Candidate Questionnaire: Anne Riopel (Write-In) for TRCS Board of Education 

Anne Riopel

Editor’s note: Anne Riopel is running as a write-in candidate alongside fellow write-ins Nichole Cover and Jack Coleman for a partial term on the Three Rivers School Board. Ross Daniels, Linda Baker, and Erin Nowak, who will appear on the ballot, are running for three full-term seats on the Three Rivers School Board.

Name: Anne Riopel

Age: 66

Address: Three Rivers

Party affiliation: N/A 
Are you an incumbent? No

Family (optional): Husband Ron, Son John, Daughter-in-Law Jen, Grandchildren Riley and Jaxon

Have you previously held public office, or have you served in a public leadership role? If so, what is your experience, and what are some of your accomplishments? 

I served on the Board of Education for five years and was Secretary for the board for four of those years. I served on the Finance, Curriculum and Policy Committees. During that time I worked with other board members to keep policies relevant, and update and monitor spending. I attended board meetings, special meetings, and committee meetings (sometimes needing to call in due to circumstances). 

How long have you lived in the area you are seeking to represent?

I have been a Three Rivers resident my entire life. 

In your opinion, what are the three most important issues to the area you are seeking to represent and its constituents, and why? 

The most important concern is the safety of students and all TRCS employees. The Strategic Plan has provided a good pathway for this goal, and I would like to be able to support the ongoing evaluation and implementation of that plan. The second concern is the recruitment and retention of qualified staff. Three Rivers is blessed with many very good and dedicated teachers. It is important to provide the staff with the means to stay with our school system and know that they are appreciated. 

Finally, I believe it is the responsibility of the board to be excellent stewards of the funds that have been entrusted to our care. I think it is important to scrutinize the dollars spent to ensure they are being used in the most purposeful and efficient manner. 

What measures will you pursue to address those issues?

It is my hope to be reassigned to the finance and curriculum committees. I will study the information and ask questions to confirm dollars are spent wisely. I would also like to be involved with negotiations. Sometimes a fresh look at an issue can bring new ideas and solutions. With the curriculum committee I would like to work with our curriculum coordinator to guarantee every student is receiving the education that they deserve and meets expectations of the community. All Board members review policies twice before they are enacted.

Why did you choose to run for the position that you did?

I regretted resigning this position and am anxious to serve again. I believe I bring a different point of view to some topics which allows for deeper discussion and sometimes unique solutions.

What would you say is your leadership style, and how will you utilize its strengths in your position?

I believe I am elected to serve all which means at times I must take a more difficult stand. It is not my style to vote yes on an issue strictly to show a 7-0 vote if I believe I represent a section of voters who would not support the issue for various reasons. I think it is important to represent all opinions of the community and sometimes that includes voting no. I will always vote for the best interest of the students, staff, and community.

How will you know that you’re accurately representing your community?

The most important thing to do is to be seen and to LISTEN. My goal is to attend school PTO/PTA meetings in order to hear concerns of the community and to also hear what is being done well. This is something I did not do in my previous term but believe it will be beneficial. And if I am re-elected now, I will know that the community has trust in my previous services. 

Is there anything else your prospective constituents should know about you, your platform, your views, or your background? 

The United States has been ranked about 25th in the World in K-12 academics. We were 18th in math. Yet we spend more money per pupil than any other country. I believe we can do better. We must meet the needs of students that have challenges but we cannot leave behind the students that do not. I believe we can do both if we work together and develop a program that is unique and best for Three Rivers. It is my promise to read, investigate and ask questions that will lead to a truly successful education for our students and a welcoming and successful environment for our staff.

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