I am running for an At Large seat on the Duluth School Board.

As a Duluth native and graduate of Duluth Central High School, I have experienced firsthand how a strong school district can contribute to the successes of students and how a healthy district can positively impact the entire community. The passion and dedication of the teachers and leaders in the school district set me on an incredibly fulfilling journey.

Now, our family is raising a dynamic young person in the district. His experiences at Myers Wilkins Elementary School are positively shaping the person he's becoming.

Professionally, I am executive director of Northern Minnesota Network. I lead all strategic, financial, and operational aspects of the organization.

I have worked with and served on boards for many years and firmly believe that the board needs to be involved with setting strategy, developing policies and procedures, and being an advocate for the constituents and students being served.

I have a proven track record of working collectively and collaboratively to support forward movement and positive change.

I am proud to have received the endorsements of the Duluth DFL, the Duluth Federation of Teachers, the North East Area Labor Council, and womenwinning.

I know what it takes to make strategic decisions while engaging stakeholders and making smart, sustainable financial choices. It has been inspirational to have strategic conversations with leaders - including City Council members, county commissioners, and zoning board members - to identify ways to collectively and comprehensively support the economic vitality of our wonderful community. I look forward to working with the schools, the city, and the county to make Duluth schools an employer-of-choice and to make Duluth not just a travel destination but a place to live and thrive.

The challenges facing the Duluth School Board are significant, but our achievements - for example, our rapidly growing language immersion programs - are equally meaningful. I look forward to being a strong and positive voice on the School Board as we tackle issues including education equity, the achievement gap, and the financial troubles facing the district. This work won't be easy, but we must listen and we must work collaboratively to have honest, inclusive dialogue about how we move forward.

With community-centered solutions and sweat equity, I believe firmly that we can make the Duluth public schools the best in the state. It is vital that public education not be a thing of the past but rather a beacon for the future.

Please visit my website for specific campaign initiatives and to share your thoughts and ideas: sallyforschoolboard.com. I look forward to rolling up my sleeves and working across the district and the community to benefit all students in the Duluth public schools.

I would greatly appreciate your vote in the primary election on Sept. 12 and in the general election on Nov. 7.

Sally Trnka is a candidate for an At Large seat on the Duluth School Board.

About this race

Five candidates are vying for two open At Large seats on the Duluth School Board. The top four vote-getters in the Sept. 12 primary election will advance to Election Day on Nov. 7. Commentaries from each of the candidates are being published Tuesday through Saturday this week on the News Tribune Opinion page. The five candidates are Josh Gorham, Bogdana Krivogorsky, Loren Martell, Sally Trnka, and incumbent Harry Welty.