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Candidate Profile: Michael Boehme

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: 72

City/town of residence: Monroe

Family: Barbara Vieralves, Emily Boehme, Katie Boehme, Dylan Boehme, all of my children graduated from elementary, middle and high school here in Monroe

Education: Rockhurst College, BSBA, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, MS, Education Pace University, Master of Science, Nursing

Occupation: Retired nurse practitioner; worked at the Monroe Clinic for 20 years

Previous elected positions held: I have been on the school board for two terms, six years.

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

1. Financial. Our community has stepped up to support our district by overwhelmingly passing the recent referendum, we now need the state legislators to follow suit. We simply cannot be forced to run deficit budgets year after year and continue the referendum cycle. I thank you all for your support and I will continue to advocate for our schools at the state level. I spent all day (recently) at the Capital trying to get our message out to the legislators.

2. Hiring and retention. Retention of teachers and support staff and administrators is a huge issue not only because we saw a slew of retirements after Act 10 was passed but there are fewer and fewer students choosing teaching as a career. To respond to this we need to make Monroe the district of Choice for new teachers.

3. Improving student achievement. As a district, we are making significant strides in student growth and achievement markers as evidenced by our scores on state exams and ACT scores but we can and will do even better. I would like to see a position of assistant principal for academic performance, their sole task would be to intervene with those students who they find lagging behind their personal academic potential

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

Our growing number of students coming from homes of poverty. We know that these students are often academically lagging behind their peers so we need to intervene early and often. We also know that these students are often coming to school hungry and we are identifying those students and making sure they get the calories they need to perform at school and at home. The brilliantly conceived Backpack Buddy program continues to see massive support from the teachers and the community.

Mental health issues: you cannot learn if you cannot focus on the task in front of you This is where the schools cannot be "all things to all people." We need a coordinated effort here from the State, the County, and the area mental health providers. This is a rapidly growing and worsening problem that needs our attention, just ask anyone who is currently a teacher.

Why are you the best candidate for this office?

I do not know that I am the best candidate for the job, that question implies that I know why the other candidates are better candidates, that I do not know. But here are some comments about why I think I can continue to perform to benchmark as your board member.

1. I have a keen interest in the welfare of students

2. I have been on the board for six years and have been learning with each successive year, how much more there is to know and I want to keep learning

3. I have a strong ability to bring the board to consensus and a willingness to do so. This is a very important skill that can make for a board that DOES as opposed to a board rife with egos and contentiousness

4. If we can keep our vision focused on students and continue to be creative, if we can honor and respect the dedicated individuals doing the work, we will be our best for all of the stakeholders.