2016 Farmington school board candidate profile: Mark Przeslawski

Local voters will choose among 13 candidates November 8 to fill three, six-year terms and two partial terms on the Farmington Public Schools Board of Education. Farmington Voice sent all candidates a questionnaire; responses are published as they were received.

Mark PrzeslawskiMark Przeslawski, West Bloomfield – candidate for partial term

I am a widower with 4 boys and have lived in the District since 1998. My background in Program and Operations Management has given me the skills to successfully oversee business operations. Farmington Schools provide an excellent education – my oldest is at Dartmouth and my second son used his IB Degree to attend the University of Michigan. My younger boys are in 7th and 10th grade. I am, and have been, very involved with the schools. For example, I’ve run the Math Pentathlon training, coordinated parent career days, and belong to PTSA and Boosters. I served for many years, including as President, on the Board of my subdivision. Currently, I am on the AHEPA District #10 Educational Foundation Board, where we presented scholarships this year to 29 high school and college kids.

What is the most critical issue facing Farmington Public Schools, and how will you work to resolve it?

We need to make this District attractive to families and employees again. The uncertainty of school closures, budget declines, and handling of employee contracts has hurt our reputation. The Farmington District has lost neighborhood schools and some kids are riding a bus six miles this year. The shuffling of teachers and kids between schools must stop – we have many children in this District that have attended 5 or 6 schools. It is an embarrassment that our dedicated teachers are still without a contract. The custodial staff gave concessions, and then were eliminated. Remaining staff are obviously worried about their jobs. As a Board member, I will work with the unions to understand their positions and work to get the contracts settled. Additionally, I will continue to work with the Administration and the Board to understand the District enrollment and accurately project it. Existing home sales have increased, and residents report that young families are moving into their neighborhoods. We have to avoid not having the schools or the land to build if the enrollment increases. The kids, employees, and residents deserve better, and I will represent them.