Meet the Candidate

Stuart Willet

Sioux Falls School Board

Occupation: Retired teacher

Education: BS in Geology from Rice University, Post graduate study in Geology at UT Permian Basin, and MS in Special Education from Touro college in NY.

Family: Father was Peter S Willett, a VP at UPI and later a VP at the NY Times. Mother was Carolyn Willett — a journalist at UPI and then full time mother. My father was born in Shanghai, my grandfather was in the Navy, and then he was in Pearl Harbor when it was attacked. His house is a historical marker on Pearl harbor. My wife is Theresa, she is an EA at Axtel Park school, and we have four children. Nehemiah is the oldest, he lives in St. Paul, Mn., Gurion died a few years ago, Poiema is a school teacher in Taiwan and Zion is living in Sioux Falls with us.

Years in Sioux Falls: This is my third year

What issues do you want to focus on if elected?:

If elected, my focus will be on four key initiatives to improve education:

  1. 1. Enhancing Professional Development: Identifying highly effective K-12 educators and utilizing their expertise to provide targeted professional development for teachers, promoting continuous improvement in teaching methodologies.
  2. 2. Statistical Analysis Tools for Exams: Developing tools for statistical analysis of state exams to offer valuable insights. This will assist teachers and principals in effective curriculum planning, emphasizing core concepts and optimizing the academic year.
  3. 3. Optimizing School Budgets: Leveraging the expertise of highly effective teachers as advisors during school budget evaluations to maximize return on investment. Their insights will inform decisions, ultimately enhancing overall educational outcomes.
  4. 4. Preparing for AI Impact: Anticipating the transformative impact of Artificial Intelligence (AI) on education, we must equip students for this shift. While AI offers opportunities for innovative projects, the challenge lies in its potential to generate misinformation. Thus, prioritizing critical thinking skills is crucial to safeguard students against misinformation.

Involving all highly effective teachers is essential for the success of these initiatives. Additionally, recognizing AI’s undeniable influence on future careers, I aim to ensure proactive engagement by school boards in exploring AI-related career opportunities and formulating strategies to prepare students for an AI-dominated workforce. Just as computers and the internet transformed employment, embracing AI’s positive transformations in education is essential for a future where AI plays a pivotal role in the workplace.

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