Spring election 2024: Westosha Central High School District board candidates Q&A

Voters in the Westosha Central High School District will be able to vote in a contested race for an at-large school board seat in the spring election.

On the April 2 ballot for the at-large seat are:

  • Keelin Cannon
  • Bonnie Felske, the incumbent

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

Here, in alphabetical order is their biographical information, followed by their question responses:

Keelin Cannon — Age: 23; Village, town, city where you reside: Paddock Lake; Education: Associates in Interior Design; Occupation: Interior Designer; Previous elected/appointed public office: N/A

Bonnie Felske — Age: 52; Village, town, city where you reside: Salem, Wisconsin. Education: BA History Secondary Education Lake Forest College Lake Forest, MA Curriculum and Instruction, Concordia University, River Forest IL  General School Administration Certification, Concordia University; Occupation: Social Studies Teacher (15 yrs.) Central Jr. High School Zion, IL, Dean of Students (5 yrs.) Zion Benton High School Zion IL, Assistant Principal (6 yrs.) New Tech High-Zion Benton East Principal (3 yrs.) Zion-Benton East High School. Previous elected/appointed public office: Westosha Central Board Member since 2020.

1.) What do you feel is the most pressing issue facing the school district and how do you feel the School Board should address it?

Cannon — I believe the most important issue the Westosha Central school board faces today is improving test scores and number of students ready for life after high school. The school has put so much focus on Athletics and what’s trending in the world that they have allowed the education the students are receiving to be neglected. I believe they need to allocate more resources towards students in need and seeking assistance. The board also needs to require more classes geared towards students understanding how to manage finances and navigate through life decisions. Finally, the board needs to review the current curriculum that is unsuccessful and explore alternatives.

Felske — It is crucial to maintain fiscal responsibility and fidelity to our collective community values as we continue to provide excellent educational opportunities and facilities for our students and staff.    The school board must continue to keep our communities family values at the forefront of all decisions and operate as good stewards of taxpayer dollars.

2.)  Why are you the best candidate for School Board?

Cannon — I am the best candidate for School Board because I am not an educator and I am not a parent to any of the students; I am a lifelong community member and recent graduate of Westosha Central High School whom cares for the success of every student that walks through those doors. I have no interest in any one student and no bias towards the teachers or administrators. I stand for full transparency to the parents and community members. I seek to provide the parents with the rights to all information surrounding their child’s education as it should’ve always been. Additionally, as a creative young member of the community I can bring a fresh perspective and new ideas to the table if given the chance.

Felske — Having served on the school board since 2020, I have had the opportunity to successfully navigate several key issues that directly impacted the lives of our young people. The passing of the referendum allowed for an awesome opportunity to bring excellent educational options and facilities to Westosha Central High School. However, as a board memeber, it was clear that fiscal responsibility was a key mandate from the community that I worked to uphold throughout the construction process. During the pandemic, we worked to keep our  school open and students in school to provide continuity of educational services.  If elected, I seek to contiue keeping family values, financial responsibility and community partnerships at the forefront of my deciion making to enable Westosha to serve as an excellent community school, preparing our children to be college, career and life ready.


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