Andrew Anderson

Andrew Anderson

School Board Candidate


Tell us about yourself!

Why are you running for School Board?

First and foremost, I want to offer support and empower the employees of the OASD. This starts with working to support the teachers of our district. There is no way to achieve excellence without excellent teachers!

Second, I want to help use my professional experience as a former VP of a college and current professional experience in an executive leadership role to help improve the School Board's effectiveness in communication, collaboration, and commitment to a common vision of excellence. While it helps for the board to follow good-governance best practices, what distinguishes excellent boards is the ability to function as substantial and effectual "social systems" (Harvard Business Review). This boils down to ensuring board members are equipped to operate with humility, respect, trust, and emotional intelligence.

There is an opportunity to innovate through curiosity (the most dangerous phrase is, "that's the way we've always done it"). The best innovation comes from a well-leveraged network of professionals across the state to offer collaboration on best practices.

Address opportunities to enhance existing strategic plan as no changes have been made to the current strategic plan created in 2018. Strategic plans do not thrive as a "set it and forget it" platform. Strategic plans are evolving entities that take into account the challenges of the day and require strong innovators and integrators to collaborate and demonstrate accountability.

Provide some details on your involvement in the Oconomowoc Area School District (OASD) over the past 2 years.

My involvement with the Board goes further back than just two years and extends beyond just OASD. My professional experience has positioned me to connect with leaders in education across the state and nationally (some of those efforts have been with leaders in the Oconomowoc School District).

What is the OASD doing well?

Every year, an amazing group of professionals throughout the OASD bring their passion and energy to do the best they can, and regardless of the situation, they deliver! Students continue to thrive, and at the end of the day, what could be more important. The teachers and staff have created a lot of reasons to be proud.

Sports and activities at the OASD offer strong, positive outlets for students. I'm familiar with many great coaches who work in the district, along with some unsung heroes who help lead a host of activities for students.

Counselors and Social Workers - an amazing group throughout every building across the OASD doing great work in some of the most difficult circumstances.

Strong leadership in almost every schoolhouse across the district. Our district has some of the best principals in the state!

The district is financially strong and is a role model for other districts in financial management.

What are the biggest issues facing the OASD and how do you plan on addressing them if elected?

The operational effectiveness of our Board is the first focus. Again, we have talented and well-intentioned individuals who go above and beyond in offering their time, but we have to address how the body plans to set the stage to avoid the issues of the past. The answer must involve process/operational improvement driven by an experienced integrator.

In-district families opting out of the district at a higher rate than most districts across the state should be one of the initial thoughts of any current board member or board candidate. Strategic alignment must focus on addressing the most common shortfalls of the OASD when compared to other districts that are winning over our "in-district" students.

Have you ever heard a teacher talk about what they love about their work and what they dislike about their work? What they love is easy to guess, and what they dislike is probably also easy to guess, but please go out of your way to have these conversations with your favorite teacher. You'll arrive at the same conclusion as me; if we don't support great teachers now, then we will miss them when they are gone.

Our values are centered around fiscal responsibility, academic achievement, equality of opportunity – not necessarily outcome, teaching how to think – not what to think, strong community engagement, personal accountability, and school pride. How would you help support these values as an elected member of the OASD?

The first step would be to address the gaps between the existing core beliefs of the district outlined in the strategic plan and demonstrate real-life examples. After comparing your values with existing values, we next establish an understanding of alignment and misalignment. Through better understanding existing perceptions of gaps and overlaps, we can begin a process towards prioritizing the key aspects to address and improve upon.

Why should I vote for you?

I want to make sure we do right by our kids and give them every opportunity we can. I've been blessed to have professional experiences that can be applied to help the board move towards that simple goal.