Anoka-Hennepin School Board
Susan Witt: ‘Every decision should have students at the center’
From the Minneapolis Labor Review
October 21, 2023
By Steve Share, Minneapolis Labor Review editor
BLAINE — “Being a teacher, one of my first concerns is always for the students, the kids,” says Susan Witt. “Every decision should have them at the center.”
Witt, who is a retired teacher, is running for the open District 2 seat on the Anoka-Hennepin school board with the endorsement of the Minneapolis Regional Labor Federation, AFL-CIO. She also has been endorsed by Anoka Hennepin Education Minnesota and SEIU.
District 2 includes several precincts in Blaine and one precinct in Coon Rapids.
||Susan Witt, a retired teacher and former PTA president, says,
‘I’ve been immersed in public schools my whole life.’
Over the years, “I’ve doorknocked a lot of this area for other candidates,” Witt says — and one year for her own race. In 2016, Witt ran for the Minnesota House seat representing part of the area but came up just 168 votes short of winning. Several precincts where she ran before now overlap with the District 2 school board race.
Witt has lived 11 years in Anoka-Hennepin District 2, moving from neighboring Spring Lake Park after she retired from a 30-year career as a teacher including 27 years teaching in the Spring Lake Park Public Schools. She primarily taught third grade.
Witt was active in her union, winning election as vice president of Spring Lake Park Teachers United.
She also served as PTA president for Spring Lake Park’s Park Terrace elementary school.
“I’ve been immersed in public schools my whole life,” Witt says.
“I really wanted to be a teacher for as long as I could remember — it started in 4th grade,” she says.
Witt’s husband is a retired chemistry teacher and, she adds, “all my brothers and sisters are teachers and their spouses are teachers.”
In running for school board, “I bring a wealth of background,” Witt says. “I know what goes into a school day.” With her experience, she says, she will “be able to ask the right questions.”
“Everybody’s concerned about the academic progress of kids,” Witt agrees, but she also emphasizes that “we need to make sure schools are a welcoming place where kids feel they are welcome and safe.”
“To me, the job of a school board member is to listen and make good decisions for kids,” Witt says.
Unfortunately, she observes, her opponent is “talking more about the needs of the parents.”
As a union member since 1987, “I really feel strongly how unions are extremely important to our economy and the welfare of all,” Witt says.