On April 4 Kiel Area School District residents will have the opportunity and the responsibility to vote for the four candidates that they feel will be best for the School Board.
This is an annual vote for open seats that become open after members complete a three-year term or have completed an appointed seat made available through a resignation. Each year either two or three of the seven members complete their term which ends their service or they may choose to run for another term. This year there will be five members on the ballot to fill four seats. Two of the seats are open because of resignations. When a resignation occurs in mid-term the remaining board members follow the state statute and appoint someone to fill the seat until the following April election.
As this year’s election draws near, I would like to thank Jill Preissner for her service on the board this past year. She was appointed to fill a vacancy. It has been a pleasure working with Jill. The five candidates on the ballot this April are Todd Olig, Robert Runge, Jim Bajczyk, Dan Meyer, and Dan Karls. I would like to thank these five individuals for their willingness to serve on the School Board.
School Board members put in a lot of time. There are scheduled board and committee meetings, there is preparation to be completed prior to the meetings, and constituent contacts. Adding to this are the many difficult decisions to be made. At times, it appears to be a thankless job, but there are many rewards to being a part of our children’s education.
Board members must work together to impact the future direction of our School District. This is not always an easy task. The board is made up of seven people with varying beliefs so it takes time to develop a process of understanding one another and coming to consensus or agreeing to disagree on a majority vote.
Of the seven members who hired me seven years ago, only one remains on the board. Each year two or three new members become part of the team and the team building process starts over. I have experienced 10 new members in the seven years I have been the district administrator. This is not a bad thing, but it does take time to rebuild a new team every year.
The School Board is a group of individuals who are elected to make decisions about how best to manage our school system. Their primary duty is to establish policies that serve as the administrators’ guide for the day-to-day management of schools and then holding the district administrator accountable for the implementation of the policies. In order to do this effectively, the current board schedules time for board retreats. The retreat is a time for setting goals and creating norms around effective team functions. It is also a time where members discuss the board’s roles and responsibilities and establish the district administrator/board relationship. In addition, during the retreat members get to know one another and learn about each other’s priorities for the school district.
With the ever changing educational environment, and the fiscal challenges in the state, the need for committed governmental leaders is enormous. Thank you to the people who have served and those who are willing to serve in the coming year.
Please vote on Tuesday, April 4!