Marshall School Board President Debbie Frigo and Vice President Mike Rateike filed paperwork prior to last Tuesday’s deadline to seek re-election in April. Each of the seats are for three-year terms.
Frigo became a school board member in 2015 to finish a term and was elected to the board in 2016. She was re-elected in 2019.
Now with finishing her second full term on the board, Frigo values that time and wants to continue being a leadership figure for the board.
“I feel that consistency is key to ensuring policy. When I arrived on the board, we had a few members that had been with the group for several years that brought historical value to items we were addressing years later. I am now that individual for the board having been with the group for more than seven years,” Frigo said. “Additionally, I have a real passion to see all kids in Marshall succeed academically. By being on the board, I can give guidance and direction as a member of seven to ensure that is our district’s focus.”
Rateike is finishing his first full term on the school board. He served one year on the board to fill a vacated seat prior to that.
“With four children in the district I like to be involved at a high level and help to shape policies that will affect not just my children but all those within the district,” Rateike said. “I have enjoyed my time so far on the board and it is nice to collaborate and work with my fellow board members as well as district staff.”
Frigo is focused on helping provide a support system for staff and students, as well as increasing student achievement and participation in areas such as music, art, dance and theater.
“I want all of our staff to feel appreciated for the work they do and feel safe in the environment they teach in. It’s an uphill battle with the ever-changing climate of COVID,” Frigo said, adding that she would like to see student achievement increased through student engagement, equitable and rigorous instruction and vertical alignment of district curriculum.
Student achievement is also an issue Rateike is focused on addressing.
“The largest issue we hope to address as a board is student achievement and to ensure that when our students graduate, they are ready for whatever path they have chosen,” Rateike said. “Additionally, we strive to ensure that we as a district are being fiscally responsible to our taxpayers.”
Both also have goals in terms ahead, largely ones shared during the recent Marshall Community Conversation the district hosted.
“One of the goals we have as a board is to follow up on the priorities the board collected as part of our community conversation in November 2021 (and) specifically to work with community members to get input which will help to shape our future as a district,” Rateike said.
Frigo also has goals to foster student career exploration opportunities in the community. Another goal for her is to increase “multicultural engagement with immersion and inclusion through support for EL (English-learning) students and their families.” She also wants to focus on retaining staff “through appreciation trust, compensation and professional development opportunities.”
Also, Frigo also has goals regarding the district “maintaining buildings and researching options for safer school entrances, solar solutions, a community school and an auditorium.”
Rateike was employed by the Wisconsin Legislative Audit Bureau and was an auditor of state agencies, programs and grants for 15 years.
“The financial and programmatic experience taught me much about how government funding works. It allows me the unique perspective to understand our financial positions, DPI (Department of Instruction) reporting requirements and our audit reports,” Rateike said.
The election is April 5. The Marshall School District may also have an operational referendum on the ballot. Wording of the referendum question may be approved at the school board meeting Jan. 17.