Candidate Larson Favors More Local Control

SchoolBoardElection_LogoBy Alyssa Birkeland, Current Staff

Tiffany Larson is up against three other candidates in the school board election on April 5. Two open seats will be voted on.

Larson grew up in Miami, and attended the University of Florida for her masters health degree in occupational therapy, as well as Auburn University for her bachelors in psychology. After working in Atlanta for some time, she met her husband and moved to West Bend, where he is originally from. Larson is self-employed through her own personal training business.

Larson said she quickly grew to love the city and schools, which her husband (former coach and booster club president Ron Larson) is also very passionate about. Larson has two children that attend Badger and East High, and is happy that they are in the West Bend School District. Having grown up in a district of 400,000 students, she thinks that West Bend is much more comfortable, connected, and able to offer better opportunities for students.

Larson thinks that the board is currently too distant from day to day occurrences in the schools, and would like to be a conduit in the district. She says there needs to be a strong link for students, teachers, taxpayers, and parents. Another issue Larson feels strongly about is the lack a discipline, and she wants to restore a healthy environment for learning.

Each of the candidates were asked three specific questions that target common concerns among students at the high schools. Below is a summary of Larson’s responses.

What are your thoughts about the teacher turnover rate and what do you see as a possible solution?

Larson believes that there is a lack of trust and respect between teachers and administrators that leads to departures from the district, and hopes those bonds can be restored. She would like teachers to have freedom over their own classrooms and to get rid of some unnecessary processes that are required.

How would you like to see the positions of superintendent and head principal filled?

Larson would like to see an approach that includes staff, students, parents, and community businesses in finding a new principal and superintendent. She suggests going to the districts these individuals have worked for in the past to learn more about their successes.

How would you like to address policy change in the coming years?

Larson is strongly in favor of bringing control of schools back to the local level. She does not agree with federal initiatives such as Common Core and process models like Classroom Learning System (CLS), and wants decisions to be made within the district about what is best for the schools.

Click on the links to read full transcripts of Tiffany Larson’s answers regarding policy changes, teacher turnover, and hiring a new superintendent and high school principal.

Also read interviews with candidates Jenn Donath, Randy Marquardt, and Ken Schmidt at The Current. Earlier coverage can be found here.

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