Four Chilton Candidates Vie for Two Seats
On April 4, Chilton residents will be choosing between four candidates for the two open school board positions in their district. Incumbent Randy Lisowe will face challengers John Moehn, Dean Fuerbringer and Donna Koenigs.
Immediate Family: Married to Ann Lisowe; children: Ronda, Matt and wife Sarah, Rachel and husband Grant; three grandchildren
Present Employer: Leadman/Mechanic at Lakeside Foods and cash grain farmer
Why are you running for the Chilton Board of Education?
I am seeking Re-election for a position on the school board so that I can continue to promote a positive working relationship between our community and school district. In order to do this, communication is essential. It is our responsibility and privilege to prepare our students for a rapidly changing global society and with the community and school district working together, we can achieve this by creating an environment that promotes student progress and academic achievement for today’s and tomorrow’s students.
Why should voters vote for you? My experiences as a dairy farmer and cash grain farmer have given me skills in management and budgeting finances. I am a good listener, and open-minded which allows members of the community to feel like they can approach me with their concerns. I believe I make sound decisions on facts that are provided about issues concerning our school district. I have experiences serving on the school board as treasurer, vice president and most currently president.
What are Chilton Public Schools doing right? While it is important to always strive to be better, there are many things our schools have accomplished that we should be proud of. Over the years, we have been able to maintain quality programs while keeping small class sizes. Additionally, our high school continues to be progressive in adding additional AP courses for college bound students while also preparing other students to enter the workforce. We have worked to attract and retain high quality teachers and have taken care of our buildings while adding the necessary security to keep our students safe. As a district, we must continue to improve our school report card, identify areas for improvement and address the mental health needs of students. Statistics show that 20 percent of youth ages 13-18 are living with mental health issues. This statistic would suggest there are approximately 114 students in Chilton Public Schools with mental health issues. Governor Walker is proposing $6.5 million over the next two years to assist districts in providing mental health screening and intervention services.
What steps need to be taken to avoid going to referendum in coming years?
Avoiding a referendum in the future means that we would need to continue to make cuts in all areas which will create a situation in which our students will need to be denied opportunities. A significant number of school districts in Wisconsin have passed referendums to maintain operations.
Above all, I want voters to know that I will do my best to work collaboratively with the community and staff while keeping the best interests of students, teachers and taxpayers in mind.
Occupation: Grain Farmer
Immediate Family: My wife Kelly and our four children, Maggie (10), Abby (9), Gini (8), and Charlie (6).
Groups or organizations you belong to: I am a member of Good Shepard Parish, Winnebago Eastshore Conservation Club, Farmers Union, and Wisconsin Independent Businesses.
Why are you running for Chilton school board of education? I am running for the school board to make sure the students in Chilton have the education they need to do what they want in life and be successful.
Why should voters vote for you? I plan to listen to both sides of an issue and look at which side will benefit the school district the most. I will be straight to the point on how I feel on an issue. I will also look for alternative ways to solve a problem.
What are Chilton Public Schools doing right? I think the children are getting a great education. The staff at Chilton will go out of their way to help any student.
What is something that needs to change? I feel that the school district is run very well. As a parent my children are getting a good education. I just want to make sure that this continues.
What steps need to be taken to avoid going to referendum in coming years?
I do think that there are some budget cuts to be made, but going to referendum is inevitable if we want to maintain a good education for our kids.
Occupation: Social Worker at Ascension Calumet Medical Center, Chilton for 25 years
Immediate family: Married to Dennis. Children; Drew, Denys and Dillon are graduates of Chilton High School. Son, Donovan is currently a sophomore.
Any groups or organizations you belong to (limit five): I have been a prior board member of the Chilton Youth Club and Chilton Aquatics Club. I also coached the Middle School Boys/Girls Swim Team and was the Girls High School Swim Team Coach for a combined total of six years. In recent years my community involvement has been limited as I have been focused on the needs of my family and supportive of my children’s extra curricular activities.
Why are you running for the Chilton Board of Education? I am at the point in my life where my children are mostly grown and I feel that it is my time to give back to the community. Who better than to do this with, but our students? They are our future. Currently much of my work involves caring for adults. Being a member of the Chilton School Board will allow me to connect with students as an advocate to them. I feel that I can help make a difference, and be attentive to our students mental health needs.
Why should voters vote for you? My children are the third generation in my family to attend the Chilton Public School system. I have a lifetime commitment to the members of this community. Through my work at Calumet Medical Center many people know who I am and trust that I make their needs a priority. This I would fully intend on carrying forward in my work on the School Board.
What are Chilton Public Schools currently doing right? It is great to see that the Chilton Public School is integrating our students into the community. The Tiger Manufacturing Class is a great opportunity for students to make products for our local businesses. Relationships will be built between our younger and adult population. The Certified Nursing Assistant training, being offered to students, at Atrium Post Acute Care of Chilton and New Holstein helps to prepare students for the field of nursing. They can begin their careers in our very own community. These students are helping take care of the people who are the roots of Chilton.
What is something that needs to change? Not knowing first hand what issues the School Board is currently facing, it is hard for me to speak in reference to what needs to be changed. I believe however that mental health is a concern that we need to be attentive to. In our community and in our schools there are such limited resources for these services to be provided on a day-to-day basis.
What steps need to be taken to avoid going to referendum in the coming years?
I don’t know to say that referendums are necessarily a bad thing. Our community financially supports our public schools and referendums allow for our voters to help decide on the necessity of what’s being proposed. Perhaps however there are actions that can be taken to help minimize referendums; increase volunteer support, increase online materials, review class sizes, perhaps increase revenue on services held at the school. These may be just some examples, and small steps, but ultimately it all adds up.
Occupation: Corporate Account Business Analyst / Account Manager
Immediate family: Susan (wife), sons Ben (16), Will (12), and daughter Ellie (14)
Any groups or organizations you belong to: none
Why are you running for the Chilton Board of Education? My family and I moved to Chilton almost 10 years ago. We chose Chilton due, in large part, to the highly rated schools compared to those in neighboring communities. I have helped coach baseball and basketball over the last six years, but I want to get more involved with our community and help keep our school district at the high level that drew us here years ago.
Why should voters vote for you? In whatever I do I try to think about what is fair for everyone involved and not just what is in my best interest. I feel I am able to think outside the box and would be able to bring up some ideas that have not been discussed or thought of before. I would not come into this position with any preconceived notions or ideas which would also give me the ability to look at things in a way they may not have been previously.
What are Chilton Public Schools currently doing right? They offer students a safe learning environment and many opportunities both academically and in extracurricular activities. They are doing the best they can with budget constraints to maintain these various opportunities for the district. We offer numerous AP classes and an arts program that is superior to that of even larger districts. I have been impressed with the high dedication to the students I have seen from elementary, middle, and high school teachers.
What is something that needs to change? We will need to figure out a way to continue to function effectively while maintaining our high level of quality education for our students; all while working within budget constraints.
What steps need to be taken to avoid going to referendum in the coming years? It’s up to our community to decide what is important for our children and their education moving forward. I don’t feel we can let class sizes get bigger and keep making cuts without it affecting the quality of education our students receive. To avoid this, asking for a referendum that keeps the status quo might be one of the ways it has to be done. Right now I’m not sure what could be done to avoid it, but I would like the chance to meet with teachers, parents, students, and the community to identify the budget concerns and see what ideas everyone has.