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Jean O'Connell

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Jean O'Connell
Jean O'Connell.jpg
Board Member, Saint Paul School Board, At-large
Term ends
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 5, 2013
First electedNovember, 2009
Next generalNovember, 2017
Term limitsN/A
High schoolSt. Paul Central High School
Bachelor'sUniversity of Minnesota, Duluth
ProfessionRetired business executive
Office website
Campaign website
Jean O'Connell campaign logo
Jean O'Connell is an at-large member of the Saint Paul school board. She was first elected to the chamber in 2009 and she won re-election in a general election on November 5, 2013.


Jean O'Connell graduated from St. Paul Central High School and earned her B.S. in Mathematics from the University of Minnesota, Duluth.[1] O'Connell spent 34 years working at 3M Co. as an executive focusing on community affairs, quality, supply chain and manufacturing before retiring.[2]



See also: Saint Paul Public Schools elections (2013)


Jean O'Connell, fellow incumbent John Brodrick and newcomerChue Vue defeated challengers Terrance Bushard and Greg Copeland to win the three at-large seats in the general election on November 5, 2013.


Saint Paul Public Schools, At-large General Election, 4-year term, 2013
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngChue Vue 30.8% 20,605
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngJean O'Connell Incumbent 29.3% 19,621
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngJohn Brodrick Incumbent 24.6% 16,449
     Nonpartisan Greg Copeland 9.4% 6,307
     Nonpartisan Terrance Bushard 5.1% 3,417
     Nonpartisan Write-in votes 0.7% 481
Total Votes 66,880
Source: Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State, "Results for Selected Contests in School District No. 625 - St. Paul," accessed December 18, 2013


Jean O'Connell began the race with an existing debt of $1,965.00 from her previous campaign. She reported $23,275.00 in contributions and $10,980.00 in expenditures to the Ramsey County Election Office, which left her campaign with $10,330.00 on hand.[3]


Jean O'Connell endorsements for her campaign from:[4][5][6]

  • Saint Paul Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party
  • St. Paul Federation of Teachers
  • Mayor Chris Coleman
  • Saint Paul Public Schools board members Anne Carroll, Mary Doran, Keith Hardy, Louise Seeba and Elona Street-Stewart
  • Saint Paul City Council members Dan Bostrom, Amy Brendmoen, Kathy Lantry, Russ Stark, Chris Tolbert and Dave Thune
  • womenwinning
  • Saint Paul Area Chamber of Commerce
  • AFSCME Minnesota Council 5, Saint Paul Regional Labor Federation AFL-CIO, IUPAT District Council 82, Saint Paul Building and Construction Trades Council, Teamsters Local 120, International Union of Operating Engineers – Local 49, Plumbers Local Union No. 34, Sheet Metal Workers Local 10,North Central States Regional Council of Carpenters, Carpenters Local #322, IBEW Local 110, St. Paul Pipefitters Local 455 and Millwright and Machinery Erectors Local 548


Saint Paul Public Schools, At-large General Election, 4-year term, 2009
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngElona Street-Stewart Incumbent 21.9% 16,279
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngJean O'Connell 18.8% 13,988
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngJohn Brodrick Incumbent 18.7% 13,906
     Nonpartisan Tom Goldstein Incumbent 18.2% 13,512
     Nonpartisan Chris Conner 11.9% 8,865
     Nonpartisan John Krenik 9.8% 7,300
     Nonpartisan Write-in votes 0.6% 455
Total Votes 74,305
Source: Ramsey County, Minnesota "Summary of Totals," accessed October 22, 2013

Campaign themes

O'Connell's campaign website listed the following campaign themes for 2013:[7]

I want to help the district and community use technology to eliminate the achievement gaps we see between groups of students.

This is a critical time for our schools. We need to make fundamental changes to improve student achievement and better balance the resources used to support their learning.

Note: The above quote is from the candidate's website, which may include some typographical or spelling errors.

What was at stake?

There were three seats on the school board up for election on November 5, 2013. Board President Jean O'Connell and fellow incumbent John Brodrick sought and won re-election, but fellow incumbent Elona Street-Stewart did not file for re-election. They faced three newcomers in Chue Vue, Terrance Bushard and Greg Copeland for the three seats.

About the district

See also: Saint Paul Public Schools, Minnesota
Saint Paul Public Schools is located in Ramsey County, Minnesota
Saint Paul Public Schools is located in Ramsey County, Minnesota. The county seat of Ramsey County is St. Paul. According to the 2010 United States Census, Ramsey County is home to 520,152 residents.[8]


Ramsey County underperformed the rest of Minnesota in terms of its median rates of average household income and poverty rate but outperformed in terms of higher education achievement in 2011. The median household income in Ramsey County was $52,713 compared to $58,476 for the state of Minnesota. The poverty rate in Ramsey County was 16.4% compared to 11.0% for the entire state. The United States Census Bureau also found that 38.8% of Ramsey County residents aged 25 years and older attained a Bachelor's degree compared to 31.8% in Minnesota.[8]

Racial Demographics, 2012[8]
Race Ramsey County (%) Minnesota (%)
White 71.7 85.3
Black or African American 11.4 5.2
American Indian and Alaska Native 1.0 1.1
Asian 12.7 4.0
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander 0.1 0.0
Two or More Races 3.3 2.4
Hispanic or Latino 7.3 4.7

Presidential Voting Pattern[9]
Year Democratic Vote Republican Vote
2012 184,938 86,800
2008 182,974 88,942
2004 171,846 97,096
2000 138,470 87,669

Recent news

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See also

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