Decision 2023: Meet Board Candidate Kelly Lang

By Annelise Paczesny, Current Staff

Kelly Lang wishes for everyone to recognize the good that comes out of the West Bend School District, especially because the district offers so many unique opportunities.

Lang’s children are the fourth generation of students to attend the West Bend School District. She has family and friends who attend the district as well as teach in the district. Her children attend Silverbrook Intermediate School and Decorah Elementary.

Her favorite local business is the Norbert, because she really likes the food there and because of their commitment to community service. Lang’s favorite thing about the school district is the many opportunities offered to students because of the district’s large size. She said that she was happy to see the STEM and robotics classes offered at Badger Middle School because they are available at such a young age.

Lang has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse and is the director of sales for the Association of Equipment Manufacturing, which focuses on construction, utility and agriculture.

She always looks forward to spending time with her family because she works full-time. She likes to go out to eat with her family, hanging out at home or just relaxing. She likes to binge-watch TV and enjoys working out every day with her husband.

How can the district become more safe for students, both physically and mentally?

FULL TRANSCRIPT: So, mentally, I think social/emotional learning is really important, and I know it’s a really hot topic, a certain button for people, but it’s such good learning for kids and adults. I think we’re using it on a very regular basis. All of us, even as adults, we need to learn and grow knowing how to be better people. And so I think that’s really important. Emotionally, I think we should keep focusing on that and raising good humans, and being good role models for our kids.

Physically–I actually just had this conversation with someone today–in all the schools right now, we know that there are doorbells and cameras and those security measures at every main entrance. But, I think it’s always something we can always work on and make sure that, “Are those safety precautions the best? Are they working, or are they working because they were put in place to be a procedure and we think they’re working because nothing’s happened?” So, I think that always growing and making sure that we’re continuing to work with the police department and our security measures, any outside professionals that would have any consultants that would be a part of this, to make sure that we are providing the highest security for our children and staff members inside those buildings.

What is the greatest challenge the district currently faces? How will you address it?

FULL TRANSCRIPT: Definitely the infrastructure that we have. We have a lot of old buildings, and they are going to need to be replaced. And (the job) is continuing to work with our operations and making sure that they are staying safe and that our kids are safe inside those buildings, but it is also working with the community on raising money and doing, if it’s possible, if it makes the most sense, a referendum to make better infrastructure and make better buildings and continue to grow with the times technology- wise. So I think that just the cost of keeping up, maintaining and improving is the biggest issue currently that I see.

What would you prioritize in the budget that is not currently being prioritized?

FULL TRANSCRIPT: So it’s hard to say what’s not being prioritized, not being familiar with the current budget line by line if it’s not in front of me, so I am just going to say that I think that we need to really put more money towards our staffing and making sure that the people–all the roles, not just teachers but every staff member–that they’re paid appropriately and comparable to other districts to make sure that they stay in West Bend and to make sure that we are providing them the best place to work. And, I guess, kind of along with that, professional development goes along with that, so I’d say technology is ever-changing and that kind of goes along with the security and the infrastructure. So I would say that staffing and technology are two high budget points for me.

Read about the school board candidates at The Current. Five candidates responded to requests for interview by deadline. The school board election is April 4. .

(Photo courtesy of Kelly Lang.)

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