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Election 2020 Profile: Jim Plourde

Jim Plourde

Position sought: Monroe School Board

Age: 62

City/town of residence: Monroe

Family: Married with 2 grown children who graduated from Monroe and a granddaughter currently attending Monroe Middle School.

Education: BS in Elementary Education, MS in Secondary Education-Reading from the University of Wisconsin-Platteville and Special Education Certification from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater.

Occupation: Middle/High School Special Education Teacher (retired)

Previous elected positions held: Monroe School Board

The April ballot will show four available spots for School District of Monroe board members; three spots will serve three-year terms and one spot will serve one-year term. The one year term will fill the seat that was vacated by Amy Bazley, and is presently held by Tim Wolff. The three highest vote recipients will serve in the three-year terms and the fourth-highest vote will recipient will serve a one-year term. Incumbents on the ballot will be Nicole Matley, Cheryl McGuire, Jim Plourde and Wolff. Other candidates who filed to be on the ballot are Jeffrey Prophett and Jordan Nordby.

What are the top issues facing this district/municipality and how would you work to resolve it?

First, even though there are many excellent educational opportunities available to students in this district, there are areas of need. Continued work is needed to improve educational outcomes throughout the district as well as to keep the curriculum and the delivery of that curriculum relevant to the changing needs of our society. Our facilities need to reflect the philosophies and the growth of educational opportunities. Although it is true that facilities do not by themselves change educational outcomes, they do provide, in many cases, the enhancement of teaching and learning. The newest parts of our facilities are twenty years old. A comprehensive plan for our facilities needs to be fine-tuned and action taken to insure that the district is able to continue to provide sound quality educational opportunities for all.

What are other key issues facing the district/municipality, and how would you work to resolve them?

Funding continues to be an issue, especially in these days of political volatility. There are many programs that compete for a limited pool of educational dollars. Although the district manages its money very well, it has had to ask the public to approve operational referenda to maintain present programming. Advocating for school, especially Monroe schools, is vitally important.

Another issue is recruiting and keeping quality staff. There is a shortage of teachers in this country and it is getting harder to find people to fill positions. We need to to build a sense of community pride in our schools and in Monroe to make it appealing to potential candidates.

Why are you the best candidate for this office?

The Monroe School District is currently looking at addressing the needs of its aging facilities and looking at a possible consolidation and restructuring of our schools. I would like to remain on the board while these discussions are taking place and possibly finalized. Having been involved in these discussions in one capacity or another since the beginning, I feel that it is important for there to be some continuity until their resolution or a plan is finalized. Familiarity with the district, its programs and its needs, as well as my educational background will be beneficial as things progress.