Tag Archives: Monte Schmiege

Decision 2018: Meet the Four Candidates for School Board

SchoolBoardElection_LogoTwo seats on the West Bend School Board will be up for grabs in an at-large election on April 3.

Joining incumbent Monte Schmiege on the ballot are three challengers, Chris Zwygart, Kurt Rebholz and Mary Weigand. Leaving the board is Tim Stellmacher, who was appointed to the board mid-term and did not file for re-election.

The West Bend Current asked the candidates about their background. That interview material is presented below in the order that the candidates will appear on the ballot. Continue reading

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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. Continue reading

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Decision 2018: Board Candidates on Spending Money

What are your budgeting priorities for the school district?

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Monte Schmiege

Seventy-five percent of the money goes towards staffing so that is a big component of that and then you’ve got a component which would be for construction materials and all of that. The district is putting 1.4 million dollars into retaining the school grounds. Those are the primary ones and we also have debt that we have to pay for. Continue reading

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Decision 2018: Board Candidates on District Curriculum

What is the board’s role when it comes to curriculum changes?

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Monte Schmiege

That’s an interesting question because I have a different opinion on that. Some people will say that we need to leave that to the experts and I don’t necessarily believe that. If we had policies or some way to describe what curriculum should look like that would be one thing, but we really don’t. And things change so much that it is difficult to do that. I think the board’s role is oversight. But I worked with administration to update our policy to allow the board to approve standards and curriculum and this is modeled after what Green Bay does, as a matter of fact. And the board is also responsible by law and action in August to authorize a list of board-approved standards so there is a precedent of the board approving standards.   Continue reading

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Seeking Re-election, Pheng Says Testing Should Be Minimized

SchoolBoardElection_LogoBy Alyssa Birkeland, Current Staff

Vinney Pheng is running for re-election for his seat on the school board. The election among three candidates for the two open seats will be held April 7.

Pheng was raised in California’s Bay Area and attended San Francisco State University for his bachelor’s degree in political science. After spending more than 10 years in the military, Pheng moved his family to Wisconsin for a job opportunity.  He currently works for a company in Cedarburg in the fulfillment department. Continue reading

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Challenger Schmiege Wants to Replace Common Core with Local Standards

SchoolBoardElection_LogoBy Alyssa Birkeland, Current Staff

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.

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Sizer Stresses Experience and Diverse Background in Re-election Bid

SchoolBoardElection_LogoBy Alyssa Birkeland, Current Staff

The election for two school board seats is on April 7, and Therese Sizer is in the race. Sizer has been on the board for three years and is up for re-election.

Sizer said she was approached to run three years ago because of her education, legal, and business background. She admires the board for its ability to discuss issues from all angles, find solutions, and not just argue each set point of view. Sizer said she is ready to continue tackling those matters, given her familiarity with the complexity of the board’s duties. Continue reading

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Full Transcripts: Board Candidates on Common Core

What is your view of Common Core and what would you do about it?

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Monte Schmiege

Well, I would like to get rid of Common Core, but I realize that it’s pretty much embedded right now and it’s probably not going to change for several years. A lot can happen in that time.  One of the things that I discovered somewhat recently is that the policy that the board has in place calls for the district to adopt the state standards, period. That’s not what the law requires. The law requires that the district adopt standards acceptable to the superintendent of public instruction. That’s a little different. So in Germantown we have the Germantown school board creating their own standards. So it’s not necessary for the district to adopt the state standards at this time. And it wasn’t when Common Core came out. But that’s the policy of the district. That’s one policy I would like to change. But if we change it, that means they could keep Common Core if the state adopts something else. Continue reading

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Full Transcripts: Board Candidates on Testing

What is your stance on the amount of standardized testing and is there any action you would take on that?

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Vinney Pheng

That’s something that always comes up and I’m pleased to say that the administration here from the superintendent on down, recognizes that there may be too much testing. And maybe we should consolidate the testing. I’m in full support of that initiative. Having said that, again, even though we do have some local control, there’s a lot of state requirements. And that kind of… it doesn’t help, let’s put it that way. But as a general policy, as a general philosophy, I believe some of these tests can and should be consolidated. And one of the things we hear as board members, and again it’s a totally valid concern, I totally understand it and in a lot of ways agree with it, is if you have too many tests, teachers end up teaching the test versus focusing on learning. Tests are a metric to measure learning, but it’s not learning. And so that’s a long way to say the board as a body has encouraged and directed administration to try to reduce that amount of testing. Continue reading

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Full Transcripts: Board Candidates on Tension at WBHS

What do you see as a possible solution for the recent tension between high school students and administration?

SchoolBoardElection_LogoTherese Sizer

That’s kind of multi-faceted too, isn’t it? I don’t think from the standpoint of administrators, that there is any obstacle that cannot be overcome. And at the same time, I’ve lived awhile. Students became dissatisfied with things when I was a kid. Our responses were not dissimilar. I remember “protests” out in the parking lot. I remember those things happening. They become scarier to us now because of what happens in other communities. But those reactions of students to rebel against authority or against rules, that isn’t actually new. Our worries are very real to us about not wanting it to escalate to something that is just absolutely not acceptable. Continue reading

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Board Vote Gets Standing Ovation

The West Bend twin high schools will not merge

By Alyssa Birkeland, Current Staff

On Monday, the school board unanimously voted to have East and West remain as two separate schools. Continue reading

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