Dayton’s Bluff Board Member wins DFL endorsement for School Board

A year after setting in motion a series of dramatic changes at the top of the city’s public schools, St. Paul DFLers on Saturday endorsed an East Side neighborhood leader with a decades-long commitment to early childhood education as their candidate for a vacant school board seat.

If elected Nov. 8, Jeannie Foster would serve the final 13 months of a term vacated by former board Chairwoman Jean O’Connell — and would, in turn, carve out a new chapter in what her supporters describe as a remarkable beat-the-odds life story.

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Jeannie Foster

A year after setting in motion a series of dramatic changes at the top of the city’s public schools, St. Paul DFLers on Saturday endorsed an East Side neighborhood leader with a decades-long commitment to early childhood education as their candidate for a vacant school board seat.

If elected Nov. 8, Jeannie Foster would serve the final 13 months of a term vacated by former board Chairwoman Jean O’Connell — and would, in turn, carve out a new chapter in what her supporters describe as a remarkable beat-the-odds life story.

Foster was endorsed by acclamation Saturday after nearly capturing a first-ballot victory over former board members Keith Hardy and Claudia Swanson, and two other political newcomers: Tony Fragnito, a PTO president at J.J. Hill Montessori Magnet School, and Monica Haas, a leader of a No Cuts to Kids group that pushed hard this spring to restore funding to district classrooms.

Like Hardy, Foster is black, and if elected, she would be among three people of color on the seven-person board.

Roy Magnuson, a Como Park Senior High teacher and veteran campaigner for local and state candidates, said Foster drew support Saturday from a rare coalition of DFL activists from the East Side and the city’s wealthier Fourth Ward.

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