School Board Incumbent Candidate
Tell us about yourself!
I am happily married to my husband, Mike, for thirty-seven years. We moved to the Town of Oconomowoc in 1987. Our three Eagle Scout sons attended Oconomowoc Area School District (OASD) schools, graduated college, and are employed as engineers. Our granddaughter just learned to walk.
Our family strongly supports community service. I have extensive experience serving on the School Board. Mike and I are active members of the Okauchee Lions Club and Lord of Life Church.
Why are you running for School Board?
I applied for one of the open positions in September and was appointed. The term requires election in April.
My nineteen years of past OASD Board experience bring documented decision making, years of district and community support, support for the District Mission and Strategic Plan, support for academic programs where all students can be successful sustaining of great administrators, teachers, and support staff and, concern for district financial support while maintaining managed taxing levels.
Provide some details on your involvement in the Oconomowoc Area School District (OASD) over the past 2 years.
In November 2019 and after nineteen years on the OASD School Board, I chose not to run for re-election to the School Board in April 2020. I was not involved in any District activities from May 2020 to August 2021. When three Board members resigned, I decided to apply for a position and bring my experience back to the district. I received an appointment to the Board in September 2021. I have since been serving as the Board Clerk and Finance, Operations, and Advancement Chairperson.
What is the OASD doing well?
OASD is in a great position as noted by the application of twenty-nine candidates for superintendent. From the exceptionally large pool, we were able to select Dr Michael Sereno, a wonderful new addition.
We excel in the three A’s – Academics, Arts and Athletics.
Academics – The OASD School Report Card shows a district with an overall score of 80.3 which is four out of five stars. All of our schools have achieved a four- or five-star rating with our high school at five starts. Meadow View Elementary ranks in the top 5% for academic growth. OASD continues to increase their report card rating.
Arts – Our performing arts are highly successful. Our musicals receive many annual Wisconsin Jerry Awards. Our bands performed a Walt Disney World in January. Our symphony continues to grow. Our visual arts are strong and display throughout the school.
Athletics – Our curricular programs promote healthy lifestyles and exercise. Our extracurricular teams perform well. I am especially proud of the Sportsmanship awards won by our athletes.
Financially, the District functions responsibly to control costs while supporting the district’s strategic plan.
Finally, regarding staffing, the district continues to hire and maintain great administrators, teachers, and support staff.
What are the biggest issues facing the OASD and how do you plan on addressing them if elected?
First, the District needs to sell Meadow View. This process started shortly after the appointment of three new board members, including myself. Shortly, the property will be posted for sale.
Secondly, this winter, the district searched for and hired a new superintendent, Dr Michael Sereno. His transition into the position on July 1st should be made as smooth as possible. I will be available as needed.
Lastly, I will help to maintain and improve the district. We must continue the academic and report carding rating improvements seen in recent years. Administrators, teachers, and staff need to be supported and encourage to maximize their potential. We need to ensure long-term financial strength with a budget that supports the strategic plan. Facilities must be maintained to strengthen community property values.
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?
When I ran for election in 2002, I distributed flyers stating the following. My viewpoints remain the same. Discussion of academic outcomes is a new topic, and we cannot control these outcomes. My record should demonstrate my commitment to strong community engagement, personal accountability, and school pride.
Beliefs from 2002 and today:
School Board Members are responsible for providing quality education to all students in the Oconomowoc Area School District.
Educational opportunities provided by the Oconomowoc Area School District should develop individuals who can lead productive and responsible roles in our community and society.
The Oconomowoc Area School District contains a varied population who must be represented regardless of home location (urban and rural), family income, and family heritage.
The School Board needs to ensure accountability and financial responsibility.
School Board Members need to be open-minded, independent thinkers who are willing to challenge the District to maximize potential.
The School Board needs to plan for the future.
Throughout my life, I have been an active participant in my community. My goal is to continue positively contributing to the Oconomowoc Area School District for the benefit of my family, my neighbors and the greater Oconomowoc community.
Why should I vote for you?
I bring experience, history, and boardmanship to the table. I originally ran for School Board in 2001 and chose not to run for election in 2020. During my nineteen years on the School Board, we accomplished great things. Here are some of them.
Superintendent - Hired three superintendents – Dr. Michael Sereno, Dr. Roger Rindo, and Dr. Patricia Neudecker. Worked with two superintendents – Dr. Kristine Taylor and Dr. Gregory Maass
Strategic Plan - Participated in the creation of past and current strategic plans. Ensured that the strategic plan was supported financially.
Academics - Supported a Chromebook or similar for all students. Promoted smaller class sizes. Support core subjects of mathematics and literacy surrounded by subjects (arts, athletics, foreign languages, health, science, social studies, trades, etc.) to make more well-rounded individuals. Implemented programs including automotive, Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA), International Baccalaureate (IB) Programme, Mandarin, manufacturing and many more. Supported curriculum adoption cycle. Supported Future Farmers of America (FFA) program.
Fiscal Areas - Annual fiscal management. Improved Fund Balance from -$3 million to approximately $23 million. Created Fund 46, a Long-Term Capital Improvement Trust. Reviewed budget that was managed without operational referendum.
Staffing - Encourage the hiring and maintaining of excellent staff with competitive compensation and benefits packages. Managed Act 10 changes while respecting length of service of our employees.
Facilities - Built Meadow View Elementary School, Nature Hill and Silver Lake Intermediate Schools, Oconomowoc Performing Art Center, Oconomowoc High School soccer stadium and softball diamond. Extensively remodeled Ixonia Elementary School, Oconomowoc High School East Campus and Field House, and outdoor athletic spaces. Improved air conditioning and air handling at Greenland and Parklawn Elementary Schools. Purchased School Farm.
Thank you for your consideration of a vote for me.