John Chandler for School Board

Reason for seeking school board election:
I offer experience but have a fresh set of eyes as our children begin their education in the district. After 20 years of service in the Army National Guard I retired with the rank of Major and was discharged honorably. I am an active volunteer: baseball and soccer coach, Cub Scout Pack Leader, Rotarian and wear many Somerset Elementary volunteer roles. I recently began my third term on the Rotary Club of Saint Paul board. During the election two years ago I was a "Vote Yes for the Levy" candidate.

Endorsed by SEIU Local 284

My passions:
I offer leadership through experience in multiple organizations. Through my military experience I demonstrated ability to serve in leadership capacities in addition to maintaining civilian full-time employment. I am committed to service above self which is required of school board service.

Our family moved to this district as a temporary move but then relocated within the district because we wanted to stay in the school district. I care about our communities and the schools. I am thankful of our district and recognize that it is a great district.

I am passionate about a well-rounded student experience through academics and extra-curricular activities. I want children to be safe to try new experiences. And I value diversity and want our children to be comfortable with diversity.

Through my volunteer roles and my children's activities I interact with many parents and enjoy listening to what others have to say. Listening is a priority for me.

If elected to serve on the school board I want to be accessible. I will put my military background and various board and volunteer experiences to use for ensuring different communities find common ground to find solutions together, processes are improved, and networks are leveraged to maximize our district's potential.

For our family, Sibley is the end result for our children within ISD197 and we feel confident that Sibley will prepare them for after high school. From my perspective, I hope that Sibley will continue to be held to high academic standards, will strive to get all high schoolers involved in extra-curriculars, and will be open to technology in the classroom.

For my kids (all kids) I want them to have the opportunity to learn from the best teachers in the state at the best schools too. I care about this community and the schools. I want to understand why district families choose to send their children out-of-district.

I have high expectations that while our schools and teachers are great, parents still have a lot to do with our children's successes. Every adult can contribute in some way. I want all adults to feel a sense of pride when every Henry Sibley graduate receives their diploma knowing that they had some part in this life event.

I am thankful of our district and recognize that it is a great district. Let's not sit idle. We must continue to explore better methods and implement best practices for our children.

My many volunteer roles and years of service in this district will help me as a board member. I have worked with many families in multiple capacities. Serving on previous boards as a volunteer and working with multiple non-profit boards professionally I understand what makes a value-added board member. As a leader in many organizations I am comfortable representing these organizations and being held to high standards.

I can be complicated at times but believe I am easy to relate to. I'm pretty simple actually.

Listening is a priority for me and I consider it one of my strengths. I might not always have the time to listen to everything but am comfortable catching up on e-mail or reading late at night after the family is in bed.

For budget planning, I am currently serving as Treasurer for the Rotary Club of St. Paul Board, a 180+ volunteer organization. I have managed budgets in multiple military roles, including a multi-national deployment. During the last decade when the economy turned I witnessed how almost all organizations had to trim expenses while trying to maximize revenue. Our district should continue to look for new funding sources to ensure a continued fiscal comfort zone.

When I'm not at the Dodge Nature Center, on an athletic field, at a Cub Scout activity, or volunteering, I always make time to support my alma mater (Louisiana State University) in whatever athletic contest they are participating in.

John's Bio:
City: Mendota Heights
Education: BA, Louisiana State University
Where do you work? Dodge Nature Center
Prior work experience: Full-time - Boy Scouts of America, 10 years; Dunwoody College of Technology, 5 years; Dodge Nature Center, 1 year. Part-time - Army National Guard, 20 years.
Family: Married with three children currently attending school in the district; two of our children previously attended the district's early learning program and Dodge Nature Preschool.

Volunteer Service:

  • Mendota Heights Athletic Association baseball, softball, and soccer coach
  • Scouting: Cub Scout Pack 37 leader, Kaposia District Advisory Committee, North Star District Nominating Committee
  • 11-year Rotarian and currently serving as Treasurer in second board term with Rotary Club of St. Paul
  • Served on Association of Fundraising Professionals Board in 2011-2012

ISD197 Experience:

  • Five years in various Somerset Elementary roles
  • Served on ISD 197 Education Foundation Board since January 2012
  • Participated in District Strategic Framework development
  • Served on Transitioning to Middle School committee
Other: In addition to other mentioned volunteer roles, I was formerly the President of the Twin Cities LSU Alumni and Friends Chapter.

You can get involved in helping to elect John Chandler for School Board in the following ways.

  • Host a gathering for friends/neighbors to meet John
  • Display a yard sign
  • Be a Door Knocker
  • Distribute literature
  • Donate (See Donate tab)
If you would like more information on getting involved, please contact John at


October 11
Attend Somerset Family Fun Night

October 14
Meet Pilob Knob STEM Magnet PTA

October 14
ISD 197 Education Foundation Board Meeting

October 24
Attend ISD197 Parent Ambassador Network Forum, Henry Sibley High School

October 28
Meet Mendota Heights MOMS Club

October 29
Attend Dakota County Regional Chamber of Commerce Forum

November 5


Learn more about School Board Initiatives

Learn more about ISD 197 Education Foundation

Please use the form below to contact John Chandler about your donation.


Email Address*


I will make a contribution of $10.
I will make a contribution of $25.
I will make a contribution of $50.
I will make a contribution of $100.
I will make a contribution of:

Questions / Comments

I would like to pay $10 for a yard sign.

Make checks payable to "John Chandler for School Board".

Mail to:
John Chandler
803 Park Place Drive
Mendota Heights, MN 55118

If you would like more information on getting involved or have a question, please email John today.