The crowded field for Roseville school board will be cut in half after Tuesday's primary. Twelve candidates are in the race for three seats, and six will advance to the general election.

One of the candidates, former Roseville Mayor John Kysylyczyn, raised eyebrows in July when he said he would not serve if elected.

Kysylyczyn, who presided over a stormy period in city government as mayor from 2000-04, said he filed for the seat - along with political allies Bryan Olson, Eugene M. Bahnemann Sr. and Joe Machyowsky - solely to draw attention to the need for the school district to switch to even-year elections.

The four said they intended to force a primary election and highlight the additional cost involved with odd-year elections. They also argue odd-year elections have relatively low voter turnout.

Only one current member of the six-member board, Tom Ring, is running for re-election. Board members Linda McLoon and Cecilia Ann Warner decided not to run.

Here is the slate of candidates. (I) designates an incumbent. Comments have been edited for length.

Todd Anderson

Contact: 651-697-0077

Age: 36

City: Roseville

Occupation: Sales and marketing associate

Relevant experience: ECFE advisory council; Roseville Area Schools Legislative Action Committee; Tri-Chair, 2006 Commitment to Community Campaign (levy referendum committee); endorsed by Maplewood Voters Coalition.

Kids in school: Daughter will enter Brimhall Elementary in fall 2008.

Quote: "I am a viable candidate due to my previous school district and community experiences. If elected, I will be able to hit the ground running. I will be an advocate for our kids, our students, for ALL our learners in the district."

E.M. (Barney) Bahnemann Sr.

No information submitted.

Shari Dion

Contact: 651-639-9271;

Age: 46

City: Roseville

Occupation: Homemaker

Relevant experience: Teacher and assistant teacher, early childhood; volunteer in district schools; member of District Curriculum Advisory Committee; former member of district Math and Writing Review Teams.

Kids in school: Two in Roseville Area Schools.

Quote: "I have enjoyed working on behalf of our youth and our schools for many years. I am committed to enabling every student in District 623 to reach their potential, and I will listen to all stakeholders as we strive for academic excellence in all District 623 schools."

Lisa Edstrom

Contact: 949 County Road B W., Roseville, MN 55113; 651-238-8880;

Age: 46

City: Roseville

Occupation: Self-employed, health care consulting practice

Relevant experience: Volunteer in Roseville Area Schools; Imagine Roseville 2025 Steering Committee; Minnesota Citizens League; Tax Policy Work Group; Allina Community Benefits Committee.

Kids in school: Daughter, senior at Roseville Area High School; son, junior at RAHS; son, sixth grade at Parkview Center School.

Quote: "I want to serve and have the skills, time and passion required to do an excellent job. For over 12 years I have experienced the wonderful strengths of our staff and students as well as the tough challenges that we face. I will seek and encourage parent and community input."

Jeanne Kelsey


Age: 43

City: Roseville

Occupation: Realtor

Relevant experience: Served on several city task forces; vice chair of Housing Redevelopment Authority (HRA) for city of Roseville, serve on finance committee.

Kids in school: Two at Central Park.

Quote: "With my background and experience in business and financial I would be an asset to the school board, as well as that I have two children in the school district so I have firsthand knowledge of the district and how it operates."

Benjamin Kline

No information submitted.

John Kysylyczyn

Contact: 651-484-1384;

Age: 35

City: Roseville

Occupation: Owner of political consulting firm, full-time parent of two children

Relevant experience: Former Roseville mayor; I-35W Corridor Coalition; policy committee vice chair, League of Minnesota Cities; Roseville Police reserve officer; member-at-large and Council Technology Committee member, Northern Star Council BSA.

Kids in school: Two children age 4 and younger.

Quote: "I filed to highlight this school board's conscious decision to take money away from children's education to fund needless odd-year special elections, fully knowing that turnout is expected to be almost non-existent, rather than having the state pay for them in the even year when turnout and visibility is respectable."

Joseph Machyowsky

Contact: 651-483-5261

City: Roseville

Occupation: Retired

Kids in school: No

Quote: "The public needs answers to these questions: Why not hold school board elections at the same time as even-year general elections? Why aren't ALL school board meetings televised? Will the Fairview Community Center building remain open to accommodate the needs of Roseville's large senior population?"

Bruce Martin


Age: 48

City: Roseville

Occupation: Biochemist

Relevant experience: Friendship Connection Advisory Council; District Scholarship Committee; Curriculum Advisory Committee; Community Education Advisory Council; study team for grades K-5 math and grades 7-12 language arts; interview team for various school staff positions; Roseville Area Middle School task force on pre-AP curriculum; RAHS climate committee; Central Park chess club director; Central Park math enrichment program; PTA; gifted and talented advisory council.

Kids in school: Two in Roseville Area Schools.

Quote: "I have considerable experience in district activities. I have no pre-set agenda and regard myself able to consider both sides of an issue. Participants in the district must be able to cooperate with and value other participants and understand the expectations made on parents, teachers and district staff."

Georgiana May


Age: 54

City: Falcon Heights

Occupation: Associate professor, University of Minnesota

Relevant experience: Teacher, school volunteer, parent.

Kids in school: Son, 14, at RAHS; daughter, 20, RAHS graduate.

Quote: "My objective in running for school board is to have the best possible educational opportunities for our children and our community."

Bryan Olson

City: Falcon Heights

Quote: "The board needs to move its elections to the even year. The board should also televise all meetings. School board members are often painted as statesman-like, agonized decision-makers; however their powers are limited by state statutes and the Legislature, which is where the real decision-making is done."

Thomas Ring (I)

Contact:; 651-635-1600

Age: 55

City: Roseville

Occupation: Assistant Ramsey County attorney

Relevant experience: Roseville Area School Board, four years; director, East Metro Integration District School Board, four years; former director, Roseville Area Schools Foundation Board; former chair and member, Roseville Ethics Commission.

Kids in school: Daughter, junior at RAHS; son, fourth grade at Parkview Center School.

Quote: "I seek re-election to the board because I have more to contribute to ongoing district efforts to provide a top quality education for each of our students. I am the only incumbent running. As of January 2008, two-thirds of the board will have only two years (of) experience or less."

Doug Belden can be reached at or 651-228-5136.


For candidate responses to questions and other information, visit the Roseville Citizens League site at

Copyright 2007 Saint Paul Pioneer Press