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I am an American Sign Language interpreter and small business owner with three children at Meadowbrook Elementary. If you want to talk about “life-ready” kids – or anything else – please follow or contact me.

My name is Rachel Hartland, and I am a local parent, business owner, and community member running to serve on the Hopkins Public Schools Board. Several years ago, as our oldest was finishing kindergarten, my husband and I searched for a school environment that matched our criteria for excellence, values, diversity, leadership and community involvement. That search led us to choose Hopkins. We open-enrolled our then-first grader, and shortly thereafter moved to District 270. I now have three children in Meadowbrook Elementary as sixth, fourth, and second graders. We’ve all been enriched by the passion and expertise shared freely from this team of educators, administrators, parents and classmates. This team has impressed me daily — especially over these past eighteen months — and I wish to support them and our larger community by serving on the board. 

The dilemmas we’ve all had to grapple with lately have made it extremely apparent that we NEED each other. We need each other’s ideas, care, and empathy. We need community dialogue, we need information, and we need transparent decision-making. I’ve watched our current leadership largely adhere to those ideals while implementing Hopkins Vision 2031. That Vision is one I support whole-heartedly. My own children will live and learn daily within this blueprint we create, so I want to see every promised outcome realized. Of all the features and details of that shared Vision, the one that I believe will distinguish Hopkins Public Schools and make us the first choice of scholars and teachers is this: “fearless teams that are unafraid to fail.” 

My number one passion – and the primary reason I am running for the board – is for raising students that are “life-ready.” The road to “life-ready” may look different for everyone. It’s clear though, that students who grow into resilient young adults with practical skills, a strong network, and practice rebounding from failures can see a huge range of positive effects: Improved mental health and lower rates of substance abuse, greater college/program completion rates, and even longer lives. Taking advantage of a wide array of opportunities and activities (experiential learning), failing in a safe environment, figuring out what went wrong, utilizing resources and changing tactics is what makes world-class, resilient humans. Our local community is an unparalleled resource, and we can create those opportunities together. Within a strong network, being adventurous and rebounding from inevitable frustrations is much less scary. I want to help build that network. This one phrase – “fearless teams…unafraid to fail,” is what will enable us to truly reimagine education and make sure our students are ready for what life brings them.

In my professional life I’ve had a lot of roles and successes, but have learned as much from times I’ve failed. I’ve had to ask questions, discuss shortcomings, solve problems, and pivot. From that background, I’ve gained experience analyzing information, managing complex timelines and projects, and following rigorous reporting standards. I am currently an American Sign Language interpreter, record-keeper for our family’s tech business, and Director of Operations/Regulations and part owner of a local start-up, CoyaBlu. In the past, I’ve also done legislative advocacy related to tenants’ rights and homelessness. My dedication, advocacy experience, and analytical  skills will serve me well on the board. 

Bringing Vision 2031 to fruition is an ongoing process, and we must be deliberate and fearless to create the adventurous, inclusive global citizens we’ve pledged. Succeeding in doing so means attracting the best scholars and teachers, and opening more doors for our graduates.  Several years ago, my family chose Hopkins for our three students.  We’re flourishing here, and I’ll work to make that a reality for all Hopkins families.