Monona Grove School Board
Vote for two
Susan Manning, Incumbent
Peter Sobol, Incumbent
Monona, WI 53716
1. What in your professional and community background qualifies you for this elective office? I have now served on the Monona Grove School Board for over 10 years and have worked hard to advocate for the students, teachers and staff and the community. I am committed to researching and learning about how to improve the educational processes for our students and teachers, often within limited budgets. I serve on City Committees, the Health Classrooms Board, attend ongoing educational sessions, research the law and have strong healthcare background. With this experience, I try to continually improve the educational process and bring a healthy culture to our students.
2. How should your district address disparities in student achievement? Persistent achievement gaps must be identified and integrated into a strong action-oriented strategic plan for improvement. Identification of individual student learning needs must become standard operating procedure for all school districts. Early identification and intervention is imperative. We must reassess our interventions each and every year as an integral part of an ongoing strategic plan. We must integrate students, teachers and families into all action plans. Every day we must look in the mirror and ask – How are we doing today and What can we do better. We need to make closing the gaps a number one priority.
3. Are there additional steps your district should take to effectively recruit and retain an outstanding and diverse workforce? The Monona Grove School District has worked diligently to make attraction and retention of our workforce a number one priority. We have clearly identified the integration of diversity in attraction and retention and I have worked with the Board and the District Personnel Committee to build goals that will help to achieve greater diversity in our workforce. It continues to be incredibly challenging to meet the goals of attract and retain with limited finances for salaries and benefits. Our District is committed to attraction and retention with a diversity focus and will continue to advocate to support these goals.
4. Is there an issue that particularly motivates you to serve on the school board? It is our students, our staff and our community that motivate me to serve on the the Board. Each and every day there is a new concern, a new issue or a new problem that needs to be worked on so that we can improve the student experience and the culture of our schools. Each and every one of us needs to help.
Monona, WI 53716
1. What in your professional and community background qualifies you for this elective office?
--Twelve years’ experience as a member the Monona Grove School Board, including serving as board Treasurer and President. In that time I’ve built working relationships with administration, staff, and the community that will continue to help me provide leadership in this district.
-- Two children who graduated from the MG School District who have provided significant insight into how things work in this district.
-- An analytic, data based approach to problem solving developed through years of professional experience; focused on development of processes that offer robust solutions, rather than piecemeal or myopic approaches.
2. How should your district address disparities in student achievement?
-- Listen to families of color and disadvantaged students: Until we can understand their perspective on the experience at MG, we will be limited in our ability to respond appropriately to disparate needs.
-- Increase the diversity of staff: a diverse teaching staff that provides role-models and cultural understanding to all students is perhaps the most effective means in decreasing the achievement gap.
-- Start disadvantages students out right, and keep them on track: reach out to disadvantaged families to make the most of early childhood educational opportunities, then evaluate and intervene to keep them from falling behind their peers.
3. Are there additional steps your district should take to effectively recruit and retain an outstanding and diverse workforce?
-- Examine employment and workplace practices to ensure we have competitive, flexible structures that support a diverse workforce.
-- Reach out to institutions that educate teachers (in and out of state) to directly recruit from diverse prospects. Collaborate with other area districts to advertise and recruit in areas with more diverse teacher populations.
-- Provide robust professional, cultural and personal mentoring and supports to new staff members to ensure that they can start strong and continue to be successful educators.
-- Develop capacity of all so that minority staff do not bear a disproportionate burden of supporting diverse classrooms.
4. Is there an issue that particularly motivates you to serve on the school board?
-- The necessity of building a sustainable organization and facility infrastructure that will be well prepared to support the educational needs of our community over the long term.
-- Pushing against the sense of complacency that makes it hard to make good schools great. We can always do better, and we need to keep pushing, even on the things that we do well. It’s too easy to pat ourselves on the back for our successes, while letting attention to our problems slide.