Joelyn Kelly may be relatively new to the area, but she’s been waiting for the chance to get more involved.
With the Cody School Board she said she’s found her opportunity, which is why she’s one of eight running for three four-year seats.
And with her current work and family situation – she can work from home and her two children are now off to college and the military – she said she is well poised to take on a new role.
“I’ve always been active in the community I’ve lived in,” she said.
Kelly has worked for a technology company for more than 20 years, with her main job being to work with school districts and other organizations to help them with administrative issues.
“My personal priority is around the budget and financial side,” she said. “I’ve seen it from the time my kids were in school – I understand the budget difficulties. To me the financial aspects of keeping a school district healthy and successful is important.”
She said another key is student engagement, and part of that is having a quality curriculum.
“I have a broader goal around teaching kids the right things and teaching them well,” she said. “It’s really about preparing them for life. Having a really good elementary and secondary education is key to them being successful.”
She said that was the case with her two children, both of whom have been successful in their lives after graduation.
“I’m fortunate my two kids had successful experiences and I’ve seen what that’s done for them and I know how much it helped them,” she said. “I hear from friends and family that not every child has a positive experience, and to me that’s unacceptable. If I can make the experience as best as possible, I want to do that.”
Kelly, who moved from the Minneapolis area two years ago, said while she has never been on a school board before, she was involved in PTA groups at her children’s schools, one of which was in a bigger suburb and the other in a rural area.
Kelly said she’s seen both sides. And since she’s been here, she’s kept up with the local issues. She said she would’ve voted for the concealed carry policy CKA in it’s final form.
But it’s more that she simply wants to be involved.
“Education is kind of an area I’m passionate about,” she said. “Education, and helping our kids have good futures is so important. So school board seemed like a natural place. I thought now was a good time to put my hat in the ring.”