Monte Schmiege is one of three candidates running for two seats in the April 7 school board election.
Schmiege has lived in West Bend for “quite a number of years” and has many ties across the city. He originally attended Dr. Martin Luther College and received his bachelor’s degree in education, but after a few years of teaching became more interested in working with computers. He has been working for the West Bend Company and Regal Ware for 40 years, most of which has been spent in the IT department. He has also recently worked with Habitat for Humanity.
He is involved in Good Shepherd Lutheran Church and has held several positions on its board, including treasurer multiple times.
Schmiege has consistently attended school board and committee meetings for more than a year, and it all started over his concern with Common Core. After doing his own research, he wanted to see what the board was doing and spoke regularly at meetings. Schmiege had several people ask him to run due to his participation and interest in the matters.
Schmiege said that his main focus points within the district are budgeting money with the students’ best interests in mind, planning better for teachers’ retirements, looking at achievement accountability at the local level, and overall responsibility of the board.
In an interview with The Current, Schmiege was asked his opinion on the following questions:
What is your view of Common Core and what would you do about it?
Schmiege said that he would ideally like to get rid of Common Core altogether. Although that is not possible, he said that the district is not required to adopt the state standards, and is able to create its own. He would like to change this policy and have standards set by the school district, much like Germantown did.
What is your stance on the amount of standardized testing and is there any action you would take on that?
Schmiege would like to see much less testing. He said that the tests provide data to the state and federal government, but in no way help the students or parents. Schmiege says that the time used for testing would be much better used for teaching.
What do you see as a possible solution for the recent tension between high school students and administration?
Schmiege said that the students’ reactions were due to changes coming down the line, and mistakes were made on both the students’ and administrators’ sides. He said that protests were not the way to project their feelings. Schmiege suggested that students use any other vehicles in place to state objections.