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Candidate Profile: Keith Ritschard
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Argyle School Board

There are two candidates for two seats on the Argyle school board. Incumbents Julie Ostby and Keith Ritschard are seeking re-election.

Position sought: Argyle school board (3-year term)

Age: 50

City/town of residence: Argyle

Family: I am happily married to Tina Ritschard for 25 wonderful years. We have three children: Melissa, Liz, and Brent. Melissa is a senior attending University of Wisconsin-Platteville studying marketing, photography, and entrepreneurialism. Liz is a sophomore at UW-Oshkosh studying advertising. Brent is a sophomore attending Argyle schools. Tina and I have been host parents to one student from Mexico, two students from Chile, one from Switzerland, one from Germany and at the present time we have a boy from the Philippines named Rafa.

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 29 years, Tina and I have owned and operated RBS Activewear and Thunder Bridge here in Argyle. Currently, RBS Activewear employs 40 employees and serves schools in 48 states.

Previous elected positions held: I have served 12 years as school board clerk for Argyle school district. I have also been a member of the Argyle Booster Club since its inception in 1989 and secretary from 1999 to 2015. 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 Argyle school district is state aid is not keeping up with inflation. 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.