Decision 2018: Board Candidates on Why They Chose to Run

Why are you running for school board?

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Monte Schmiege

Well, I have three years of experience in the district. I think it is important to have some experience on the board rather than new members every single year because it does take some time to get acclimated to the business of the school board and what it’s all like, what the responsibilities are, what you should be doing and what you shouldn’t be doing. So it takes quite a bit of time to get acquainted to all of that.

Chris Zwygart

Good question. I’m running because there have been quite a few challenges in the district and I want to help overcome them. As you may know, we lack a superintendent and I believe we need to select the right candidate for the job. One of the challenges preventing us from selecting a candidate is that they don’t come to us as easy as the board would like. Part of that problem is negative press because of controversy surrounding the district. I want to increase transparency in board happenings to increase trust with the community and help rebuild the image of the board and the district. We also need to really focus on the positive things we’re doing all of the time. With a new sort of rebranding in a positive light, I believe that a candidate will come and seek us out. We also want to challenge the schools in regards to student learning and set achievable goals that teachers can aim for to expand student knowledge and opportunity.

Kurt Rebholz

I decided to run to give back to the community that I’ve lived in for 23 years. I think I can help recruit the superintendent and other administrators that we need. I’d like to reverse the trend of good teachers leaving the district. And I’d like to reverse the trend of two-and-a-half school students choicing out of West Bend to each one choicing into West Bend. I think I can help promote West Bend schools and extracurricular activities. I’d like to see more people involved in the school system from everyone in the community. We have average facilities, we have an older high school, we have some older grade schools. We can fund it even with some public and private donations from good corporations and people in the area. Even get more donations, like the cultural arts center here (Silver Linings Arts Center). That was sponsored by some private donations. I think we can improve some facilities for the students here, too.

Mary Weigand

I have been going to school board meetings, and I’m concerned about the direction of the West Bend School District. I will dig in and spend time with the issues the school district is facing. I talk with a lot of community members who express their concerns to me, and I want to help resolve those issues. The board is setting the tone for the community, and I feel like I represent the community at large.

Interviews by Current reporters Abby Gawrych, Andrew Jung, Grace Peplinski and Priyanka Trivedi. Responses are listed in the order that the candidates will appear on the April 3 ballot.

Read more about the candidates at The Current, including their backgrounds and their thoughts about curriculum changes and budgeting priorities.

Click on each name to see their official campaign sites: Monte Schmiege, Chris Zwygart, Kurt Rebholz and Mary Weigand.

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