Candidate Q&A: Laurie Saims, Saline School Board

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Note to readers: The Sun Times News has made its media outlet available to candidates running for public office. Articles published do not reflect an endorsement by the STN. Submissions are from candidates who responded within our guidelines. In order to be as fair and equitable as possible, candidates can submit their responses to four basic questions.

  1. Who are you?
  2. Why are you running?
  3. What issues do you think are important?
  4. Why should we vote for you?

Candidate’s responses are printed as submitted.

Who are you? (What office are you running for? Your career/experience? Where you live. Etc.)

I am Laurie Saims and am running for the Saline Area Schools Board of Education on the November 8th
ballot. I have lived in Saline for 15 years and have children in the school district.

I was raised by a public educator and have a public educator sibling, putting me in a unique position of understanding the challenges that educators have thriving in the system of public education.

I am a Global Executive in STEAM, serving as the VP & Chief Information Security Officer for a Fortune 500 organization. My direct organization is located across North America, Europe, Middle East and Asia. I am responsible for a direct budget of over $15 million.

One of my strengths is bringing together differing groups of people/opinions while facilitating decisions based on shared benefit resolutions. This is directly applicable to a school board environment; ensuring that decisions are being made in the best interest for all students, staff and administrators.

Why are you running?

I support public education and public educators. I believe our children’s time at school is essential for development and growth as individuals; all children should feel safe and heard, while having access to educational opportunities that propel them into future successes.

I want to affect educational policy that will assist an entire community of learners. I will continually push for excellence by asking the tough questions and demanding thorough and transparent answers; ensuring Saline has sustained continued excellence in public education.

I am passionate about ensuring that our teachers and support staff are equitably compensated for their valuable positions. That educators have the necessary resources allowing them to excel in their jobs; and ensuring our children to have the greatest opportunities for growth and advancement.

I seek to ensure that Saline Area Schools provides robust career pathway programs, so every student can make a successful transition in pursuit of their life goals.

What issues do you think are important?

The district needs to continue to strive for the fair treatment, opportunity and advancement of all children; allowing students to achieve their highest level of academic and personal growth.

The utmost priority of the district should be student learning. Ensuring that that every student is taught by skilled educators who provide effective and high-quality instruction. Educators need to be equipped with the necessary tools and training. This requires a careful dissection of district finances, to ensure we can attract and retain high-quality educators.

I will demand consistent and transparent communications, particularly with parents and families. I will focus on instilling community commitment toward student and district successes and barriers.

I will focus on fiscal responsibility. pushing for a review all financial processes; including streamlining and consolidating processes; and look for innovative ways to improve efficiencies and accountability in financial processes.

Why should we vote for you?

I have a vested interest in the school district as I have children and family members that attend Saline Area Schools.

I have lived internationally and am well versed in working with individuals with differing opinions and values. I can work through these difficult situations and respect others’ opinions, while leaving emotions out of the decision-making process.

Daily I engage in situations where decisions need to be made where there are disagreements between parties; I assist in making decisions where both parties feel as though an equitable outcome has been achieved.

Photo: Laurie Saims. Courtesy of Laurie Saims.

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