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Janesville School Board Member

What does the school board do?Creates goals for the school districtHires and evaluates the Superintendent and TreasurerApproves school curriculum, calendars, and budgetsCreates school district policyWorks with and communicates with parents and community members to build public support for quality educationThe school board makes an impact on our community on a range of issues including: School curriculum choicesEducation for children with disabilitiesEducator qualityEducational opportunities

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  • Candidate picture

    Greg Ardrey

  • Cathy Burt

  • Jessica Davis

  • Candidate picture

    John E Hanewall

  • Candidate picture

    Curt Parish

  • Candidate picture

    Elizabeth Paull

Biographical Information

What specific experience, skills or qualities make you an effective member of the school board?

What do you believe your role is as an individual board member? What is the role of the board?

What are the biggest challenges facing our local schools today? What do you propose the board do to address those challenges?

What is your opinion on the value of teaching civics in elementary, middle and high school?

If the school district were to receive COVID-19 relief funding, what are your priorities for how those funds would be spent?

Campaign Phone (608) 757-1677
Campaign Email
Campaign Phone Number 608-757-1677
Education BS - Computer/Electrical Engineering, University of Missouri-Rolla, now Missouri University of Science & Technology Six Sigma Black Belt
I can handle a detailed comprehensive budget & audit (currently I manage a budget of over $30M and 50+ projects)

I have been on the board since 2008 chairing the Finance Buildings & Grounds committee for many years. I also have chaired the Boundary Line Committee, which updated the boundary lines for elementary schools and created a pathway for all students from elementary to middle to high school.

I'm a problem solver that can come with unique solutions that balances the needs of all

I have a wealth of experience handling all school district issues as president, committee chair and individual contributor.
The role of the board is to establish goals (we have chosen to call them promises to the community), setting policy and overseeing all resources for the school district. The board has one employee and that is the superintendent, which has to be held accountable & responsible for implementing the policies and leading the district to strive toward positive completion of the promises for each student.

As an individual board member, I must focus on the use of taxer payer monies and make sure that it monies are used wisely. One of the underrepresented duties is to make sure that the district has the resources to complete it's mission of educating the students. I also must consider the future sustainability of the district by adopting sound, ethical and legal policies.
Our biggest challenge in our local schools is balancing student behavior and academic needs with reduced funding. Much of the reduced funding is based on an overall reduction in student enrollment, which means less funding. An additional issue is the reduction in people seeking to become teachers, which is driving a shortage of qualified skilled teachers.

The board is really limited in our response to the challenges based on the board being a policy making entity. We can really focus on policy that promotes curriculum changes/updates to help drive the achievement improvements. Also policy that promotes consistent response to behavior challenges without simply looking to remove or expel students.

Civics education is important to be taught at all levels to help build on aspects of citizenship and to rights and duties of being a citizen. A well informed citizen is empowered to be an active citizen and gives them the opportunity to change the world. In our represented republic the power is held by the people and the elected officials, so knowing that early on in our education and continuing to build on the knowledge is vital in understanding our Constitution.

Youth need to gain an understanding of the processes of government, prevalent political ideologies, civic and constitutional rights, and the history and heritage of all components. They need to gain an appreciation for civil discourse, free speech, and engaging with those whose perspectives differ from their own. Also youth need to develop the understanding of civic agency and confidence to vote, volunteer, attend public meetings, and engage with their communities.
COVID-19 relief funding should be used first and foremost to address any learning gaps that maybe present and the social emotional needs of students. We have to make sure that the facilities are sanitized appropriately each and everyday and throughout the day.

We need to assess if and where any learning gaps are present and develop strategies to address those gaps, which could mean more staff and more teaching staff working non-traditional hours to meet student needs. I'm concerned for the student social emotional needs with the reduced amount of social interaction amongst the students. We need to have focused effort on providing additional assists for students to connect with one another through increased after school activities.
Facebook Cathy Burt for Janesville School Board
Education Bachelor of Science in Office Administration
We have lived in Janesville for 32 years and have two grown sons that have gone through our public school system from K-12th grade. I have a Bachelor of Science degree in Office Administration and managed an architectural software firm in the past as well as worked for a home business. I have business experience as well as having nearly 30 years of volunteering and mentoring in our community. I have volunteered at all three levels as well as school sports. I was a Lunch Buddy mentor at Roosevelt for four years, a Big Sister in the Big Brothers/Big Sisters organization six years and have been in leadership as a mentor for the Mothers of Preschoolers organization. For the last eight years until COVID I have taught an after school program at three different elementary schools in Janesville.

My background has diversity in business, education and parenting. I am a hard worker, organized, have common sense and am willing to listen and learn—all qualities of an effective school board member.
To listen well, study the issue or policy presented, and then make wise, rational decisions that benefit our students, teachers, and community.

The role of the board: To listen to all sides of an issue, then make decisions/policies that will best benefit the students, teachers and community. They also need to be accountable for the decisions/policies they make.
In no particular order because all are huge challenges: *Fallout from COVID on students’ mental, emotional, and educational needs—listen to students, teachers, counselors, other districts and find specific ways we can implement their suggestions if we are able *Bullying—hold the perpetrators responsible, enforce disciplinary actions outlined in our school policy, NO exceptions *Poor proficiency rates, particularly in reading—talk to districts that have success in this area *Descent on DPI report card from “exceeds expectations” to being close to “meets few expectations” in the last 10 years—ask older teachers what has changed in those years, why, and how we can we return to those high marks again *Promises plan assessment—what can we do to get closer to unreached goals *Stay within our budget: long term forecasting as much as we are able so we don’t have to resort to a referendum to pay our future bills; go through the budget line by line if necessary for potential reductions/cuts
It needs to be taught. We have many students and adults who don’t know what is really in our Constitution or how the three government branches function. As long as it is factual, it should be taught to some degree at all levels and age appropriate.
Ask the teachers where the greatest needs are and then respond accordingly. I can’t make a definitive decision on spending the money because I don’t have enough information as to what does or doesn’t qualify for funding under the Covid relief act, but I would suggest it be used for after school or even Saturday tutoring for those that have fallen behind, as well as mental health/counseling needs for students struggling with COVID fears and its aftermath. Since we are receiving funding already I’m guessing some of it has been used for PPE equipment, additional cleaning and technology needs for students to have the access they have needed to continue their at-home learning.
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Campaign Phone (608) 436-3445
Campaign Email
Campaign Phone Number (608) 436-3445
Facebook John Hanewall
Education M.S. Guidance & Counseling UW-Whitewater 1983 B.A. Luther College, Decorah, IA. 1978. Majors: Psychology, Sociology, & Religion Craig High School 1974
Accomplished career demonstrating success as a Director (Department Head) for the County and as an Educator at the higher education level. Outstanding record in assuring participant and/or student success.

Effective communicator with excellent planning, organizational and teaching skills, as well as the ability to establish goals and attain results. Upper Iowa University “Excellence in Teaching Award” in 2010 and 2017.

Extensive background in working with diverse populations and recognizing the needs of individuals, as well as developing specific programs to meet said needs.

Strong understanding of funding and budgeting issues having been responsible for developing, presenting, and implementing a $30 million dollar budget to the County Board of Supervisors and Th County Administrator for 5 years.

Strong leadership skills and ability to reach consensus with diverse groups on difficult issues.
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Campaign Phone (608) 751-5004
Facebook Curt Parish for School Board
Education BBA Degree from University of Wisconsin
I have been interested and involved in education for years. My experience as a financial advisor can assist the school district. I believe money spent on education is the best investment we can make for the future of our students, and our community. I've also been involved with government on the local, state, and national level for the last decade, as the Chairman of Forward Janesville's Government Relations Committee. I helped to establish the very successful Leadership Development Academy, and was on the initial board for the Multi Cultural Teachers Scholarship Fund. I was born and raised in Janesville, attended Janesville schools, as did my spouse and daughters. Along the way, I was on the Parker High School Booster Board, served as a Judge for DECA competitions, and currently I'm a volunteer assistant for the Parker Girl's Golf team. Most importantly, I'm a good listener and would be honored to serve on the School District of Janesville board.
As an individual board member, initially there will be much to learn. I'll be an active participant with my fellow commissioners. I need to learn the district's vision and be fiscally responsible. My focus will be on the students, which leads to positive outcomes.

As a board, our role is to establish policy that advances the district's vision. As we supervise the Superintendent, we also need a strong working relationship with the JEA - built on trust and understanding. Collaboration is the key to also working with community groups to strengthen the district and to find new ways to tackle challenges.
Many challenges face our district, as the pandemic has impacted students, teachers, and staff. We need to assess academic momentum, to identify and respond to any deficiencies. It is likely that the underprivileged have been impacted the most, and these students may need special programs to keep them on track. Our goal for all students is to prepare them for life after high school, whether it's college, technical training, or workforce skills. The core values of the district's mission will guide us, and I look forward to being part of that process.
An understanding of civics is essential for students, as they grow in our society. At the elementary level, the basics of our country's government and history should be established. With freedom comes responsibilities, so as students reach middle school it's appropriate to learn about different branches and levels of our democracy. By high school, and becoming eligible to vote, students need to learn how government functions, and to engage in the process. This should lead to opportunities to volunteer, to make their own decisions, and to be an active citizen, contributing to the future of our country.
COVID relief funding provides a one-time opportunity to address needs. My first thought is funding for rural broadband. To me, this should be a bi-partisan issue that should be quickly addressed so all students can learn and benefit from today's technology. Beyond that, much attention and funding should be devoted to learning loss, especially for disadvantaged students. Extra effort and programs are likely needed for those living in poverty, homeless, and students with disabilities. Special programs, like learning English, basic money management, after school and/or summer may be needed. Funding to recover academic momentum, in the form of additional teachers and AIDS, technology, and support staff should be a priority. As always, the focus must be on the students to achieve the mission of the district.
Mailing Address .
Janesville, WI 53545
Facebook Elizabeth Paull for Janesville School Board
Education B.S. (Psychology and Spanish) from University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point & Master of Arts in Teaching from Western Illinois University
I have very unique ties to the school district that lend a sincere personal connection, making me a very strong candidate. I attended Janesville Public Schools K-12 and am a third generation educator. I earned a Masters of Arts in teaching degree and taught Spanish at the secondary level. My husband and I are raising our 3 school-aged children in Janesville. We are local business owners and have been involved in the business community for 14 years. Over the last 9 school years, I have engaged in meaningful volunteer opportunities in our district through PTA. From interacting with students/parent volunteers, mentoring parent leaders, collaborating with teachers/staff as well as with district administration/school board members, I have been able to learn a great deal about our district’s needs and strengths. I have a vested interest in district success as a community member and involved parent, and believe that I am a qualified candidate for the Janesville School Board.
I believe a school board member’s role is to act as a representative for the community at the school district level. Each school board representative should serve as a liaison between the community and the district. School board members are individuals who hold our school district, administration, and staff accountable making sure the district is meeting goals for student success at all levels, providing a series of checks and balances. Individual members offer unique perspectives and come to the board with varying experience. The board as whole should work together as a collaborative group, with a willingness to learn from each other while remaining focused on student success. They should approach the board with an open mind to hear new perspectives and be willing to compromise in order move forward together with the district toward new learning goals and educational initiatives.
Currently the biggest challenge is working through the Covid-19 pandemic and dealing with the after-effects that will linger for months and years into the future. Some of these challenges are not yet known and will only come to surface as we move forward. Previous to Covid-19, a significant challenge that has faced our district and districts around our state has been lack of funding. With a declining enrollment, reduced funding at the state and federal level, and revenue caps, our district has struggled to do more each year with less and less funding. Lack of funding impacts every aspect of the school district. Until funding disparities are resolved, we will continue to face these struggles. It is my promise to continue to advocate for students in our district and act as an advocate for public education as a whole.
It is thought that the trend to focus on Math/Reading in public schools has led to the push of Civics out of mainstream curriculum. Many feel that the public, in general, has a significant lack of understanding of the function of the government in the U.S. I believe that the trend away from Civics in our curriculum has not been a positive move for our society. Understanding law, our electoral process, and the government in general benefits all citizens. I do not believe that we must take an either/or approach regarding civics and other important curricular areas. I support a return of focus on Civics and suggest it be embedded across all grade levels, in appropriate content for the age of the student. Students as young as Kindergarten can be read to with appropriate material and learn about the voting process and we can expand from there. Curricular layering of Civics can be woven throughout/across all grade levels.
There will likely be requirements as to when/where/how Covid relief funding may be used. I am confident that our district administrators and staff will allocate funds appropriately, through guidance at the state/federal level. However, I would expect special focus to be made on areas of gaps in achievement that have established due to losses that occurred in Spring of 2020 and forward. We have been fortunate as a district to offer face to face instruction throughout this entire school year to all of our students, in varying degrees. I know that learning gains have been made consistently, however it is widely understood that Covid 19 has impacted student and staff mental health significantly. I feel strongly that focusing on mental health support will be necessary as we continue to recover from this pandemic. Programming across the district, training and support for staff, and individualized support for students will be essential to incorporate.