About Mike Ostaffe

Mike Ostaffe is a hard-working husband and father of three who has served the residents of Osseo ISD 279 as a School Board Director and Board Chair for the past three and half years.  Our District, the fifth largest in the state, serves over 21,000 students, employees 3000+ licensed and other staff, and has a budget of close to $350,000,000.

  • I am a district resident of 15 years, married for 26 years, and have three children who graduated from the Osseo Area School district.
  • I am an engineer with an MBA, a proven leader in companies from technology start-ups to Fortune 500.
  • I understand that parents have many choices for their childrens’ education and want to ensure that ISD 279 provides an equitable and high level of educational opportunity for all students and families.
  • I seek your vote to continue to serve our students and families, and to represent our residents across the entire district.

I want to use my background and skills to address several key issues and concerns.

  • I have a strong desire to see all students achieve to the best of their abilities in all aspects of their preK -12 education. Every child, in every classroom, in every school, in every community can succeed. No exceptions!
  • We must continue to seek out all data, respectfully listen to all stakeholders, and make rational, well-informed decisions regarding how we operate during the 2020-21 school year.
  • I will focus on supporting and funding programs that provide a safe, challenging, equitable, and welcoming learning environment for each and every student.
  • The parents of over 5,000 children who live in the District have chosen to educate them outside of Osseo Area Schools. That is their right.  Charter schools, private schools, and Home Schooling are seen by many as better education alternatives. We need to listen to the needs of the students and parents, develop new programs, create the environments they desire, and welcome them back into our classrooms.
  • I understand that every tax dollar taken from district residents has to be earned through good financial and strategic planning, and rational, unemotional decision making. Taxpayer money has to be spent wisely on educational and administrative programs that promote achievement for each and every student.
  • I support a professional and rewarding working environment for all of our teachers and educational staff.
  • Parental involvement in a child’s education is one of the largest predictors of future student success. We must create and support programs and opportunities for all families to actively participate in their childrens’ education. We need to fully engage our students, parents, and community to build the support structure that our students need in order to be successful.
  • I support local schools that are easily accessible to parents and which allow communities to build strong social bonds in their neighborhoods.
  • I support magnet schools and programs that have a clear educational focus and are successful in meeting the goals that they were created to achieve. I also support reevaluating and repurposing those schools if the goals are not being met. Wasting money on a failed program is unacceptable.
  • We need to re-establish a strong online education program accessible to our students and students across the state. This goes beyond the new Distance Learning Academy and should encompass core subjects, key and unique electives, and HP and AP courses. These offerings should be flexible in timing and pace, innovative in content creation and delivery, and fully accredited by the state.
  • Schools must prepare and support students for all possible post-secondary educational pursuits, including military, technical training, and job and trade skills outside of the college track. Auto Mechanics, Welders, Electricians, Plumbers and all of the skilled trades have provided rewarding and profitable careers for many generations of Americans. We need to improve and expand our CTE/Trades educational programming. We have moved in a positive direction on this the past three years and I want to keep the momentum moving forward.
  • We need to further support our most gifted students with additional challenges so that they can achieve their full potential and not shut down or act out due to boredom in the classroom.
  • I support the development of a strategic plan and a facilities plan that takes the above issues and many others into account and focuses on educational excellence for all.
  • Too much testing, and the focus on testing results, is detrimental to our students and our teachers. Education must be driven from the local level, not be dictated by St. Paul or Washington D.C. Our children are the future of our communities, and as parents and residents, we must ensure that our tax dollars are spent on educating them, not indoctrinating them. Both top-down teaching mandates that are driven by testing and publishing companies lacking integrity must be better managed or eliminated from our programs. Read more about the issues here.

Volunteerism, Education, and Achievement

  • Board Chair 2018-present
  • Board Director 2017-present
  • Former Member District 279 FISCAL Committee
  • Former Member MGSH Site Council
  • Volunteered as an Elementary Classroom Math Tutor
  • Coached local youth baseball and basketball
  • Former Board Member, Children’s Advocacy Center
  • Entrepreneurship Mentor
  • BS, Electrical Engineering
  • MBA, Finance, Marketing, Strategy
  • Director, Vice President, President, EVP, and COO roles in organizations from start-ups to Fortune 500.