BRAINERD — Lowell Smith has announced his candidacy for a four-year seat on the Brainerd School Board.
Smith has been a resident of the Brainerd/Baxter area for 20 years.
“I got into the race because I feel our local public education is mired in partisan political distractions,” Smith wrote in a press release. “Without political aspirations, I simply want to get involved in influencing positive changes within our current public school system. Public education is meant to be a bipartisan effort to improve the lives of our children and, therefore, our future community.
Smith believes parents have lost their involvement in their child’s education and the ability to ensure the program aligns with their family values.
“I want to help ensure parents have full transparency on everything from program selection, program review, and public input at school board meetings,” he said in the statement. “Additionally, children have lost 1-2 years of education during COVID, and families who may have children with children in special education, have lost even more. We need to get our children back on track with the basics – reading, writing, and math.Finally, our school system must start teaching our children how to think, not what to think.
Smith has been married to his wife Kirsten for 26 years. Kirsten owns a business in Baxter with her daughter Deb. Smith’s other daughter, Kate, graduated from Brainerd Public Schools. He has grandchildren who currently attend the district school and two sons, Matt and David. Matt lives in Kentucky and works as a paid firefighter. Smith is a full professor and program director in the Minnesota State College and University system. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Minot State University and a Masters in Education from Bemidji State University. He is currently completing a doctorate in educational leadership at Minnesota State University-Moorhead. His work experience includes 42 years in public safety, including 10 years in law enforcement in Texas and North Dakota as a police officer and drug enforcement officer; 12 years working as a paid firefighter/paramedic; and the past 20 years in emergency medical services working at all levels, from flight paramedic, EMS manager to currently teaching the future of the profession. “Ultimately I run to be the eyes and ears of our parents who have not felt heard, we need common sense and traditional values in our schools,” he wrote. “My background in public safety and my residency in the community will allow me to have those difficult conversations to bring about action and change in our community.”