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Candidate Profile: Donna Jean Wiegel
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Darlington School Board

There are five candidates, Donna Jean Wiegel, Aaron Wolfe, Matt Crist, Joe Riechers and Bob Hermanson, running for three spots on the board. Wolfe and Riechers are incumbents.

Position sought: Darlington school board

Age: 52

City/town of residence: Darlington

Family: Married to Tony, 26 years. Together we have seven children; Shawn, 34; Dominic, 33; Mindy, 31; Courtney, 26; Chasity, 12; Marissa, 11; Devan, 10. We have also had more than 30 foster children come into our home and we are currently hosting an exchange student from Denmark.

Education: 1981 graduate of Darlington. I attended Capri Cosmetology College in Dubuque, Iowa, in 1993 and received my technical degree in barbering and cosmetology in 1994. I continue to be educated through the foster care system on the needs of all children.

Occupation: I have retired from my business I owned and operated for 12 years. To keep myself a little busy, I volunteer in the Library Media Center at Darlington Elementary/Middle School two days a week.

Previous elected positions held: I was seated as a parent representative for the Head Start Policy Council in October 2008 and I served on the financial committee. Also at that time I was nominated by my peers to sit on the SWCAP Board of Directors. I was on this board for over two years. I have sat on the Darlington School Board of Education from May 2010-May 2013. While on the board I was on several different committees within the board. I served on Finance, Food Service, Trust and Agency and Technology in 2010 and 2011. Then in 2012, it was Building and Grounds, Policy Book, Scholarship, Long Range Planning and Curriculum. I am the vice president of the CCW at Holy Rosary Catholic Church in Darlington.

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

I feel some of the top issues are the state mandates that have to be implemented within the district. Not only has Darlington schools been working with the Common Core for nearly six years, they have also implementing RTI (Response to intervention) initiative and the Balanced Assessment System initiative at different levels. The district is working on the state's new Educator Effectiveness evaluation system. This may bring on some challenges with some of our Petrehn teachers. Darlington Elementary/Middle School (DEMS) has implement Positive Behavior Intervention and Supports (PBIS). With all of these mandates, I feel teachers may be overwhelmed with trying to fit all of this into the school year.

Giving the teachers as much information that is out there to help them in the process to implement everything the state hands them.

Why are you the best candidate for this office?

I am running for the position as a board member of Darlington schools because I have a passion for our future. The future's our children. And without our teachers, we have no future. I will work hard with the funding that we have to keep the future going.

I have been on this board before. I know what challenges we have faced and are facing. I have been very involved with making sure all the children are getting everything that they need to thrive. And keeping our campus safe for our children. I have also been a foster parent for 11 years which has helped me see the needs of our youth.

Sitting on any board has more to do with the knowledge and passion to make a difference. I want to be back on the board to help make the future of our schools be the best that they can possible be, with what means that the board has to work with. I feel that with my background with managing my own business for 12 years and having the opportunity to sit on other boards has made me more aware of the responsibilities and concerns of the system in a whole.