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Candidate Profile: Linda Sheridan

New Glarus School Board

There are three candidates for two seats on the New Glarus school board. Debra Fairbanks, Linda Sheridan and incumbent Keith Steffen are running.

Position sought: Seat on the New Glarus School Board

Age: 49

City/town of residence: New Glarus/Township of York

Family: Husband, Jonathan; Our children, Jonathan II (20), Tessa (15), William (11), Patrick (7)

Education: BSBA in Accounting from Rockhurst University in Kansas City, MO

Occupation: Stay at home mom/Accountant

Previous elected positions held: None

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

I believe that there are two critical issues facing our district.

The first is a serious lack of communication with the members of the community, especially the parents. As is stated in New Glarus School Board Policy No. 121, "The public schools belong to the people." Community and parent views and concerns are currently not being heard. This is why I have entered this race. As a member of the board, I would ensure that the people are heard and that their rights with regard to voicing their opinions or concerns are understood by them, as well as the board. I would encourage all board members and community members to read School Board Policy #187.3. I have read, I understand, and I respect the rights of the community and parents, as well as the duties of the board.

The second critical issue facing our district is the loss of outstanding teachers. As a member of the board, I would take action to find out if and why our current teachers are unhappy; and then I would work to remedy any problem. Our district needs to be proactive in order to prevent further loss.

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

Other key issues include choices of and changes to curriculum. It is imperative that we provide our students with a proven, effective curriculum that works well for our students. Significant curriculum decisions have been discussed, recommended and made during curriculum committee meetings and school board meetings. It is extremely important for parents to be on board with major curriculum decisions. Sufficient objective data must be obtained and presented. As a board member, I would require proper research be done, and objective data be gathered and presented, prior to major curriculum changes. Parents have a right and an obligation to voice concerns if they do not feel that their child is receiving adequate services from the school. The board must be held accountable to the parents and the community. And in turn, the superintendent must be held accountable to the board. Accountability within our school district is vital in all areas, but especially with regard to curriculum choices.

Why are you the best candidate for this office?

I feel that I am the best candidate for the office because I have a vested interest in the school district. I have a son who graduated from the New Glarus High School in 2013, I have a daughter currently in the high school, I have a son in the middle school, and I have a son in the elementary school. Decisions made by the school board directly affect my children and my family. The success of our schools is crucial to the future of my children, and that is what drives me in this race. I seek no endorsements other than those of the individual voters and parents. The only special interest I care about is the education of our children. I am proud to be a member of the New Glarus School District, and I would love to represent and serve our community as a member of the School Board.