writer and I know that money is a challenge for our district. I know that we’re slated to double in enrollment in the next 10 years.

Q: Have you attended any of the board meetings previously?

A: Yes. Well I was just at the last one on Monday.

Q: What do you think are the biggest challenges moving forward with the growth in Melissa?

A: I think the growth is going to be having to build enough space for all the kids who are going to be moving here. I mean with the enrollment expected to double in the next 10 years, being able to build facilities fast enough to accommodate all those. Like right now you know my son is in a portable. So they at least have some temporary facilities, but that is not going to change. My son’s class is the biggest class they have at Harry McKillop. That’s been true since he was in first grade. So it’s going to be true when he goes over to MRI, you know that class is just going to keep growing. Accommodating, building facilities for all of those kids is going to be a challenge.