Osseo School Board candidate pushes for equality

Jesse Winkler doesn’t think that the Osseo School Board reflects the community it serves.

He’s making a run for a seat on the board in hopes of bringing change. 

His decision was made more than a week after former board chair Robert Gerhart abruptly resigned amid growing controversy over his offensive social media posts. 

“I think the light bulb for me was when the chair resigned because it showed the school board what we’re dealing with,” said Winkler. 

Winkler has four adopted children attending schools in the district. 

According to Winkler, all but one of the Osseo board members live in Maple Grove, leaving cities like Brooklyn Center and Brooklyn Park without representation. 

“I want my kids, and other kids like them in the community, to see themselves and to see their values in the adults who make the decisions for their education,” Winkler told Fox 9. 

Closing the academic achievement gap is just one of the issues Winkler hopes to address, should he become a board member. 

“The achievement gap in Osseo is not moving—there’s a 20 percent difference between our students of color and our white students,” Winkler said. “When it comes to math and reading it’s close to a 38 percent difference.” 

Come November, there will be three seats up for grabs. However, as the board works to determine the process for filling its vacant seat, Winkler is wasting no time throwing his hat in the ring. 

“I just want to show these board members that there are people out here watching, and there are people ready to step up,” he said. 

The school board is expected to meet at some point over the next week to discuss how they will deal with the vacant seat. 

This will be the second time Winkler makes a run for a seat on the board. He last ran in 2016.