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Candidate Profile: Keith Ritschard
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Argyle School Board

There are five candidates, Keith Ritschard, Loren Bruehlman, Peter Herman, Stanton Bigelow and Lee Montgomery, running for four spots on the Argyle school board. Ritschard, Bruehlman, Montgomery and Bigelow are incumbents.

Position sought: Argyle school board

Age: 49

City/town of residence: Argyle

Family: Married to Tina Ritschard for 24 years. We have three children: Melissa, Liz, and Brent. Melissa is a senior attending UW-Platteville studying marketing, photography, and entrepreneurialism. Liz is a freshman at UW-Oshkosh studying advertising. Brent is a freshman attending Argyle schools. Tina and I have been host parents to one student from Mexico, two students from Chile, one from Switzerland, and one from Germany.

Education: I attended Carthage College where I studied art education. Throughout the years, I have taken several marketing and business classes.

Occupation: For the past 28 years, Tina and I have owned and operated RBS Activewear and Thunder Bridge here in Argyle. Currently, RBS Activewear employs 35 employees and serves schools in 48 states.

Previous elected positions held:

I have served 11 years as school board clerk for the Argyle school district. I have also been a member of the Argyle Booster Club since its inception in 1989 and secretary since 1999. I am also the director of the Pec-Argyle youth football program as well as a Dane County Youth Football Board member.

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

I am hoping declining enrollment has stabilized. Throughout my lifetime, I have never seen schools have a "need" to recruit students to secure finances for their schools. Open enrollment has changed school finance drastically. Continuous efforts to seek competitive prices and affordable options are essential in order to meet budgetary obligations. I do fear that if teachers have their pay and benefits cut further that they may go into other professions. Argyle, like everywhere else, needs great teachers. Teachers truly do impact students' lives forever.

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

A continuous challenge for the Argyle school district is the decrease in state aid. Argyle is projected to receive $50,100 less in state aid in the 2015-2016 school year. Local taxpayers may be forced to pick up the tab. I believe the state needs to make a conscientious effort to resolve the financial burdens public education is faced with today.

Why are you the best candidate for this office?

Boards need people like me because of my years of experience. I am a good leader who makes good decisions that benefit everyone. I have several years of business experience which assists my judgment with personnel, finance and building management.