Oregon School Board
Steve Zach, incumbent
Troy J. Pankratz
Oregon, WI 53575
1. What in your professional and community background qualifies you for this elective office? I am completing my 19th year on the Oregon School Board. I have been Board President the last two years and have served on all Board committees during my tenure.
I am an attorney and part of my practice encompasses school law.
2. How should the district address disparities in student achievement? Our District is guided by Five Values which were established by our latest strategic plan. Among these is "Educational Equity," which commits our District to implement practices to assist all of our learners in achieving academic, career and personal success. Our District is currently in the second year of a focus on equity practices and strategies. We monitor our achievement data under another Value - "Emphasis on the Whole Child." By focusing on the "Whole Child," we are better able to address factors that motivate each learner towards success.
3. Are there additional steps the district should take to effectively recruit and retain an outstanding and diverse workforce? Our District taxpayers recently approved a referendum which authorized an override in our revenue limits by $1.5m for the sole purpose of funding our new Educator Compensation Plan. In addition, we re-allocated our budget to add another $1.5 m to that Plan. This will allow our District to recruit and retain quality educators. As part of this commitment, we actively recruit in an attempt to make our workforce diverse. Our strategic plan, set forth in the "Path Forward," and our newly renovated facilities make our District an attractive learning environment.
4. In this time of uncertain state and federal support for public education, what are your top three spending priorities for the district? Our building Leadership Teams, administration, and faculty are currently engaged in evaluating and implementing practices which lead directly to enhanced student learning. The initiatives that come from this work will ensure that District tax dollars are being used efficiently and effectively. The recent increase in state funding allowed the Board to adopt a fiscal plan that provides us with flexibility in the next two District budgets. Our Growth Task Force is compiling data and options to prudently, economically and strategically address the significant growth we will experience in the next 15 years.
Troy J. Pankratz
Brooklyn, WI 53521
1. What in your professional and community background qualifies you for this elective office? I have experience as a School Board member, having served on a board in a neighboring community for two years. This past experience has taught me about the many issues that school districts need to contend with to provide quality learning opportunities for our children. My children are students within the Oregon School District providing me with inside knowledge of the schools and a vested interest in the District’s success. My professional experiences as an engineer and business owner have taught me the skills necessary to make difficult decisions while striving toward the Oregon School District vision.
2. How should the district address disparities in student achievement? Addressing disparities in student achievement should first be addressed by recognizing that every student has individual needs based on the disparate opportunities that they have been afforded in life. Equity in education can achieved when all barriers to learning have been removed. A curriculum and delivery system that supports flexible learning opportunities geared toward the motivations and interests of learners is more likely to be successful. By helping our students with the ability to ‘learn how to learn’, we can work toward addressing the root disparities of individual students.
3. Are there additional steps the district should take to effectively recruit and retain an outstanding and diverse workforce? The most significant factor in positive student achievement for a district is providing effective educators. Of greatest importance is a support system for the educator team and fostering the high performing environment that they desire. We need to support the desire of our educators to continue to learn by providing continuous, meaningful professional development opportunities and support the development of meaningful student/educator relationships. We need to continue to focus on building an environment where our professional educators are using their expertise to provide meaningful contributions to the direction of the District.
4. In this time of uncertain state and federal support for public education, what are your top three spending priorities for the district? The Oregon School District is projected to see a substantial growth of its student population over the next decade which will present additional financial challenges for the administration. The population growth will increase pressure on facility needs, educator capacity, and transportation demands. My top spending priorities will focus on maintaining our commitment to the five value statements which were created by the Oregon School District community. As enrollment increases, I will be committed to using these five values as a guide for fiscal priorities to ensure that our students leave school having achieved their educational goals.