About Melinda Dols imageAbout Melinda Dols imageAbout Melinda Dols image

I am running for re-election to the South Washington County School Board to continue the hard work that has gone into my past four years on the board. The SoWashCo School District includes all or parts of the communities of Cottage Grove, Newport, St. Paul Park, Woodbury, as well as, Afton, Denmark and Grey Cloud Island Townships.

Why am I running for re-election as a District 833 school board candidate? In addition to my past four years on the District 833 School Board:

I know our schools as both a student and a parent. I graduated from this great school district and have had two children graduate from it. My daughter graduated from East Ridge High School and then continued on to the Next Step program for three years. She received Special Education services throughout her schooling so I have firsthand knowledge of what it's like to have a child with an IEP in our district. My oldest son graduated from East Ridge High School during the height of the pandemic and missed out on many important high school milestones, including a graduation ceremony, as a result. I know firsthand how difficult the pandemic was on our children so its extremely important to me to be able to keep our children learning in person. My youngest son is now a junior at East Ridge High School and has benefited from the Gateway Program and taking accelerated classes in our district. Because of this, I know how important it is to have a school district that offers a variety of accelerated academic courses and programs. I am a strong supporter of public education and all it has to offer. I will continue to be an advocate for all children in our district, despite how they learn or what demographic they are from.

I have been an involved parent in our district for the past 20 years. I was an active parent volunteer at both Liberty Ridge and Middleton Elementary Schools, PTA co-president at Lake Middle School, on the choir booster board at East Ridge High School, and a parent rep on the School Communicators Committee.

My professional career includes over 25 years of Social Work, Education, and Mental Health experience. I have worked as a Child Protection Worker, Children's Developmental Disabilities Case Manager, Mental Health Case Manager/Counselor, Early Childhood Teacher, and Interim College Instructor. I recently went back to grad school to pursue a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor licensure and am now an Outpatient Mental Health Therapist in our community.

I am also an involved community member. I am on the Woodbury Racial Equity Collaborative, a member of The League of Women Voters, and have served several times as an Election Judge for Washington County.

My priorities as a School Board member include Academic Excellence, Mental Health and Special Education Support, Equity and Inclusion, and Fiscal Responsibility. My knowledge, career experience, and four years of work on the School Board will continue to be an asset for our children, community and school district. I will always put children first!