Wisconsin Heights School Board
Three 3-year terms (three highest vote-getters)
One 1-year term (fourth-highest vote-getter, including write-ins)
Cindy Beuthin, incumbent
Gary Damaschke, incumbent
Isaiah Crowe, incumbent
Town of Mazomanie, WI 53560
1. What in your professional and community background qualifies you for this elective office? I have had the privilege of being on the school board these past three years, most recently as the board president. Aside from working full-time at UW Health as a project assistant, I am involved with my daughter’s Girl Scout troop, the Mazomanie Barracuda Swim Team, and previously with the WHPTO. And, I am looking forward to finally finishing my Bachelor’s degree in April 2018.
2. How should the district address disparities in student achievement? Education is for every student. This means that each child, regardless of their background or learning abilities, deserves the best educational experience that will prepare them for the next chapter in their lives. By providing an educational environment with quality teachers and staff whom are ready to provide each child the opportunity to succeed, we will begin to see gaps close and student achievements soar.
3. Are there additional steps the district should take to effectively recruit and retain an outstanding and diverse workforce? Our small school district has so much to offer both new and experienced teachers with small class sizes, a large variety of extra-curricular activities, many sports teams along with co-op opportunities and the list could go on. We need to embrace our community and what we have to offer to really market ourselves as a home not just a place to work. Once we find “the one” we need to maximize their time with us by working on retention and finding ways to grow together.
4. In this time of uncertain state and federal support for public education, what are your top three spending priorities for the district? School funding is so difficult as we know from our recent operational referendums that state and federal funding is not sufficient to run our district. In an effort to keep the amount needed at a minimum we need to be strategic with our money. By providing an attractive yet reasonable teacher salary for our small district that allows us to recruit competitively, maintaining our aging facilities thoughtfully while providing a safe environment for our children and lastly, keeping up with a society run by technology by providing the learning opportunities our children need to learn and grow.
Mazomanie, WI 53560
1. What in your professional and community background qualifies you for this elective office? I am a retired educator having worked in both large urban and small rural districts in Wisconsin over a 35 year period. I have unique educational experiences having served as a teacher, principal and superintendent. I have, especially as a superintendent, worked closely with school boards. I am well acquainted with the special roles and responsibilities with which school board members are entrusted. All aspects of student welfare have been a priority of mine throughout my school career. My intention is to continue to assist Wisconsin Heights to focus on obtaining the very best outcomes for students and families.
2. How should the district address disparities in student achievement? The district needs to continue its strong and robust assessment programs in an attempt to identify issues and impediments to student learning. Not only do we need to gather relevant information pertaining to academic and social/emotional needs but we need to do a good job of analyzing the information so that proper programs and intervention strategies can be implemented. Sound curriculum development practices need to be in place with emphasis on educator effectiveness utilizing best practice. The aforementioned points need to be done in a collaborative and professional manner engaging students, parents, educational assistants, teachers and administrators and support staff.
3. Are there additional steps the district should take to effectively recruit and retain an outstanding and diverse workforce? The board needs to continue to address salary and other compensation factors considering the constraints of revenue limits and the financial health of the district. A meaningful induction program including mentoring, coaching and guidance from experienced, successful teachers, along with continual and purposeful professional development and support are essential for teacher retention. The establishment of healthy working conditions, the appreciation for the important work that teachers do, the establishment of shared decision making and professional collaboration along with providing the necessary resources for teaching and learning are critical.
4. In this time of uncertain state and federal support for public education, what are your top three spending priorities for the district? School board members need to continually fight for a fair and equitable funding mechanism for public schools. It is important to be involved with lobbying efforts for proper funding by contacting legislative representatives. My first priority in district spending is attracting and retaining well qualified teachers and support staff. Second, investment in well researched and developed curriculum and instructional resources is essential in meeting the wide array of student needs. Third, there needs to be an emphasis on environmental conditions and support services; eg. operation and maintenance including up to date facilities that enhance educational opportunities for students and staff.
Black Earth, WI 53515
1. What in your professional and community background qualifies you for this elective office? I have been a member of the Wisconsin Heights School Board for four years. I have been active in numerous youth events and school centered activities as a parent, coach, and organizer. Additionally, I am a Special Education Teacher at Sun Prairie High School where I have worked for 13 years.
2. How should the district address disparities in student achievement? The district should identify the barriers that create these disparities and find interventions that have a proven record of being successful. They should also look at the district wide RtI (Response to Intervention) scope and sequence to see if current interventions are working to help students.
3. Are there additional steps the district should take to effectively recruit and retain an outstanding and diverse workforce? The district should focus on retaining educators by incentivizing longevity. One of the unique things about our district is how engrained it's educators are in the communities. This is something we should look to continue. However, doing so requires honest conversations about the value of education as well as educators.
4. In this time of uncertain state and federal support for public education, what are your top three spending priorities for the district? There are so many incredibly valuable variables within a school. The number one guiding principal must be "is it a need or a want?". There are always things that take precedent over others. Items like physical building maintenance have to come first for the reasons of safety and student well being. After this, I believe providing top quality materials and access to technologies that are represented in the workforce must be a priority. A final priority would be allocating the funds necessary to maintain small class sizes while offering the number of extras our small district does.