Meet John

 I am a Rochester native and graduate of the Rochester Public Schools (RPS). I continued my education by earning an A.A. in Mass Media Technology (RCTC), a B.A. in Sociology (Winona State University), and Juris Doctor (William Mitchell College of Law). I’ve spent many years in  school, and I know how important a good education is.

My career spanning over 40 years has involved financial planning as well as financial security planning in the areas of life and health insurance.  In my early professional life, I partnered with my father, former RPS School Board member Frank Whelan, and I now seek to honor his legacy using skills and talents to serve on the RPS School Board. 

Upon taking my seat on the RPS Board in January, 2023, I will be 69 years old. I pledge to serve a single 4-year term and to not use my School Board service as a “stepping stone” to pursue other political offices. There is nothing more important than the proper education of our children and grandchildren.

I am very concerned and dismayed at the current state of RPS. The lack of enforcement of basic discipline has spawned alarming levels of violence against fellow students and RPS staff. There is no excuse for RPS becoming a “prosecution free” autonomous zone with no respect for leaders in our schools. 

Another serious concern are the financial decisions made by the current Board. Recent estimates indicate a 23-million-dollar operation deficit.  In the face of this, decisions are being made to build new schools while student enrollment is declining. As a former business owner, I can testify that no business can operate this way.  RPS needs to be held accountable to its stakeholders – the parents and taxpayers of RPS. Our group of 4 candidates is so committed to financial responsibility that we have pledged to do our part by rolling back to the original salaries for our School board service.  

The current RPS mission statement seeks to provide all students with the knowledge and skills to reach their full potential and contribute to future generations. Soft academic standards and falling standardized test scores illustrate the failure of the current Board to meet those stated goals. The current Board is instead focused on the promotion of failed political ideologies that have not been successful in the history of the world. 

RPS exists to indiscriminately provide equality of educational opportunity, not the guarantee of equitable results. Collectivist ideology implemented in Russia, China, Cuba, North Korea and other totalitarian nations over the last 100 years has proven this conclusively. The result is pervasive poverty, no personal freedoms for those that comply, and mass executions of those who resist the indoctrination. Legions of RPS parents are “voting with their feet” and removing their children from RPS due to this focus on political and social ideology rather than rigorous academics.

Our group of 4 candidates for the RPS Board have come together to offer RPS voters the clear choice to establish a disciplined, financially responsible, and a truly education focused RPS. 


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