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Greendale School Board race

Voter's guide for Tuesday, April 2 election

March 27, 2013

Thomas Slota

Age: 62

Job: self-employed as a physician in private practice

Education: bachelor's in biology from Loyola University of Chicago; doctorate from Loyola University Stritch School of Medicine

Contact: (414) 423-8935

Why are you running for School Board?

The children of Greendale deserve a quality, comprehensive, personalized education. Your School Board has provided our community with a proven track record of academic excellence and a statewide reputation for innovation and creativity. The greatest predictor of success with challenges is an established record of success with previous challenges. We have dealt successfully with such topics as changing educational standards, integration of technology and state-imposed fiscal restraints, and therefore are capable of dealing with these areas and any others in the future.

What do you hope to accomplish?

Statewide student assessments and standards are changing, and we need to modify our curriculum accordingly. Care must be taken to introduce technology into the district in an educationally sound, integrated and cost-effective fashion. Maintaining the quality of our school buildings has educational, health, safety, security and cost implications. Hiring and retaining the best teaching staff possible is perhaps the most important challenge facing any district, and their growth and quality must be maximized through comprehensive professional development. Meeting these challenges, while being limited by imposed revenue caps, will require the attention of a proven, experienced School Board.

Kathleen Wied-Vincent

Age: 46

Job: Oasys LLC/educator and business development representative

Education: bachelor's in elementary education from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee; master's in education from Silver Lake College

Contact: (262) 225-9433

Why are you running for School Board?

I have chosen to run because of my lifelong commitment to our community and schools. I have an in-depth understanding of the needs of children and the leadership necessary to bring our district and community together to ensure the continued success of our public schools. My goal as a Greendale School Board member will be to involve all members of the community in the planning and decision making necessary to continue our high level of academic excellence.

What do you hope to accomplish?

I look forward to the opportunity and challenge of serving on the Greendale School Board to set the vision for education in our community. This is a unique way for me to give back to our community by positively influencing the lives of children while carrying out an essential responsibility of our democracy. I plan to provide the necessary leadership that will keep Greendale a top-ranked district both in the state and our country. All voices matter to me, and my goal will be to ensure that our entire community is aware of the decisions that are being made.

Victoria S. McCormick

Age: 64

Job: sales consultant forCornerstone Development of SE WI

Education: bachelor's and master's in nursing from Marquette University

Contact: (414) 421-3578

Why are you running for School Board?

I believe in public education and its capacity to create the foundation of a democratic society. I am running for another term to help assure our Greendale students graduate with the skills and attributes they need to be college- and career-ready, to live a life of quality with the ability to have choices and to be engaged and participating members of their communities. I will continue to be part of the governing team that has and continues to make astute decisions regarding the implementation of our strategic plan through resource allocation.

What do you hope to accomplish?

The Greendale School District has an excellent guiding document, our strategic plan, created by numerous interested and vested stakeholders. During my next term I will work with our leadership team to make certain the strategic plan and its five action goals - personalized learning, diversity, technology, graduate key attributes and fiscal accountability - are executed. We have recently hired a new superintendent for our district. With a change of this magnitude in an institution, expect a period of transition. I will assist during this transition time to assure our publics that outstanding learning continues every day in our schools.

Melanie Kuzmanovic

Age: 49

Job: Oak Creek High School counselor

Education: bachelor's in education from the University of Wisconsin-Madison; master's in educational psychology from UW-Milwaukee

Contact: (414) 423-1124

Why are you running for School Board?

I've been preparing for this position for about two decades. My journey began with becoming a high school counselor and impacting the lives of thousands of students who have come through my office. Once my own children entered school, I became an eager volunteer. That role made me appreciate what's good about our schools even more. Working closely with the teachers, administration, support staff, students and parents, I developed a commitment to keep our district moving forward. The School Board position was a natural "next step" for me. I was appointed to the board last June.

What do you hope to accomplish?

I will strive to keep Greendale a high-performing district in light of budgetary constraints in a post Act 10 state. I want to continue to work in collaboration with our teachers to define a fair pay schedule so that we persist in attracting and maintaining the quality we've come to expect. If needed, we can look to other successful school districts with similar demographics and determine best practices for cutting a budget even further. I would like to develop more partnerships with our local businesses for the purposes of co-op placements and job shadowing.

Katie Buszkiewicz-Mevis

Age: 40

Job: SuccessFactors, and SAP Company as regional sales manager

Education: one year at the University of Wisconsin- Milwaukee

Contact: (414) 421-8858

Why are you running for School Board?

As the parent of young children, lifelong resident and someone who is deeply committed to Greendale, my goal is to make sure we remain a high student achievement district. I focus on fiscal responsibility, accountability, transparency and community engagement. Greendale needs strong, visionary leaders who collaborate with administration, staff and community members to evaluate new approaches, while focusing on the overall goals of the district. District leaders must work with parents and residents to keep Greendale schools strong. We cannot rely on past accomplishments to guarantee future success.

What do you hope to accomplish?

Student achievement must be the primary goal of the School Board. Community input, transparency, accountability and an open mind-set will allow us to continue to excel. Technology, economic pressures, Common Core Standards and legislative changes have combined to change the face of education. In order to meet this challenge, we must view this as an opportunity to approach each learner as an individual, using not only traditional educational approaches, but also leveraging new solutions. Exploring project-based learning, charter schools, STEM programming, virtual learning, in combination with traditional education, will allow us to tailor education.

Roger Dalkin

Age: 63

Job: self-employed financial advisor with Mutual of Omaha; retired as CEO of the United StatesBowling Congress

Education: bachelor's in mechanical engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology; graduate courses at the Wharton School of Business

Contact: (414) 423-1969

Why are you running for School Board?

After spending 30 years in executive positions traveling the country, I retired in 2007 and started my own business. That change has given me the opportunity to give back to the community that has given so much to my family. My experience in positions in a nonprofit environment, similar to that of a school district, will be beneficial in addressing the challenges facing the board. Also the business knowledge developed in a tight financial environment where outcomes and missions are more important than profits and where essentially volunteer boards work with professional staff, provides me with a unique perspective.

What do you hope to accomplish?

"What you want to accomplish" indicates that you have specific agenda. I believe the role of the board is not to push agendas, but to assure the continued improvement of the district while making the difficult decisions relative to resources and the mission of the district. Those tough financial decisions are precisely what I did as an executive at the American Bowling Congress and then the USBC. What I want to bring to the board is a fresh perspective. Too often we rest on our accomplishments rather than focusing on the next challenge.

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