Spring Election 2016: Bristol School District candidate Q&A

Voters in the Bristol School District will be able to cast a ballot in a contested school board race on April 5.

Voters will be able to vote for three at-large candidates out of a field of four. The top three in votes will fill the seats.

The same questionnaire was submitted by westofthei.com to each candidate, by email or by mail.

Here is their biographical information, followed by their question responses:

Andy Boncher — Age: 38. Education: BA Carthage College; MA University of Illinois-Springfield. Occupation: Educator, high school science (17 years). Previous elected or governmental experience: Current Bristol School Board member and acting Treasurer.

Melissa Heriford — Age: 38. Education: No answer given. Occupation: No answer given. Previous elected or governmental experience: Bristol School PTA.

Kimberly L. Kulovitz — Age: 34. Education: Ph.D. from UW-Milwaukee, M.A. from UW-Milwaukee, B.A. from UW-Parkside. Occupation: Assistant Professor at Carthage College. Previous elected or governmental experience; None.

Kim Rickert — Age: 46. Education: Associate in Science/CLC & Certified Massage Therapist/Lakeside School of Natural Therapeutics/Milwaukee
Occupation: Substitute Teacher’s Aide (Spec. Ed. & 4K) Bristol School and Bristol School substitute kitchen staff. Previous elected or governmental experience: None.

1) Why are you running for the Bristol School District Board?

Boncher — I am running for school board because I want to be a part of the great things happening in the Bristol school district. The schools are the foundation of any community, and I want to make sure Bristol continues to flourish. As a school board member, through a collective and collaborative effort, I want to help facilitate the school’s growth in any way I can. Additionally, I want to ensure the school and teachers have the support and resources they need to foster student growth. As an educator, parent, and community member, I believe I can provide a unique and valuable perspective. My experience in the field of education lends itself to a solid understanding of the internal operations of a school including budgets. Furthermore, I have served on various educational committees, and I continue to educate myself on best practices in education. Additionally, I work well with others and value the importance of a collaborative effort.

Heriford — I have been a diligent participant with the school board and community for many years and have decided to take a more active role to ensure the success of our children, our school and our community.  Although our school has had a strong educational standing, I will strive to ensure we attract and retain the best talent, embrace the latest technologies and expand the extracurricular programs to ensure that we accelerate our school’s placement in the State.

Kulovitz — I am running for school board because I want the opportunity to serve the school and community that shaped my educational experience. I grew up in Bristol and attended Bristol School. I am fortunate that I was able to move back to Bristol after graduate school and my son is now enrolled in Bristol School as well. Bristol School helped shape who I am educationally and I want to be able to help shape the district for others in the future.

Rickert — I am running for Bristol School District Board because the opportunity for me to increase my involvement in our community arose in a field I am passionate about which also enables me to demonstrate the importance of civic duties & actively be a positive role model to our future leaders while being a part of insuring there is fertile ground for them to grow.

2) What will be your top priorities if elected to the board?

Boncher — With the announcement of the current superintendent’s retirement, ensuring the search process allows the community to hire a highly qualified candidate is at the forefront. Bristol is currently in a good position in that it is experiencing and facing immense growth. While this speaks well for Bristol, it doesn’t come without challenges. Therefore, staying ahead of this growth in terms of space, programs, and staffing is important. Lastly, I think it is important that the school continues to research best practices and implement programs that meet the needs of all levels of students.

Heriford — Fostering unity and trust in the Bristol School Community:  As a School Board, we need to ensure that the community has an open mic to communicate progressive ideas and has a partner with parents and staff to see those through.  Likewise, the school board has to be nimble and decisive, yet fiscally responsible to make well informed decisions in a timely manner. I encourage a reverse performance appraisal to evaluate the performance of the School Board as well as the District Administrator. Lagging Technology: We need to ensure that we promote the advancement of technologies in the classroom and school.  Technology is advancing at a blurring pace; the school board needs to ensure that the students have access to recent technology and faculty are kept aware and fully trained. Value of your money spent: While the School District is in excellent financial health, the building has numerous deficiencies in layout and capacity considering the anticipated increase in attendance over the next couple of years. Sound planning is required to ensure that the remainder of the funds from the recent expansion project is allocated with the increased attendance in mind.

Kulovitz —  My top priority will be handling the growing student population in Bristol. Bristol is growing quickly as a community and in order for Bristol School to maintain the individualized personal educational experience students are currently getting this will have to be managed appropriately. Ensuring the balance between budget, population growth, and personalized attention for students will be a balancing act that the board will have to address in the very near future.

Rickert  — ~To work cohesively with the current board members & staff to create a positive atmosphere within the Bristol district during the new administrative transition. ~To maintain a safe environment for learning & be sure our students continue to be prepared for their next level of education. ~To continue the advance with technology, but encourage hands on experiences while developing social & communication skills, which will result in well rounded, prepared, & confident individuals.

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