School Board Q&A: Why are you the best candidate?

School Board Q&A: Why are you the best candidate?
Posted on 03/07/2019

Thursday, March 7, 2019

School Board Q&A: Why are you the best candidate?

Laura Schulte
Wausau Daily Herald

WAUSAU - Three Wausau School Board positions will be up for election this spring.

Six candidates are vying for the positions — two incumbents, Theresa Miles and Jane Rusch, and four candidates who have not previously held spots on the board. Mary Thao, who is currently the board's clerk, is not seeking another term.

Elections will be held April 2. School board members serve three-year terms.

USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin gave all of the candidates a chance to answer questions about their candidacies to help voters get to know them better. Here are their written responses to the question "What makes you the best candidate for school board?"

James Bouché
Having been an educator for 41 and a half years, I have been a community member, parent, teacher, coach, dean of students, athletic director, assistant principal, principal and district administrator; these positions have prepared me for a position as a school board member.

I have learned and have been prepared for the importance of this position. This is a position not to be taken lightly — the youth of our communities and the families of our district depend on us to make decisions that are in the best interest for the futures of the young people going through our district. Students and parents deserve the best educational choices that a community can offer. Also, it is imperative that community school boards offer support to their employees in every possible way. We need to make sure that our faculty have the tools that they need to engage our young people.

Liberty Heidmann
I am passionate about learning and education. While higher education is very different from the K-12 world, there are many best practices and ideas that can easily transferred to help foster student success. There are some benefits to not coming from a K-12 background. Because policies and

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procedures will be new or different than the world I am used to, I will ask a lot of questions. Having a fresh set of eyes with a different perspective can be helpful when rethinking or supporting policy. My work for the past 14 years has always been to listen, solve problems, and support people in the academic endeavors. I value collaboration and insight of other people when making decisions, even if that insight differs from my own.

Mark Holdhusen
Since my oldest child started kindergarten in 2012 I have been active in the Wausau School District. Not only in serving on the PTO and volunteering at my kids' school, but also at the district level. The last few years I have served on the Title I Parent Advisory Committee which works with administration to help serve low-income students and their families. I also served on the committee that helped redraw the elementary school boundaries following the referendum that added building space to several schools. I have had the opportunity to work closely with administration in the past and can use that experience to help make future decisions regarding the education of our children. In addition, my professional background is in education. I have been a professor of engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point at Wausau since 2005. I have a direct understanding of what graduating high school students need to be successful in higher education and hope to use this knowledge and experience to help guide the direction of the Wausau School District.

Theresa Miles
I have taken the job very seriously. I attend many district activities, I volunteer for school requests, which might mean passing out scholarships or just thanking students for their efforts. I continue to educate myself by attending the Wisconsin State School Board Conventions and the National School Board Conventions, where I learned about the teacher shortage, teacher compensation packages, voucher plans, special education and many more important topics.

Jane Rusch
Over the past 25 years my commitment to the district has grown even stronger. My twelve years of experience on the board has given me the knowledge necessary to know what does work and what doesn’t work. While serving on the board I have continued my education by attending ongoing training throughout my twelve years. This training has given me insight into what other districts have successfully been able to implement. I have brought these ideas back to the board and, if reelected, I will continue to seek out new information that will help improve our students' experience.

L. Voight Smith
My unique and global experiences as an Air Force officer, a business owner, an inventor and a parent, have shaped my leadership skills and passion for lifetime learning. I believe our education system must complement and promote the principles of good parenting and our free market system. I seek to foster win/win relationships with students, parents, teachers, administration, and the Wausau community. The success I seek is providing our youth with the tools, skills, moral foundation, and moral courage required to constructively adapt and prosper in changing workforce environments.