Tomah School Board candidates share their thoughts

The Monroe County Herald is providing brief profiles on the six candidates seeking three seats on the Tomah School Board in the April election. 
Candidates include sitting members Aaron Lueck and Mitch Koel along with challengers Rick Murray, Jan Sherwood, Spencer Stephens and Wayne Kling. The intent is to provide an information snapshot for electors in the Tomah school district. All candidates were provided the opportunity to respond to the same questions.
*Provide some background
*Motivation/experience to serve on the school board
*Two key challenges facing the school district
*Position on investing in Tomah's outlying elementary schools or investing in one building for all elementary students.
The Herald will publish profiles as received from the candidates leading up to the election, Tuesday, April 6.
Aaron Lueck 
Aaron Lueck was raised near Tomah.  He graduated from Tomah High School in 1993 and from UW-La Crosse in 1998. Lueck is a 2001 graduate from Michigan State Law School in.  He is married with two children in elementary school in the Tomah School District.
 What is your motivation/experience to seek a seat on the school board?
I have served two terms on the School Board. This will be my third term I am running for.
 Two key challenges facing Tomah school district?
One issue is to get the students back in school on a full-time basis.  I believe that the district has moved in a positive direction to keep the children in school using mitigation practices to try to prevent the spread of Covid.  The district has only had three virtual days so far. 
Another issue is the five-year budget. We do not know how the state or federal government will try to repair budgets from the Covid pandemic.  We will need to pay close attention to see how any budget repair bills affect us. 
Tomah's elementary school investment
This is a difficult question right now.  I think due to the geographical size of our district, we need to invest in the outlying elementary buildings at this time. I think there is a lot of history in those buildings. 
Jan Sherwood
Sherwood moved to Tomah in 1985. She and husband Rod have two adult children, both graduates of Tomah High School. They also have a nine-year-old who is currently homeschooled due to the pandemic, with plans to return to district learning in July or September.
 What is your motivation/experience to seek a seat on the school board?
I am a past Tomah area school district board member. During that time, I was successful (thanks to support from our district community) in assisting the passing of a district referendum. I supported and advocated for teachers and staff. I also promoted quality curriculum for our students. Amongst scores of other matters that involve the district. My current motivation for seeking a seat is significant.
Two key challenges facing Tomah school district?
A possible future pandemic policy, staff retention, and behavioral health resources. While the district handled pandemic issues as best it could, I believe there is tremendous room for improvement and the best way to learn from success/failures is to document/write policy. Also, as mental health issues continue to evolve, I believe that the district can do better with behavioral health support for its students and staff.
Tomah's elementary school investment
At this time, I don’t believe that I support combining outlying schools into one building. Part of the Tomah area school district’s uniqueness is the smaller/family type school buildings. I’m not saying that I am against progression in our facilities, but I believe that if we invest in the facilities that we already have, we will retain students and keep that “family” atmosphere. In the end I believe it is something that we need to investigate a long side our community/staff/financial department.

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