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Alyssa Birkeland previews race for West Bend School Board

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West Bend High School student reporter Alyssa Birkeland recently published an article in the school paper The Current previewing the five candidates running for two seats on the West Bend School Board.

A portion of her article is below.  Read the full story by Birkeland by logging onto The Current

This spring, two seats on the school board will be up for election.

Karen Betz and Randy Marquardt currently hold those seats, and only Marquardt is running for re-election.  On Tuesday, Feb. 16, there will be a primary election to narrow the five candidates down to four who will move onto the general election on April 5.

The West Bend Current reached out to each of the candidates for written responses to a general question: What is your motivation for running and what are your intentions if elected to the board? Below are each of their responses, listed in the order that the candidates will appear on the primary ballot.

Ken Schmidt

I’m Ken Schmidt and I am running for election to the West Bend School Board. I am a long time resident of the West Bend School District and a taxpayer. I’m a family man who has a sincere interest in public education having earned two degrees from public academic institutions. I also have two public school teachers in my family – my wife and my daughter-in-law. I am acquainted with governing an educational institution through my 25 plus years of experience as a member of the Board of Regents of Bethany Lutheran College, Mankato, Minnesota.

My goal is to promote quality education in our school district while maintaining respect for all stakeholders including the taxpayers. I hope to …

Jennifer Donath

Hello! My name is Jenn Donath and I am running for school board because I want West Bend to remain a destination district. I will do this by promoting better communication among teachers, school board members, administration, and the community. For the past three years I have volunteered in my son’s classrooms at McLane, and I am a board member of McLane’s PTO, and I see first-hand how important it is to listen to our teachers since they are the ones in the classrooms with our children. As a member of the Benders for Better Public Education group, I have been contacted by over 40 parents who are frustrated with the lack of communication between administration and families. Some feel uncomfortable with, or even  ….

Randy Marquardt (incumbent)

As you probably know, I am running for a third term. Last election, I had a stated objective to find ways to enhance the educational experience we provide to all students, regardless of their destination after leaving high school. That goal, while progress has been made, has not advanced as much as I would have liked, and it is the main reason that I have chosen to run for re-election. The question is whether every student is getting as much as they should expect from our school system. Across the state, we have raised the basic standards and expectations across all levels, but are we successfully opening students’ eyes to the world in front of them? Are we getting students, and their parents, to really think about their futures? The system has always  ….

Bob Miller

I am running for the West Bend School Board in order to make sure that we are satisfying the needs of all of our students and teachers. I want to make sure that we continue to grow our district and promote a positive atmosphere for all – I myself am invested with three children in the West Bend Public School System. I see some small changes that need to be made and am willing to work hard to make those tough decisions. By listening to everyone and putting my personal preferences aside, we can

Tiffany Larson

Providing strong leadership and representation for our youth and their families is my primary motivation to campaign for a seat on the West Bend school board. There is a general concern that the school board is not effectively representing its constituents. While I understand they cannot appease every issue, I believe members must practice the art of respectful listening and thoughtfully consider their responsibility to students, parents, teachers, and taxpayers. A lack of representation will negatively affect a district. Campaigning for a school board seat is a positive step and renews my excitement and hope for our town, its history and traditions, and its strong familial roots. Whether I win the election or not, I already feel major strides have been made to ….


Find the full story by Alyssa Birkeland at The Current.

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