Two years after voters agreed to provide additional revenue to the South Washington County School District, both the district and its leaders continue to enjoy the confidence of its citizens, survey results show.

Eighty-seven percent of people responding to a June survey said the district’s schools were a good value and a good investment, while 66 percent gave positive marks to the job performance of Superintendent Keith Jacobus and his administration.

Both percentages were identical to those reported in a 2013 survey that led to the district successfully pursuing a $6.9 million annual increase in operating revenue later that year.

This spring, the district hired the Morris Leatherman Co. to conduct a survey in preparation for a pair of referendums this fall involving operating revenue and building projects. A summary of the findings was released on the district’s website ahead of a presentation and discussion scheduled for last Thursday night.

The survey results suggest that the district will have some convincing to do as it relates to its push for new operating revenue. A majority of respondents indicated they opposed or strongly opposed both a $900-per-pupil levy increase and a more modest $700-per-pupil levy hike.

The proposed bond referendums fared better. A majority of respondents indicated they supported or strongly supported a $96 million plan to build a new middle school and renovate and expand other middle schools, plus $46.5 million for high school and elementary school improvements.

The board is expected to finalize its ballot proposals in early August.

In November, voters also will elect three school board members to seats currently held by Ron Kath, Michelle Witte and Joe Slavin.

Filings begin July 28 and close on Aug. 11.


Three students win merit scholarships

Three Woodbury residents were among the final recipients of 2015 college-sponsored National Merit Scholarships.

This month’s round of scholarship winners was the last of four to be announced this year by the National Merit Scholarship Corp. and involved annual awards of between $500 and $2,000 from colleges and universities that the students plan to attend.

Local winners were:

• Tarunika Anand, who graduated from Woodbury High, and plans to study medicine at Emory College in suburban Atlanta.

• Peter Buttery, also of Woodbury High, who is considering a career in chemical engineering and plans to study at the University of Minnesota.

• Thomas D. Sullivan, who graduated from East Ridge High, and plans to study actuarial science at Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minn.

District 622

Fun run benefit nearing kick off

Start time is approaching for a family fun run and walk benefiting needy students and creative teachers in the North St. Paul-Maplewood-Oakdale School District.

The fundraiser is set for Saturday, July 25, and begins with a 5K at 9 a.m., followed by a free kid run at 10 a.m. and a free toddler trot at 10:15 a.m., the district said in a news release.

“This event is a fun way to support the students in our school district,” Doug Ronsberg, a member of the District 622 Education Foundation, was quoted as saying.

Proceeds from the run go to the foundation’s Angel Fund.

The race begins and ends in the parking lot of Polar Arena in North St. Paul, and will find the runners winding their way through the city.

Go to and search for “District 622” to register.

Onsite registration also will be available from 8 a.m. to 8:45 a.m. on the day of the race, the district said.

Anthony Lonetree