August 27, 2019 – Kewaskum, WI – There were three candidate interviews conducted Monday night as the Kewaskum School Board works to fill an open seat.
In July board member Jay Fisher announced his resignation. Four candidates applied for the post and three showed up for interviews including Dennis Aupperle, Wayne Sargent and Mary Miller.
Neal Weare did not attend.
Each candidate was asked the same six interview questions by the board and then recommendations were made.
Board member Troy Hansen recommended Mary Miller; that was seconded by Sue Miller.
Board member Jim Leister recommended Aupperle; that nomination was seconded by Doug Gonring.
Each candidate then received three votes with board president Mark Sette giving a nod to Miller and Tim Ramthun casting his vote for Aupperle. According to the school district attorney a tie vote would mean the board president would have 60 days to break the tie and make an appointment to fill the remaining term for the seat, which will expire in April 2020.
Sette said he will meet with Miller and Aupperle and make a decision at a later date. Sette spoke favorably about Miller.
“Both Mary and Dennis gave phenomenal interview. They bring positivity,” said Sette. “I know Mary didn’t win in last election, but I don’t think that speaks to her qualifications. With Mary I know what I’m getting. Mary brings a lot of knowledge on policy and was the WASB delegate. That’s not to take away from Dennis and his history and commitment to the community. I feel with Mary we know what she brings to the table.”
Below are highlights from the candidate interviews:
Dennis Aupperle –
Strengths bring to board: Community oriented. Lived here entire life. 2000-2013 coached wrestling and then operated a driving school. I know people and listen and work with people in the community.
Why apply for position: Have attributes that would help the board and community. This is a great school district, HS and sports complex. Dennis graduated KSD and so did his kids and he wants to be part of that.
Board’s role and responsibility: Enforcing the bylaws of the district. Oversee the school district and direct the district administrator and make sure everything runs smoothly. Most important responsibility- makes sure everything runs smooth and staff is happy and keep a positive influence in the school district from top to bottom.
Explain how you would handle requests/ complaints if approached by group: Chain of command. School board president to district admin and then full board works it out.
How would you envision keeping students first when making school board decisions: School board needs to be set by bylaws and rules set in place. Overall the rules are in place for a reason and that’s a benefit to the students.
What is the vision for education in this community: creating a positive learning environment, positive staff. Keeping a positive attitude and moving in the right direction.
Wayne Sargent –
Strengths bring to board: I’ve always been a leader. Inside and outside the workforce. Love of children. Passion to help others. Work around the community. Positive attitude.
Why apply for position: Throughout the last couple years the board has been lacking democracy and not in a positive manner. The board needs to move in the right direction and follow code of ethics.
What is board’s role : Assure the children have free education and ensure we’re moving in a positive position. Stay active within the community.
Explain how you would handle requests/complaints if approached by group: go through the chain of command and then be brought to the full board to solve the problem
How would you envision keeping students first when making school board decisions: Students should always be first and foremost with regard to any decision made by the school board.
What is vision for education in community: Keep current and try to stay ahead of neighboring communities – prepare them for what’s next so there’s no surprises.
Wayne’s question of the board: If appointed to board – what does board expect. “Carry out duties of board and that’s what board’s function is,” said Sette.
Mary Miller – She started by passing out copies of her resume
Strengths bring to board: In my profession before retiring. I worked with people. The residents and collaboration and worked with employees and setting up programs so they could be successful in employment. Also bring years of service on the board and different committees and referendum, facilities, and what other districts are envious of. On policy committee for 10 years and continued as policy chair and belief in collaboration.
Why apply : my belief in value with what’s happening in this district. With our kids, our scores, the building process and what is happening.
What is board’s role and responsibility: Most important is providing best education within financial constraints. Uphold the policies and support the staff. Retaining the individuals working in the district.
Explain how you would handle requests/complaints if approached by individual/group: there is a process to be followed. Parent can discuss with teacher and then go up the line. The board is the last group that has to review any complaints if there is no satisfaction along the way. There are specific policies that address that.
How to keep students first when making school board decisions: Students should always be first. Always the student is first.
What is vision for education in community: Education needs to improve. Not everybody is college bound. Great need for trades but need a technical education and that has been addressed in the district. Technical classes and I’m fortunate my husband grew up in this district and was an educator in this district and my kids all graduated from KSD.
Any question for board. I’ve been at all the meetings and I’ve been at other meetings. Well acquainted with operations of the board.