WIND LAKE — Five candidates will compete for three seats in the Muskego-Norway School District election on April 3.
Incumbent Eric Schroeder, a police officer by profession, will compete against childcare business owner Terri Boyer, nurse practitioner Tracy Blair, financial consultant Karla Klein, and former Muskego alderman and construction company vice president Kert Harenda.
The three victors will serve on a seven-member board. They serve three-year terms and will receive an annual salary of $4,600. The 4K-high school district serves about 4,800 students from the City of Muskego and the Town of Norway spread out over eight buildings, including Lakeview Elementary School in Wind Lake. About a quarter of the district’s students are from Racine County.
Each candidate provided responses to The Journal Times through an online form. Answers were edited for length.
What motivated you to run for office?
Blair: I am a mother of six kids who have all attended schools in the Muskego Norway school district. I have for many years been on the suggestion side of the table; involved in many school district’s committees. I would like to move to the other side of the table when I can truly make a difference.
Boyer: I am a Muskego High School graduate, my two sons attend Muskego High School and I absolutely love this community. I want to take this school district to the next level.
Klein: As my kids get older, they are becoming their own advocates and I play more of a supporting role. I have been involved in the schools and PTOs and on committees for the school district.
Harenda: I have been approached and asked to run and service our community in a positive manner. I have a 16-year-old daughter that has been through the school district and is soon to graduate in 2019.
Schroeder: I would like to continue my efforts in making our school district high achieving and at the same time fiscally responsible to our taxpayers. We have been doing this for the last seven years with decreased tax levies each and every year accompanied by new, upgraded facilities and increased test scores at every school.
What do you see as the issues in this race?
Blair: Being a nurse for 27 years, I understand that listening is essential. I am very comfortable being an advocate for this community since it is similar to being a patient advocate at the bedside. I know and agree that school safety is priority No. 1 right now.
Boyer: I believe some of the important issues in this race are budget, school safety, retention of staff and the completion of all the current construction projects.
Klein: The questions I have gotten so far have focused around finances (and of course the current construction), accessibility to and equal education for all our students and teacher quality (such as the 4K program and working to attract and retain quality teachers).
Harenda: This race is about community members putting them self’s out there to serve their community. Safety is all ways my most concern. If you are a parent, you understand the meaning of “Is your children safe when they are not in your presence?”
Schroeder: Continued consistency with our current school board and school administration that has served our community and constituents extremely well over the past seven years, versus three new non-incumbent board members, which may lead to unprecedented changes in unknown directions
What changes do you wish to promote in the Muskego-Norway School District?
Blair: Making sure our students feel that they are capable of making a living and contributing to society should be our goal. And I do feel that our district is moving in the right direction.
Boyer: I enter this race with no specific agenda. I am a team player who listens for insights that will allow me to continue moving the district in a positive direction. Leaving a legacy of improvement that impacts all stakeholders is my goal.
Klein: I want to encourage sharing across all the schools so the work we are doing in one school that gets awards and accolades can be shared with other teachers/schools and benefit all the students.
Harenda: My goals as School Board Member are: 1. Maintain the safety of our children. 2. Provide an exceptional education. 3. Conservatively and responsibly manage your tax dollars.
Schroeder: The district and the school board need to return to the practice of increasing our reserve funds to continue to make sure that we are not short term borrowing on a yearly basis to fund operations.