Questions and Answers for Applicants: New Glarus School Board | Wisconsin Elections

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Four candidates, including one incumbent (I), are vying for a seat on the New Glarus School Board in the April 5 election. Terms are three years.






Bean


Address: 307 Second St., New Glarus

Family: Married with two children

Use: Manager, Business Solutions, Exact Sciences

Before elected mandate: Any

Other public service: Any

Education: BS in Biology, Northern Illinois University; PhD in Molecular Biology, University of Texas at Austin

E-mail: [email protected]







Jennifer Julseth

Julseth


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Address: N9253 Crawford Lane, New Glarus

Family: Married with three children

Use: Permanency Planning Social Worker, Dane County Department of Social Services

Before elected mandate: Any

Other public service: As a social worker with the Dane County Department of Social Services, I have participated in numerous committees and task forces, including the Policy Committee; member of the Adoption and Permanency Support Regional Council of Wisconsin; peer support facilitator; hiring, recruiting, retention, climate task force; Judicial Engagement Steering Committee; Camp To Belong Wisconsin, Board Member; Children, Youth and Families, Working Group on Out-of-Home Care; Advisory Committee on Children, Youth and Families; complex trauma working group; Case Review Committee; New Employees Committee; Trauma informed parenting training for foster parents.

Education: Master of Social Work, UW-Madison; Bachelor of Social Work, UW-Whitewater; Stoughton High School

E-mail: [email protected]







Bill Oemichen

Oemichen


Address: W6159 Legler Valley Road, New Glarus

Family: Married with two children who graduated from New Glarus High School

Use: National Security Researcher affiliated with UW-Madison College of Agricultural and Life Sciences and Law School

Before elected mandate: New Glarus School Board since 2019; New President of the Glarus School Board since 2021; St. Croix County Council, four terms

Other public service: Chairman of the Wisconsin College Savings Program (EdVest) Board of Trustees since 2006; Treasurer of the Board of Directors, Collective Health Cooperative since 2015; Board Member, Green County Leaders since 2021; Board Member, AgCountry Farm Credit Services since 2017; Director, Office of Emergency Health Care and Preparedness at the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, 2016-17; Chairman of the Board and Treasurer, Monroe Clinic, 2009-15; member of the board of trustees and president of the board of visitors of the UW-Madison College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, 2009-2015; member, Consumer Oriented and Operated Plans Advisory Board of the US Department of Health and Human Services, 2010-2012; Division Administrator, Wisconsin Division of Commerce and Consumer Protection Administrator, 1996-2001; Minnesota Assistant Commissioner of Agriculture, 1989-96; Chairman, Tax and Finance Committee, Association of Wisconsin Counties, 1990-96); Member, Wisconsin State School Accountability Task Forces, Global Climate Change, Land Use and Identity Theft

Education: White Bear Lake High School (Minnesota); BA in Economics with a concentration in Science, Technology and Public Policy, Carleton College; law degree, University of Wisconsin Law School; Public Policy Scholar, Hubert H. Humphrey School of Public Policy, University of Minnesota; and current doctorate. candidate for a thesis on agriculture and national security risks at the Johnson-Shoyama Graduate School at the University of Saskatchewan

Website: On Facebook: @BillOemichenforNGSDSchoolBoard

Address: N7662 Motorway N, New Glarus

Family: Married, two daughters who attended New Glarus School District, and three grandchildren

Use: Roads Supervisor, City of New Glarus

Previous elected office: Any

Other public service: Any

Education: High School Graduation, Alden-Hebron District 19, Hebron, Illinois

E-mail: [email protected]

What unique expertise or perspective do you bring to the school board?

Bean: One of my perspectives is that of a parent of young children. As such, my family and I will interact closely with all levels of the school district, and I am well placed to understand what works and what does not work for our students and their families. I also have great expertise in analytical thinking. Both through my PhD in molecular biology and through my career managing teams of software analysts, I excel at seeing the big picture and comparing potential solutions.

Julseth: We need board members who are directly connected to the children and parents of the New Glarus School District. I am a parent of three school-age children. I believe that parents know best the strengths and needs of their children and deserve to have the opportunity to participate in the education of their children. As a social worker, I have worked with parents from a variety of backgrounds and parenting practices. I joined the parents as a spokesperson at the Individual Education Plan (IEP) meetings.

Oemichen: I served as New Glarus School Board Chair during the difficult COVID pandemic. I bring a broad perspective to the board with my extensive expertise in public sector management, public and private finance, human resources, information technology and healthcare. I focus on issues that make a real, positive difference to our students and our high-performing school district. I listen carefully to all stakeholders and refuse to focus on controversial political issues of the day.

Rosslein: I have lived in New Glarus for over 30 years. My daughters graduated from the school district. I have volunteered for over 20 years with the youth basketball program, coached high school boys basketball and am currently a bus driver for the district after school activities . My experience in construction will be useful during the construction of the new school. I have a unique perspective on residents’ needs through my position with the city.

What new idea do you have to make the district more efficient while maintaining high educational quality?

Bean: I know from my career that it’s hard (and inaccurate) to judge effectiveness without understanding the full storyline. As a member of the school board, I will take a critical look at the cost/benefit ratio of all ongoing proposals and processes. I think we should operate towards optimizing our given resources more than we should aim to reduce resources as an end in itself. I aim to find where quality and efficiency can best coincide, and in areas where they clash, I prefer quality over efficiency.

Julseth: Changing the societal discourse that “college is the best path” by providing students with the opportunity to explore careers through post-secondary education, trades, military, entrepreneurship and employment. Develop a partnership program between the New Glarus School District and businesses as elective courses for students to earn credit toward high school graduation. Students would develop mentor-like relationships, parallel industries and careers, receive hands-on training, and a strong work ethic.

Oemichen: Make better sense of how school buildings are used in a growing school district by repurposing the current high schools and middle schools to high school, the current elementary school (the old high school) to middle school, and possibly expanding the new school primary to a full elementary school. This would be done over the next five to ten years and would more effectively connect school buildings to their best use and destination.

Rosslein: I support expanded AP classes to help students graduate early from post-secondary schools with less debt while entering the workforce sooner. I would also like to build on existing programs to introduce trades to students of all ages. Everyone learns differently. To meet these needs, we must continue to develop programs that help students achieve learning success, such as providing hands-on learning for K-12 students.

What would you ask lawmakers to include in the next state budget to improve K-12 education in your district?

Bean: There are many things I would ask for, but if I had to choose one: improve funding for early childhood development in our communities. Research shows that investments at this stage have the most developmental benefits for children, paving the way for better outcomes from K-12 and beyond.

Julseth: Increase funding for the recruitment and retention of additional qualified teachers. Direct impacts would include retaining engaged staff, recruiting qualified people, maintaining low teacher-student ratios, improving continuity of learning by reducing staff turnover throughout the year school and the provision of additional support to children with cognitive, emotional and behavioral needs.

Oemichen: I would ask Governor Evers and the Wisconsin Legislature to reduce public school funding support to 66% of total spending. This was a commitment made by former Governor Tommy G. Thompson and contrasts with the current federal and state financial support of 52%. This change to public school funding would provide new resources and significantly reduce the burden on property taxpayers, many of whom are seniors on fixed incomes.

Rosslein: I would ask for funds for trades education and AP courses, which give students the skills to enter the workforce without taking on too much debt. It is important that our students graduate with an understanding of how to be financially responsible. I would like to give our students the skills to budget, buy health, car and home insurance, while understanding how to save responsibly for retirement and emergencies.

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