The West Bend School Board will have a new look after the election on April 4.
Three seats are on the ballot and only one incumbent, Ryan Gieryn, is running for re-election, which means the board will have at least two new faces. Leaving the board are president Rick Parks and vice-president Bart Williams.
Gieryn will be joined by Richard Cammack, Nancy Justman, Bob Miller, Joel Ongert, and Tonnie Schmidt on the ballot. The West Bend Current asked each candidate about their background. That interview material is presented below in the order that the candidates will appear on the ballot. Continue reading
What is your motivation for running for school board and what are your intentions if elected to the board?
The West Bend School District was once among the best in Southeast Wisconsin. “Excellence for All” was something the entire community, parents, students, teachers, alumni and business owners believed in. West Bend was the district where every parent wanted to send their child… A Destination! What happened? Unfortunately, the standard of excellence has changed over the years. This is why I am running for school board, and where my campaign slogan was born. “Restoring Excellence!” We CAN get back to “Excellence for All.” We know what it looks like and our district can achieve that again. Continue reading
How do you think Galileo testing should be used in the West Bend School District?
Galileo testing should be eliminated immediately! Our students are being tested too much and this expensive platform provides no value for students, teachers or parents. Teachers should not be held accountable to tests that do not align with what is being taught in the curriculum, and neither should our students. These tests do not help the teachers individualize learning plans or improve outcomes. The time used for testing would be much better spent on teaching. The money saved by not having to pay for these tests could be allocated to positions where a need has clearly been demonstrated, such as social workers, librarians and classroom aides. Continue reading
How do you think Common Core should be used in the West Bend School District?
That is a complicated question because the Common Core discussion has been so politicized. I believe in high standards and Common Core is a set of standards. The confusion starts when people misunderstand standards for curriculum. Common Core is not curriculum. I believe that teachers are subject matter experts and should create curriculums. Administrators, the federal government, the school board do not have the knowledge base to build or approve curriculums. We should trust that we hire the best instructors and get out of their way to let them do their jobs! Ultimately, the race to meet Common Core has resulted in more testing and teaching to the test as well as haphazard curriculum changes here in West Bend. As a school board member, I will work diligently to stop that cycle. That doesn’t mean we lower standards, it means that we focus on putting authentic learning first again. Continue reading
Board members disagree about the speed of the process leading to next week’s vote on the high school configuration
By Miranda Paikowski and Lauren Sorensen, Current Staff
The clock is ticking.
Next Monday the school board will vote whether or not to combine East and West. Two months were given to community members to make the case for keeping the tradition of two schools going or becoming the biggest single high school in the state. If the board votes to merge the schools, there will be less than a year to implement all of the changes before the 2015-16 school year.
“It’s all been really fast track,” said Bart Williams, a member of the school board for 3 1/2 years. Continue reading
More than 75 people attended the first listening session about combining the high schools
By Miranda Paikowski, Current Staff
For Kelly Luce, merging East and West will damage West Bend’s character.
“Why would we want to take what is unique, what is special, away?,” asked Luce, a community member, while attending a forum on the proposed plan to combine the twin high schools.
Superintendent Ted Neitzke led a discussion at Silverbrook Intermediate School Tuesday night, during which a number of community members voiced their opinions on the merger. He began by stating the main purpose for the session. “This is an opportunity for the school board to look for what is needed to improve,” Neitzke said. Continue reading
Candidates for school board don’t agree about whether East and West should remain separate schools
By Abby Janto, Current Staff
Should East and West combine?
That question has been a hot topic for the past several years among students and families in the West Bend School District. Some argue that merging the schools could potentially unify our schools and community. Others see having two schools in one building as a convenient set-up and a unique feature that sets West Bend apart from every other district in the nation. Continue reading