18 months Awake

A Round-up of my thoughts after the Panel Discussion

How much can one person change in just 18 months? Consider a newborns growth in it’s first 18 months of life, and THAT is the kind of growth I am talking about!

To be “18 months Awake” is like being born new, each milestone materializing into the next. This rapid period of growth involves cognitive, language, emotional, social and physical development, and it is a term I use to describe how awesome life can be when we open our eyes.

I woke up 18 months ago to the reality that the public school system does not exist to benefit my child. The promise to be a system that serves all children is a lie. Children receive maybe 5 or 10% of the total we put in. That is not good enough.

During distance learning, when 833’s idealistic policy kept colliding with rational reasoning, alarm bells went off in my head. Hybrid learning was a compromise to those extremes, but when in-person learning resumed, there was an obvious shift away from learning as #1 priority. In it’s place was a new social order of brainwashing and manipulation. To me, IN PERSON learning was a precious amount of time to be cherished. But every day I saw it wasted. It was wasted on video’s and screen time, sensationalist news and propaganda, racial history lessons and district sanctioned protests.

I felt suffocated by the detrimental effects this was having on my children (6th and 9th grade). I began reviewing everything my kids were assigned … every book, every textbook, every CNN-10 video, every worksheet. Every day and every night I studied what they studied. I put my entire life on hold at that time to protect my children. I continually confronted teachers, principals, school board and superintendent about what was happening. And I didn’t stop there. I toured a dozen private school models and compared these exceptional schools to our mediocre district schools. And that was the beginning of the end for me. I was AWAKE now!

In the same way as an iceberg is hidden from a passing ship, so are words of truth hidden from families passing through the public school system.

The hypocrisy that is Government Schooling, is their claim of the best educational model for America’s children despite the failure to produce actual RESULTS. Neighboring private school models are able to demonstrate greater academic achievement overall. Why CAN’T public schools rise to the challenge of more successful models? In what kind of messed up world have we given Government the right to devise a system of education without accountability … without boundaries … without incentive to improve? Instead of a genuine desire to find the most successful learning models, the dictate by our current leadership is one that demands we feel so lucky to have the good grace of Big Government Mega Brother fighting our battles, slaying our dragons, equalizing the playing field, and doing the difficult work of thinking FOR us.

To that I say, “No Thank You.”

I had trusted the district out of convenience for 10 years, but suddenly that trust was broken. To choose a new path of truth and sacrifice became EASIER than remaining in this state of false convenience. Had I not left the public schools, I would have perpetually fought false teaching. What kind of miserable life would that be though? To complain and never act is to speak hollow words, and I wasn’t willing to become a shell of a person out of allegiance to a broken system!

The state is so focused on outcomes, so let’s REALLY take a good hard look at the outcomes! Less than half of MN public school children are able to read at grade level. But not everything is declining. While proficiency in reading and writing and math declines, the mental health crisis rises. (alarming rates of depression, self-harm, and suicide among adolescence.) Funding rises. Violence in school rises.

I may not be an English teacher or a psychiatrist, but if there is one thing I know better than anyone else, IT IS MY CHILDREN! And they are now THRIVING in their private school models, when before they were DROWNING in public. It only took one week for me to see hope fill their spirit again. They read books now. They write essays. They study vocabulary and spelling and memory verses and history. Their history lessons go so far back in time that my 8th and 11th grader debate about how ancient civilizations and Christianity created Western Civilization as we know it. In private school, there is accountability. There are boundaries. There is respect and trust and grace!

Children in public school can absolutely be given the same pragmatic and honest approach through local governing boards, but if idealistic state government’s CHOICE is to conform local communities to THEIR will, not the people’s, then this One Nation Under God needs to allow families the same respect. CHOICE.

I never aspired to be in politics, or speak in front of large audiences, or lead groups or people, or organize movements. But looking at what I’ve accomplished over the past 18 months, you’d never know it. That is because I didn’t do it alone. I followed God’s plan instead of my own plan. I put my personal insecurities aside to fight for something bigger than myself. Not just MY children, but ALL children.

  1. After 10 years on autopilot as a parent, I enrolled my children in local Christian private schools.
  2. In order to pay for tuition, I cut family expenses by $800/month, prioritized spending to strictly those with conservative values, and took a new job with New Kingdom Healthcare.
  3. Within a couple weeks of taking a new job, I submitted my affidavit to run for 833 school board, and learned very quickly how to run a successful campaign for the first time in my life.
  4. I received 8, 240 votes, which was not enough to win me a spot on the board, but I persevered and turned the JAiME for SCHOOL BOARD campaign site into JAiME for SCHOOLS.
  5. I began to recognize that big government was strangling the local control of school districts to make local decisions, so I attended my first caucus in April and was elected a delegate to represent CD4 at the Republican State Convention.
  6. I put my website to work in an effort to defeat district #833’s bond referendum in the August Primary. We succeeded by large margins on a 2/3 vote majority NO. Had it passed, the $462 million referendum would have been the largest in Minnesota state history, and setting the precedent for surrounding districts to follow suit.
  7. I attend local school board and city council meetings on a regular basis in order to keep up to date with, and report on my blog, the decisions that will directly impact all families.
  8. I continue to support local and state candidates who stand for strong family values, smaller government, and school choice initiatives in education.
My 13 year old daughter is also an artist. This is from an experimental series she did while drawing with color under a black light.

I don’t know where I’d be today if I hadn’t forced my eyes to stay open. I DO know however, that in my weakest most desperate moments, the Holy Spirit has been there to give me strength, support, and direction. All I really had to do was follow, and things have fallen into place.

Truth be told, I didn’t really open my eyes until I opened my Bible. I began with Genesis, and continued on through every book, one at a time, every morning of every day … 18 months ago.

1st Conservatives says, “The purpose of this group is to educate & motivate conservatives to action on state & national issues.”

I want to thank 1st Conservatives of White Bear Lake for hosting the panel discussion on Monday, September 12th. It gave me the opportunity to share a part of my journey I have not written about until now. I was finally able to add an “About Me” section to my website, something I have put off for far too long.

“Education and our Destructive School Boards – What We Need to Do”

Moderated by :

Liz Collin

“Wife. Mom. Truth-teller. Believer. ❤️” says the Bio on her Facebook page.

Do you have a story to share with Alpha News? Email tips@alphanews.org

1st Conservatives has worked with Liz in the past, and they wrote not too long ago, “Liz has been a truth-teller for 20 years as a multi-Emmy-Award winning reporter and anchor. Liz is a Worthington, Minnesota native who lives in the suburbs with her husband, son, and loyal lab.”

Check out her most recent work …


“I want to introduce our panel tonight. Let’s thank them for their passion and for their courage to fight back in a way and to educate all of us in the process.”

“We will now go around, and each will take a couple of minutes to tell us a bit more about themselves. Then, I will ask a few questions… and we will leave time for the audience to ask questions, too.”

Each of the panelists introduced themselves at this time. Since there was no recording of the event, though, and I do not have their scripts, I will point you to their websites and the work they are currently doing.

“Alfrieda Baldwin is a retired lawyer and the founder of Laurel Community School.”

Alfrieda Baldwin

Alfrieda is someone I feel I have always known, and yet we only met 5 months ago. Her story is inspiring. Read about her HERE on JAiME for SCHOOLS.

“Senator Roger Chamberlain represents Senate District 36—including parts of Anoka, Ramsey, and Washington counties. He also serves as chair of the legislative Education Finance and Policy committee.”

Senator Roger Chamberlain

“Two fearless mom’s from the area are also with us tonight.”

“Rebekah Bradfield is a homeschooling mother of two kids. She ran for school board in 2021.”

Rebekah Bradfield

“Jaime Kokaisel also ran for School Board. She maintains a great website on education issues and her two children are now in private school.” (Collin)

Jaime Kokaisel

“I want to start with some real-life examples, the red flags you’ve personally seen or heard about with what’s really happening in Minnesota classrooms? Because again, there is a population who thinks this is being exaggerated or just made up?”

We each told stories about our experiences. Those included violence in the schools, lack of discipline, the re-shaping of content taught around historical events, such as WWII, and the common use of gender pronouns and the language around sexuality.

“I want you all to weigh in on the new proposed Minnesota Teaching standards. Something that’s been in the news recently…. but “In order to teach in a Minnesota public or private school, candidates should examine their own biases, affirm students’ gender identity and sexual orientation, and understand power, privilege and systemic oppression”—that’s according to new standards proposed by The Professional Educator Licensing and Standards Board. This would be the first huge overall in 20 plus years… your thoughts and what would it really mean for school boards and for parents?”

Most people in the room were aware of the Teacher Licensing SEP. We had a good discussion around this.

****Public comments on the new standards are being taken through Sept. 13th****

Follow My Blog.

Awake and Present in the Audience

The entire room took part in the discussion at this time. It amazes me how much can be accomplished in such little time. Please check out all the work that has been started by the people listed here who were in attendance.

Christine Trooien

Executive Director of MPA

Jessica L. Johnson

ISD#834 Candidate for Stillwater School Board

Craig Johnson

Candidate for Centennial School Board

“The title tonight of our talk is What We Need to Do: So let’s answer that.. what do we need to do? What can we do?? Even if it’s just the top one or two things—from your perspective what would that be? Rebekah you say no matter what- private, Christian, Charter schools—parents need to watch and interview—be involved.”

At this time the room was a buzz with all the ways we can make a difference. I would say overwhelmingly the suggestion was to attend your local School Board Meetings and City Council Meetings.

In conclusion :

Our world has changed. Have you?

Think about it for a moment. Would the YOU of 18 months ago recognize the YOU you are today?

The world of right and wrong has been flipped on it’s head in that period of time, and all of us have been forever changed. The question is, has the pain made you more resilient and enhanced your understanding of the truth? Or has the pain consumed you? I hope you have found your strength through your weakness. I hope you have let go of meaninglessness, and replaced it with fulfillment. I hope so. I really hope you are stronger today than you were yesterday, but if not, I pray you find truth and grow strong through it.

Dr Scott Jensen said in one of his most recent videos, “I think we learn so much when we look at who someone is willing to fight for.” I thought this was so good. Who are you willing to fight for?

There is no reason children should be deprived their childhood time to be innocent. Government systems and district school boards should not be allowed to pile their adult problems onto the backs of vulnerable children too weak to carry that burden. Let the children be children!

by JAiME for SCHOOLS September 19th, 2022











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