Van Heel Won’t Run Again

Barb Van Heel has announced she will not be seeking another term on the Robbinsdale School Board. From the Sun Post;

Barb Van Heel, chair of the Robbinsdale District 281 School Board, announced May 21 that she will not seek re-election in this fall’s election. Van Heel, a Robbinsdale resident, has served on the board since 2002. She has been chairperson for the last two years.

“This decision has been a difficult one,” Van Heel said. “I want to thank all the people who have urged me to run for re-election.  I want them to know I took their comments seriously and thought about this decision very carefully.

“But, after much reflection and many discussions with my family about the time and physical and emotional energy it takes to do board work, I know this decision is the right one for me and my family. “I am grateful to the voters who gave me the opportunity to serve for what will be 11 years at the end of my term.”

During Van Heel’s decade-long tenure  the board has closed schools, passed a referendum, hired a new superintendent and is opening a new magnet program in the fall. “I’m happy and pleased I had the opportunity to serve on the board,” she said. “It was a worthwhile thing to do.”

The mother of four married children, Van Heel had one grandchild when she first was elected and now has gained four more grandchildren during her time on the school board. Even though filing for the school board doesn’t open until July 31, Van Heel said she wanted to make her announcement before school is out, so people can start thinking about running for the school board.

“I really want to encourage people to come forward,” she said. Van Heel is encouraging people who might be interested in serving on the board to attend  a forum for potential school board candidates, 7-8:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 20, in the third-floor board room at the Education Service Center, 4148 Winnetka Ave. N., New Hope.

Topics will include an overview of the district, what school board members do, school board roles and responsibilities, the everyday impact of being a school board member, and the process for being a candidate.

A question and answer session will follow the presentations. Anyone interested in attending is asked to call Judy Lund at 763-504-8012. In addition to Van Heel’s term, the terms of board members Sherry Tyrrell and Helen Bassett expire on Dec. 31, 2012. They have not announced whether they will be candidates for re-election.

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