HUDSON -- Nine candidates will be on the primary ballot for the Hudson School Board on Tuesday, Feb. 16. Six candidates will advance to the general election to vie for three open seats.
We asked each candidate the following questions:
1. Why should voters advance you to the general election?
2. What is the main issue facing the school district?
Address: 1600 Chestnut Drive
Occupation: Director of environmental services - The Commons on Marice
Education: Attended University of Wisconsin Eau Claire
Civic Involvement: Hudson Public Schools advocate over 20 years, serving on numerous committees. Chair for the group asking for community support of the high school referendum. Volunteer for Hudson hockey, soccer, North Hudson Parent Group
Family: Three children: daughters Mattie, Kailee and son Logan; all graduates of Hudson Public Schools
1. As a board member, I have advocated for ALL students and staff and worked successfully with a dedicated team to provide a safe, successful learning environment in Hudson. I understand that I am one of seven members and represent our students, parents, staff and tax-paying community in a nonpartisan way. All have an equal voice.
I support transparency with our decision making and have supported surveys and community-led committees to ensure everyone's voice is heard. I supported an aggressive effort to give students and families as much face to face learning as possible with an option for virtual learning for families concerned with COVID. We can all be proud of the efforts and results of how staff came together to safely teach our students. I would welcome the opportunity to continue serving our students, staff and community.
2. Getting back to normal, even if it is a new normal for our students, families and staff. We need to concern ourselves with the mental aspect of how the pandemic has affected the delivery of education to our students. How much ground academically have we lost and what resources will need to be adjusted to support getting back on track. State and Federal funding will also be challenging as we balance our budgets through these uncertain times.
Address: 521 Omaha Road
Occupation: Regional director - Client Acquisition & Community Engagement
Education: U of M - Twin Cities, Economics & Finance
Civic Involvement: 2-term incumbent, Hudson School Board, four-time regional delegate CESA 11, four-time State School Board delegate, State School Board Policy & Resolutions Committee, Bethel Lutheran Church confirmation guide, Eagle Bluff Homeowners Association board member
Family: Married 24 years to Tara; threeChildren (Riley, 20, HSD grad, Maggie, 17, HSD senior, Carly, 13, HSD, eighth-grader).
1. My balanced attention to the entire Hudson School District community and not one specific group. My focus on our children -- best opportunities for all students to become productive citizens regardless if their path is a four-year university, technical college or direct to work. My support for our teachers and our staff ensuring resources are available, and their voices are heard. Taxpayer effectiveness -- great student achievement while lowering the school property tax mill rate by nearly 5% over the last two years.
Fall 2020 survey outputs:
91% of parents are satisfied or very satisfied with the Hudson School Board
84% of teachers and staff say that the Hudson School Board is doing what it takes to make our school district successful
Most recent State of Wisconsin School Report Card – “Significantly Exceeds Expectations” (best rating)
2. The main issue facing our school district is our continued need to maintain a focus on our entire community and to find compromise on all issues. Our focus must always be on the success of our children regardless if their desired path is a four-year university degree, two-year trades education or directly to work.
Whether the issues pertain to school funding, taxes, facilities, equity (race, religion, sexual orientation, but also food scarcity, homelessness, technology and other issues where there are inequities in our school district) among other challenges. A school board must understand the viewpoints of all constituents and work to find balance. As a two-term incumbent, I will continue to work towards compromise on all issues through listening and community engagement.
For more information please visit my website: RobBrown4Hudson.com
Address: 213 River St,
Occupation: 7th-10th English teacher
Education: B.A. in English Comprehensive Literature /Masters of Ed in Reading
Civic Involvement: Most of my time is currently taken by teaching full-time and caring for my young children. In my spare time, I enjoy cleaning up St. Croix Trail to keep our city beautiful. I have also participated in River Fest cleanup.
In the past year, I have been an advocate for equality, inclusion, and diversity in the community. I have assisted with library events that promote that goal. I have also been following the school board meetings in order to stay current with issues, discussions, and actions in our school district. Finally, I helped organize a community fundraiser to support both businesses and local nonprofits that have been affected by COVID. It was a win/win, giving back to the community in multiple ways.
Family: Husband, Reid, Leonard, 3 , Walter, 1
1. One of the things that differentiate me from the other candidates is my 10 years of teaching experience. Not only have I taught during COVID, but I have been on my school’s COVID plan team. What teachers and support staff have accomplished in making sure kids are receiving the best instruction possible is phenomenal. Being a teacher has helped me come up with many positive solutions with parents, students, and administration, even when we had diverging viewpoints. Furthermore, I am currently the lead teacher at my school, so I understand aspects of administration and the evaluation process. As a board member, I would be bringing the unique perspective of teacher, parent, and student to advocate for all three and will work to continue to make our community schools great.
As an educator, I have seen firsthand how important it is for students to see themselves portrayed positively in the curriculum versus as an afterthought or addendum. Not only does it empower that student, but the more perspectives students are exposed to, the more empathy and understanding we will all have as a community. The district is finishing an equity audit in the spring, and I would like to continue to help drive policy forward.
2. The fallout from the pandemic will continue to affect the district in many ways.
A) Many students will have been fully online this entire year, and by the time the 2021-2022 school year starts, they will have been out of in-person school for about a year and a half. To help reacclimate them to school, the district will need a plan in place.
B) Even though many students chose in-person and teachers and staff worked harder than ever, there is still going to be learning loss that will need to be planned for.
C) The district will also need to look at potential budget shortfalls due to a potential lack of aid. 4) With almost 40% of the staff feeling like the workload is unmanageable (from the most recent end of year survey), there is concern about teacher burnout and retention. Almost 7% of certified staff and almost 20% of support staff left at the end of the 2020 school year. Keeping staff at the forefront when making decisions contributes to a positive climate and community for everyone.
Address: 885 Trout Brook Road
Occupation: Social worker
Education: B.S. Social Work, College of St. Catherine
Civic Involvement: High School Swim Board
Family: Husband Jesse; we have three children
1. I am running for Hudson School District Board because as a Town of Hudson resident for the past 19 years I know that our schools are the heart of our community. As a parent of three children that grew up in the school district, I feel compelled to give back to our community. I am running because we need to get back to the basics and I am the candidate that will put the needs of our children first.
2. A. Back to School -- These past 10 months have had a profound impact on our children and their ability to learn and develop. We need to get them back in the classrooms safely.
B. Fiscal Responsibility-The ripple effect of the pandemic will impact the budgets of our schools. I will fight for the taxpayer to make sure every dollar is spent wisely.
C. Safe Schools-Our schools should be a safe haven for our students. I want to continue to hold safety measures to a high standard. I want our kids to feel a sense of emotional and physical security and have staff that are continually educated in mental health.
D. Community First- We need community-focused schools, not outside distractions. Parents know what is best for their children, I plan to lead with the continued input of the parents in this community, not outside agendas.
Address: 608 Parkview Court N.
Occupation: Home-maker, community volunteer, part-time bookkeeper
Education: B.A. in History & Political Science from Gustavus Adolphus College (1991), completed coursework for Master of Arts in Teaching (UW-River Falls)
Civic Involvement: Volunteer at Bethel Lutheran Church as Sunday school teacher, confirmation guide, serving on the Bethel Highlands Preschool Board, and Secretary of Bethel Church Council; Volunteer at North Hudson Elementary (conducting reading groups, co-leading the Scholastic Book Fair); Co-lead Hudson Middle School Parent Group and helped with fundraising; Served on the Executive Board of Hudson Backpack Program as secretary and vice pesident; leadership member of the community group instrumental in passing the referendum that remodeled and expanded Hudson High School on its current site; currently serving on the board of Hudson Student Alcohol Free Events (SAFE)
Family: My husband, Pat, and I have lived in North Hudson for 27 years. He is a CPA and President of Olsen, Thielen & Co. Ltd. My kids, Ben and Amelia, are twins and seniors at Hudson High School.
1. I was raised in a family where we were taught to think of others before ourselves. We were taught to help out where we could and leave things better than we found them. I’ve worked with a variety of boards and non-profits, helped to find solutions to difficult problems and looked to find consensus amongst people. I am able to stand for what I think is right without alienating my peers. I hope that I would bring a level of discernment and steadfast vision that the main mission of our school district is to bring quality education to all children.
2. The main immediate issue driving anything in the school district is COVID-19 because it impacts all aspects of education. The school district has done a good job of providing a safe (as can be) environment during the Covid-19 pandemic. Safety measures, communication and flexibility have been key to the success of HSD in the past year. Based on information from the district and from science, most of the community spread has not come from face-to-face education. That is a win for our students and community.
The pandemic has also highlighted issues where we might need to make some improvements. Going forward, the Board of Education will need to address issues that have been exacerbated by the pandemic which could include: students who have fallen behind, equity issues with students who are distance learning and may have tech access issues, emotional fallout for students and teachers that might happen due to the pandemic. The district may need to assist in providing critical mental health support and remedial educational services for students. All this should be viewed through a lens of real needs and fiscal responsibility.
No longer in the race.
No response received.