Three candidates are on the ballot to fill two seats up for election on the Lake Mills Area School District Board of Education. The seats are currently held by Andrew Palmer, appointed in September and Dave Roedl, who is not running for re-election. The candidates are Palmer, Brianna Behselich and Ken Eimers.
Palmer said his interest in serving on the board stems from a drive to give back to the community.
Palmer holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, is vice president of the Lake Mills Lions Club, is on the volleyball club board and works as the Smithfield Foods Quality Assurance vice president.
His statement of candidacy is as follows: “My continued interest to serve comes from a strong drive to give back to the community, my family and I have called home for the last 23 years. I am proud of the work done with the LMSB since my 2020 appointment, to maintain a safe workplace and a successful scholastic experience. I have a unique understanding of the challenges that COVID presents and solutions to address them. I understand business finance. My priority is taking time to hear the publics concerns and apply logic and data to meet the Board’s mission. I take pride in my patience, compassion and demonstrated leadership, all essential skills needed to deliver a quality educational experience, develop a great workplace and a strong strategic plan on time on budget.”
Behselich, originally from Monroe, attended Carroll College for a degree in elementary education with minors in adaptive education and early childhood. She worked as a long-term substitute in Mukwonago, taught full time in Monroe and then in Fort Atkinson. Behselich was a primary representative on the PTO, participated in committees and pilot teams and coached high school swimming.
Behselich and her family have lived in Lake Mills for four years and her and her husband recently purchased a business they are working to expand. She is a full-time mom helping her three boys with virtual learning and also works as a crossing guard at the elementary school.
Here statement of candidacy is as follows: “By running for School Board, I will bring a variety of life experiences: eight years of teaching, buying and running a business, and volunteering at my church and within the communities I have lived. I am passionate, open minded, creative, hardworking and a team player. I will bring a new perspective, positive attitude and be ready to hit the ground running! Working with diverse groups of people has provided me with a wealth of knowledge for best practices as well as understanding how a school system works. School life is what I know. I can see the big picture.
Every district has its challenges, but no challenge is too big when the leaders continuously work towards the same mission and vision. We are still working through a pandemic but have a chance to look at everything we’ve overcome and learned to move forward, thinking and planning differently. We have an opportunity to update our Strategic Plan, so our student learning provides equity, opportunity and continual improvement that reflects their actual reality. We will need to prioritize mental health and wellness as well as focusing on relationships. As a growing community, we need to continue to meet the needs of all students. By committing to preserving and recruiting high quality staff and their professional development, they will continue to grow and build to their capacity, so we have the strongest learning community possible. And then of course there is always the funding. Dr. Fitzpatrick wrote in his book, “Beyond Theory and Degrees,” “Build the academic agenda first and then worry about financing it.” When there’s a will, there’s a way. I knew becoming an educator wasn’t going to be an easy career, nor is being part of the school board, but I am dedicated to improving the academic and social growth of our youth.”
Eimers has lived in Lake Mills for over 30 years with his wife Cheryl. Their two children have attended school in Lake Mills and he says his entire family has benefitted from the Lake Mills school system. Eimers is a recently retired healthcare executive and has been an active community volunteer, including serving as a tutor for the Jefferson County Literacy Council. He brings a variety of business skills to the table.
His statement of candidacy is as follows: “I am ready and eager to do all that I can to actively support one of the most important community resources that we have among us. Whether you have kids or not, the success of our schools matters to everyone.
I bring a set of professional skills gained over 25 years in business including operations, financial oversight, governance, facilities management and information technology. I have also been a nonprofit board member for many years. My strongest personal qualification is being a good listener who understands the importance of teamwork. As the proverb states: “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” This has been my mantra for getting important things done.
I will place a high priority on being accessible and considerate of different viewpoints while always working toward our mission: “preparing all of today’s students for tomorrow’s opportunities”. We have a gifted public school workforce in Lake Mills, from managers to teachers, to bus drivers and building staff. We have an amazing and diverse student population whose families are counting on us to deliver for them. We have done a good job and can always improve in creating learning environments that are welcoming and equitable. We can ensure that the aspirations of every student are within reach. Keeping class sizes smaller, especially in the early grades, is important for student success. I will also be an advocate for improved state funding, and I will encourage community engagement wherever it is practical so that we have a true partnership for our students.”