Wausau School Board Q&A: What are your priorities?

Wausau School Board Q&A: What are your priorities?
Posted on 03/07/2019

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Wausau School Board Q&A: What are your priorities?

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 are your priorities if elected?"

James Bouché
My biggest focus will be to continue to know and understand the importance of the role of a good school board member, which includes:

  • Listening to our tax payers wants and needs.
  • Listening to our superintendent’s goals and objectives.
  • Listening and reading about DPI updates for education in Wisconsin.
  • Continuing to learn about the complexities of educational funding in Wisconsin.
  • Acknowledging and encouraging visionary approaches to education in our district.
  • Praising the successes of our students and faculty.



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Most importantly, strive to be a Blue Ribbon School of Excellence for the benefit of our students, staff and community!

Liberty Heidmann
I want our educators to continue to be compensated fairly and competitively. This encompasses how we recruit and attract new teachers and how we compensate current ones.

  • Ensuring our educators feel they have the tools and training to be innovators in their field and succeed in their day to day goals working with students and student success.
  • I want parents to feel they have a clear line of communication to the decision makers of their children’s schools. Approaching school and elected officials can be incredibly intimidating. I want people to feel comfortable in reaching out when they need help or guidance.
  • I want our district to retain choices for Wausau area students and parents to have the educational setting that serves the student best. If we have a strong slate of options, it can be an additional draw to our community.
  • We need to continue addressing student behavior within the classroom and clarifying associated policies.
  • We need to continue evaluating physical space concerns and finding solutions to overcrowding in some areas and under utilization in others.

Mark Holdhusen
I truly believe that most issues in the schools can be solved if we simply trust the knowledge, experience and judgment of the teachers that work directly with the students daily. We have hired teachers as educational experts to teach our children — we must listen to them and give them the resources necessary to make the best pedagogical decisions for the students. Children’s success is directly connected to the respect and support we give those that teach them.

Theresa Miles
I want to help the new superintendent get his strategic plan implemented, I want our voucher payments on the tax roll and I want a better system in place to attract and retain teachers.

Jane Rusch
Our children must be provided with a safe and secure environment to ensure that they get the most out their school experience. When students feel safe and secure at school they perform better, are happier, and it provides parents with peace of mind that their children are safe.

I will work with legislature to maintain and enhance local control to ensure the Wausau School District reflects the values of those that live in the district. Government works best when it works closely with constituents. Therefore, local control is essential.

Lastly, it’s vital that we retain and attract the best teachers possible to give our students the opportunity to reach their full potential.

L. Voight Smith
My top priority will be to build positive and meaningful relationships with administration, teachers, parents, students and the Wausau community, to better improve my understanding and perspective of current challenges, opportunities and issues we face. I believe taking time to do this will improve trust, morale and leadership effectiveness.