What Makes an Excellent School Board Member? (Hint: Being a Trial Attorney Sure Helps!)


It’s important to understand that a school board director doesn’t manage or control the day-to-day functions of school district educators or employees. Instead, school board directors govern and oversee the affairs of the school district. This means that directors represent all district residents while creating high level policy and visioning to ensure for the best possible results for students. 

It’s a common misconception that school board directors get involved with the nitty gritty of running a school or even a particular classroom or library. They simply don’t—that’s not their role at all.  

The Factors to Consider

With a crowded field of twelve candidates vying for four open school board director seats for District 112, Eastern Carver County Schools, here are some key factors to consider when deciding on who should represent you:  

  • Has the candidate ever represented (e.g., acted on behalf of) people of different backgrounds and experiences? Can the candidate put aside personal interests in favor of representing the interests of the school district as a whole?
  • Is the candidate experienced in navigating different points of view, some of which may be strongly held? 
  • Can the candidate effectively communicate, especially with explaining complex issues and solutions in a way that everyone can understand?
  • Does the candidate have an open, welcoming approach to others (and to the world), or are they instead singularly focused and unwilling to bend?
  • Lastly, does the candidate have the backbone to make difficult decisions and to then stick to them? 

How These Factors Relate to Me, Ellie Krug 

To begin, unlike any of the other school board candidates, I’m an experienced civil trial lawyer who graduated from Boston College Law School in 1982 and practiced law in three states. I began trying civil jury cases in federal and state courts in downtown Boston, and then in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, where I eventually opened my own civil trial firm. By the time I retired from the law in 2016, I had engaged in dozens of trials, with jury trials in four separate states and arguments before two state supreme courts and the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals. 

This is relevant because for nearly thirty-five years, I represented thousands of people or their companies. In doing so, I learned what it means to put my personal interests aside in favor of a client’s best interests. I also learned how to break down complex issues into easily understandable ideas—after all, that’s how you win jury cases!  

On top of that, I became an excellent problem solver, something which carried over to the numerous nonprofit boards I served on and the four different HOAs that I’ve been elected to (three of them as president). 

I’m an experienced Talking Circle leader, which included leading multiple healing circles in Falcon Heights following Philando Castile’s death. More recently, I led a circle for City of Victoria elected leaders and top managers. 

I have consistently been viewed as honest, dependable, compassionate, relatively smart, sometimes funny, and most of all, darn diligent in ensuring that others’ interests are always protected. 

Since 2016, I have spoken and trained on human inclusivity across North America hundreds of times—in cities and rural communities, with people of many different backgrounds and experiences. My company, Human Inspiration Works, LLC, works to help people of all walks better understand and value each other, using compassion as a key tool. 

Finally, I’m a tough nut. I’ve learned how to ask relevant questions and not accept superficial answers. I will respectfully press until I have the needed information. And when it comes to making decisions, I will conscientiously explore all options and then decide. I’ll then stick to my decision. 

The question, then, is what kind of school board director do you want representing you and your children? 

Humbly, I’m exactly that kind of school board member. After all, that’s my campaign theme, For All Students. And for You! 

I would appreciate your vote. Thank you for your consideration!


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