All Mukwonago school board candidates see the importance of advocating for change at the state level to push for a fair funding formula. All recognize that even a great district like Mukwonago has room for improvement, whether it be early interventions, bullying, providing resources to promote a good learning environment, or academic and career planning.
Four candidates for two school board seats will be on the April ballot. Incumbent Tim Agoudemos faces challenger Andy Mahnke for the East Region seat. Newcomers Jill Werner and Douglas Schmidbauer, who gathered the most votes in the primary race, square off for the Central Region seat.
While they each bring various skills to the table, they all want to improve education for students in the Mukwonago Area School District.
If elected, what skills will you bring to the school board?
Tim Agoudemos: - As the incumbent, I have and will continue to provide experience, service, Centrism, and an analytical mindset seeking cost-efficient processes for our district to operate. I also believe in honor and integrity with a focus on the needs of families and the welfare of our community.
Andy Mahnke: I would work to ensure that we as a board continue to have emphasis on education. Ensuring that all students are given every opportunity to excel in his or her academics.
Douglas Schmidbauer: My 25 years of sales experience in the print industry have helped me develop an understanding of how to work with many people of diverse personalities, strong personalities. I am also able to handle multiple challenges at a time, while managing the logistics of costs and timing.
Jill Werner: I will bring my 40 years of business experience as a successful team leader who will become informed on the issues, contribute to the conversation, and sort through the minutia to drive results on the topics that matter most for the improvement of education.
In what area would you like to see the district improve?
Agoudemos: We have a great school district but we can improve. For over a year, my mission has been getting much needed additional interventionists who work directly on the forefront with students in providing early assistance so the necessary framework for educational success is developed with minimal disruption to other students.
Mahnke: Additional resources for students and educators. to promote a healthy learning environment. Guidance professionals, social workers and programs that focus on students' specific needs.
Schmidbauer: Bullying. Drugs in schools. The safety of our children. We want to keep our focus on giving our kids the best education possible, but none of that can happen unless we put them in an environment in which they feel comfortable.
Werner: The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction recently released “report cards” marking achievement of all state schools showing Mukwonago schools excelled in the state rankings. Park View scores show that improvement is needed in language arts and the board should be prioritizing changes that will improve this score.
What are your thoughts on school districts advocating for change at the state level?
Agoudemos: It is our taxpayers’ right to have our community voice and representation heard through their elected officials. We would be delusional to pretend to be in a bubble, thinking what happens in Madison does not affect MASD families. I believe that there are issues unfairly affecting MASD. We deserve a fair opportunity.
Mahnke: The district should have a voice at the state level to ensure that issues that are important to the MASD are heard. Not every district is getting equal financial reimbursement per student. We need to make sure that we are not missing the opportunity to be heard on this and other issues.
Schmidbauer: While there are many common needs among districts, each district comes into the statewide discussion with a unique perspective. We must come together to present a unified platform that will provide the most benefit to all. We must understand the state’s position, but challenge where necessary in an open-minded and thoughtful manner.
Werner: Without question, the school funding formula needs to change to provide financial relief to districts who have been fiscally responsible like MASD for the past 24 years. I will support and participate in all board efforts to lobby our legislators to advocate for fairness.
Telemachos "Tim" Agoudemos
Address: S94W23045 River Oaks Dr, Big Bend,
Political history: 2014 -2016 Town of Vernon Supervisor #3; 2014 to present Mukwonago school board member – Eastern Seat
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org (political)
Military service: US Army (Active Duty 1996- 1999)
Address: Big Bend
Facebook: Andy Mahnke
Email : email@example.com
Address: 511 Eastern Trail, Mukwonago
Political History: Served three years on the school board for Christ Lutheran School in Big Bend
Address: 1308 Two Rivers Ct.
Political history: Chair of the Citizens for Mukwonago Schools “Yes” committee prior to the referendum that was on the April 2016 ballot.
Facebook: Jill Werner for Mukwonago School Board fb.me/JWMukSchoolBoard
Twitter: @Jill4MukBoard #jill4mukboard