NOW:53092:USA01012
http://widgets.journalinteractive.com/cache/JIResponseCacher.ashx?duration=5&url=http%3A%2F%2Fdata.wp.myweather.net%2FeWxII%2F%3Fdata%3D*USA01012
46°
H 55° L 32°
Clear | 8MPH

Mequon-Thiensville School Board

Voter's guide for Tuesday, April 3, election (three seats)

March 21, 2012

Ed Allen

Age: 47

Employer/ occupation: partner, Eclipse Design Technologies

Education: BSBA, Ohio State University

Contact: (414) 364-5510

If elected, what would be one of your top priorities on the School Board?

My top priority would be a "sustainable strategic plan" that will deliver a world-class education to prepare our children to succeed in college or a career. The financial forecast is showing us another five years of $1 million-plus cuts that will be needed to balance the budget.

Do you think the Mequon-Thiensville School District should re-examine the prospect of offering 4-year-old kindergarten?

We should not look at 4K as an individual program because we need a combined strategy. The strategic planning process should include all programs. The K4 program has educational merit, but I think the board made the right decision because we didn't have the money to invest. We need to focus on the education for all children K-12 and continue to be fiscally responsible.

How do you think the district should address retaining top-level teaching talent?

We need a strong performance-based evaluation system to balance teaching and student outcomes. I am very encouraged that our Wisconsin State Superintendent Tony Evers has already started an Educator Effectiveness framework. If we want to retain and attract top-level talent we need a strong system that will reward the top performers. We have to look at multiple measures like state assessments, district assessment data, and student learning objectives.

Stephanie Clark

Age: 48

Employer/ occupation: Previous paid work in nonprofit resource development and college admissions for Gettysburg College.

Education: B.A. In English, Minor in Psychology, Franklin and Marshall College, Lancaster, Pa., Master of Humanities, University of Richmond, Richmond, Va.

Contact: (262) 242-0119

If elected, what would be one of your top priorities on the School Board?

My top priority is to continue the academic excellence synonymous with a Mequon-Thiensville education. We do this by understanding the needs of all students in a comprehensive K-12 curriculum that incorporates 21st-century learning strategies in science, math, humanities, world languages, performing and fine arts, athletics and extracurriculars.

Do you think the Mequon-Thiensville School District should re-examine the prospect of offering 4-year-old kindergarten?

To revisit this issue, we would need to see unequivocal research showing the following: 4-year-old kindergarten increases educational achievement as children age; nearby districts with 4K show a tangible benefit; and families are attracted to and remain in districts with 4K. However, given the possible loss of state funding and taxpayer concerns, it may not be the best way forward for our district.

How do you think the district should address retaining top-level teaching talent?

A Harvard 2011 study confirms highly effective teachers are linked to higher student academic and life outcomes. We need to retain our excellent educators by: crafting a merit pay policy that rewards our best teachers and encourages them to mentor others; creating a professionally rewarding work environment by supporting them as they integrate new instructional methods and technology; providing collaboration with other educators and professional development opportunities to enhance teaching skills.

Gary Laev

Age: 55

Employer/ occupation: president and owner, Electrical- Mechanical Drives

Education: B.S. in electrical engineering, UW-Madison; German Literature, BS-Honors, Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhems Universitaet, Bonn, Germany.

Contact: (262) 389-8838

If elected, what would be one of your top priorities on the School Board?

The new trimester schedule at Homestead High School compresses math instruction into only 120 days out of the 180-day school year. I want to restore math instruction at Homestead to a full 180 days per school year. The core classes that teach math, English, and written communication must be priorities.

Do you think the Mequon-Thiensville School District should re-examine the prospect of offering 4-year-old kindergarten?

I vote "no" for the 4-year old kindergarten program. The financial analysis for the 4K program proposed in 2010 reported that the program would run a $479,000 deficit for the first 3 years and payback would not occur until year four. The current Board of Education projects a $1 Million loss, annually, for each of the next 5 years. Starting up a new program that would increase these deficits by an additional $479,000 is indefensible.

How do you think the district should address retaining top-level teaching talent?

Our teachers are the golden gems of MTSD. We must retain them with recognition, professional development and merit-pay. Once we define educational goals with priorities and measurable targets, then teachers' performances would be based on each student's measured progress during the school year. We would combine these measurements with multiple, in-class reviews by administrators to determine merit pay. We also need a Master Teacher program that presents them as the stars in Virtual Learning videos.

Cindy Miske (i)

Age: 46 

Employer/ occupation: business qwner, Volunteer as a Youth Ministry Leader

Education: BS in Human Resources from UW-Milwaukee

Contact: (262) 242-9772

If elected, what would be one of your top priorities on the School Board? 

Continually improve and be fiscally responsible. Complete the strategic plan and create a data dashboard to be available on our website. This would allow the community to see how we objectively measure our goals. Continue to evaluate current programs and examine the results of the facilities study.

Do you think the Mequon-Thiensville School District should re-examine the prospect of offering 4-year-old kindergarten? 

Yes. Any program with educational merit should always be considered. However, when considering any program we MUST carefully examine the costs to the taxpayers. Some merits of 4K are: improved language development, reading and number skills; reduced special education placements; improved academic assessments; reduced aggressive behaviors; and 88 percent of the districts in Wisconsin offer 4K.

How do you think the district should address retaining top-level teaching talent?

With respect, recognition, a positive working atmosphere and merit pay. These are the same things that all professionals seek. We have EXCELLENT teachers who take pride in teaching at MTSD and strive for all students’ success. The key to retaining the top-level teachers is identifying them through objective and subjective measurement and then recognizing their work, respecting their knowledge and providing merit based pay.

Cheryle Rebholz  

Age: 52 
 
Employer/ occupation: owner, Faces II Esthetic Salon
 
Education: worked toward degree in business administration at Milwaukee Area Technical College; Wisconsin Licensed Esthetics’s since 1985 - Mequon Thiensville School Of Esthetics 1985 (Private)
 
Contact: (262) 238-1144
 
If elected, what would be one of your top priorities on the School Board? 
 
My top priority would be to reintroduce and expand the new clean Vocational Technical Trade Professions. Our students are not a “one size fits all.” This track need to be fostered and expanded. It would also fill a much needed skills shortage. I support the Bill in legislation that would give school districts an option of creating a “technical skills diploma” curriculum. I would use my business relationships to promote and recruit partnerships.
 
Do you think the Mequon-Thiensville School District should re-examine the prospect of offering 4-year-old kindergarten? 
 
The Mequon/Thiensville BOE already voted down 4K. The private sector in our community does the job with over 20 existing 4K offerings. Not a state mandate/not the taxpayers responsibility. We have several faith-based 4K programs and if the state took the program over, the religious content would have to be eliminated and classroom religious displays would have to be removed. The 4K program will increase the district’s operating costs and add to the deficit.
 
How do you think the district should address retaining top-level teaching talent?
 
Mequon/Thiensville does a good job retaining top-level teachers. The district has one of the highest salary and compensation packages. It also is desirable because the parents and the community value education and are very hands on in the classroom as well as personally fundraising for the Education Foundation that was started by district parents and supported by the local businesses.65
 

Michele Ziegler (i)

Age: 46 
 
Employer/ occupation: Cardinal Stritch University, Special Education Department, Assistant Professor and Chair of the Undergraduate Department
 
Education: BS UWisconsin-Madison (Special Education and Psychology); master's degree, Indiana University (Education Administration); PhD, UW-Madison (Education and Education Administration)
 
Contact: (262) 243-5880
 
If elected, what would be one of your top priorities on the School Board? 
 
Top priorities would include: move to a Performance Compensation pay for teachers; increase technology skills and usage for K-12 students, which would include professional development and some online experience in high school to prepare students for post secondary education; explore expanding the World Language to K-6 exploration.
 
Do you think the Mequon-Thiensville School District should re-examine the prospect of offering 4-year-old kindergarten? 
 
Before the topic of 4K can be revisited we must complete our strategic plan for a long-term strategy. Long term strategy needs to look at the health and vitality of the school district in relation to the broader context of community, housing, taxation and growth. The MTSD has begun a strategic planning process to begin to define the future of MTSD within the community, and engagement of the community.
 
How do you think the district should address retaining top-level teaching talent?
 
We must remain marketable to retain the best teachers. Retention of the excellent teachers is directly related to student achievement. As a district, we need to move to performance pay to keep the best teachers and reward them for their work and lifelong learning. This process will also need to consider the current assessment changes that will be occurring over the next years at a state and national level. 

This site uses Facebook comments to make it easier for you to contribute. If you see a comment you would like to flag for spam or abuse, click the "x" in the upper right of it. By posting, you agree to our Terms of Use.

Suburban News Roundup

E-mail Newsletter

Your link to the biggest stories in the suburbs delivered Thursday mornings.


Enter your e-mail address above and click "Sign Up Now!" to begin receiving your e-mail newsletter
Get the Newsletter!

Login or Register to manage all your newsletter preferences.

Local Crime Map

CONNECT    

Latest Photo Galleries