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Candidate Profile: Jim Plourde
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Monroe School Board

There are five candidates for three seats on the Monroe school board. Nikki Matley, Cheryl McGuire and incumbents Michael Boehme, Brian Keith and Jim Plourde are running.

Position sought: Monroe school board

Age: 59

City/town of residence: Monroe

Family: My wife, Laurie, and I have two grown children, Lauren and Nimmer, who attended and graduated from high school in Monroe. I currently have one granddaughter attending school and another who will begin in a couple of years.

Education: I hold a BS degree in elementary education and an MSE in secondary education (reading) from UW-Platteville and have taken graduate-level courses leading to special education certification at UW-Whitewater. In addition, I have taken various additional classes and have attended workshops over the course of my teaching career.

Occupation: Special education teacher (middle and high school) - retired

Previous elected positions held: Monroe School Board (one term)

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

School financing continues to be a top issue facing this district. Thank you to the voters for approving the district's referendum last fall, but please keep in mind that the funding has only allowed the district to keep the staffing and programs that already exist. The demographics of Monroe are changing and the needs of both the community and of the school need to evolve to address them. A quality, relevant, education needs to be provided to all students. Schools are being asked to do more with fewer resources while the needs of many of our students, especially in the area of literacy, are greater than ever before. Securing and prioritizing the use of district funds is paramount in this era of financial uncertainty.

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

Teacher/staff recruitment and retention is another issue of great concern. No school district is better than its people and an effort needs to be made to keep the quality people that we already have. When staff decides to leave for one reason or another, it is equally as important to recruit and hire staff that are committed to the district and to the community. Monroe is a great place to live.

Monroe cannot compete with the salaries offered by highly funded districts, but money isn't everything. A clear, well-developed school district vision and accompanying goals, dovetailed with a positive district climate and culture help offset financial compensation. People who feel valued and who feel like they are positive contributors are more likely to come to, and maybe more importantly, are likely to remain with the district.

Why are you the best candidate for this office?

There are two reasons I feel like I am a good candidate for the Monroe School Board. First, my 28 years of teaching experience coupled with my coursework and training have given me a depth of knowledge about education and educational practices. Also, my term on the Monroe school Board and my affiliation with the schools over the years is very beneficial. It allows for an historical perspective of the district and knowledge of current policy and practice. I look forward to be a part of creating an even better Monroe School District.