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Candidate Profile: Mary Berger
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Monroe School Board

There are four candidates running for three spots on the Monroe school board. Incumbents Robert Erb, Mary Berger and Amy Bazley, as well as newcomer Nikki Saugstad, are on the ballot.

Position sought: Monroe school board

Age: 53

City/town of residence: City of Monroe

Family: Husband, Don; Children Andrew, 26, and Kiera, 23. Both of our children are graduates of Monroe High School.

Education: Bachelor's Degree, Viterbo University

Occupation: Service Excellence and Process Improvement Facilitator, Monroe Clinic

Previous elected positions held: I am a current member of the Monroe BOE and was elected to my first term in 2012

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

The top issues facing our school district are the challenges of providing quality education to our students within the budget restrictions and reduced revenue from the State of Wisconsin while offering a challenging curriculum that prepares our students for the future. As a member of our current board, we have made a lot of progress in maintaining a reasonable budget and keeping the tax levy low, while at the same time increasing the quality and strength of our curriculum. We need to continue to build and provide a climate that supports growth for all students. We face the challenges of unfunded changes in school requirements, as well as changes and reductions in state funding. I will continue to partner with other board members in our shared priorities of fiscal responsibility and academic growth for our students. I bring an open mind and ask thoughtful questions that help us consider all sides of issues.

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

Other key issues that affect our school district include recruiting and retaining outstanding staff that guide our students in their academic growth. As a member of both the Curriculum and Policy committees, as well as the Employee Relations committees, I will continue to support attracting, hiring and keeping quality staff and providing our staff with the tools they need to do great things while remaining fiscally responsible. This is essential if we want to be an attractive community for families to live and educate students.

Why are you the best candidate for this office?

I am particularly interested in the role of our school system as an integral part of a healthy and vibrant community that is an inviting and welcoming place to live. A healthy community involves people of all ages working and living together. A strong school system that provides a quality education to all students is an essential part of being an attractive community.