North has been a district resident for 29 years. She graduated from Mount Mary College with a undergraduate degree in occupational therapy. She is married and has three daughters, two of whom graduated from the district while the youngest daughter is a senior at the high school. She has been a Girl Scout leader for 11 years and spent the past 17 years as a Day Camp volunteer. She has also served in several positions on the Parent Teacher Associations at Amy Belle Elementary, Kennedy Middle School and Germantown High School as well as on the district Long Range Plan Committee and Building Committee. Neither North or Medved have previously held any elected positions.
What made you decide to run for the school board? North said she is “committed to providing excellent public education for the students of Germantown School District. I have been involved in the schools and community for the past 17 years; school district committee membership, Leadership Germantown participant, Girl Scouting, Destination Imagination coach, Junior Achievement volunteer, active in PTSs at all levels and have held leadership positions.” “My experience and involvement gives me a perspective on what is happening in our schools. I positively interact with all groups and am a creative problem solver,” she added.
Medved stated: “I have been following the school board activities for many years. As a taxpayer, homeowner, and rental property owner, I understand the importance of spending taxpayer money responsibly. There need to be a balance between spending money wisely while maintaining an exceptional level of academics for our students. Having a great school system is also important to maintain property values. I understand the role of the school board is to set a strategic vision for the district as a whole, and I believe I am the right person to help guide that vision.”
What are key issues facing the School Board and what are your positions on those issues? In response Medved stated: “The School board has a lot on its plate right now. We are currently searching for a new superintendent. I think I have a good pulse on the community and feel I could be very helpful in guiding this process in finding the best possible candidate.” He then added: “I will be able to develop a collaborative partnership with the administration in developing a strategic vision through my leadership. Student achievement will be my number one focus for developing a strategic vision. One area I see lacking in the schools is the use of technology by our students and staff. This needs to be a focus of our board and administration going forward. There are many opportunities to simplify and improve our education process through the use of technology. I feel we can accomplish this without any increases in spending.”
North cited two issues facing the district: closing the budget gap and building space. Regarding the budget gap North stated: “Schools are locked into budgets through revenue caps. The per student cost of education was capped in 1993. Twenty years have passed and any allowable increases along with state cut backs monetarily challenge school districts to deliver current education or develop any new programming. Capital improvements cannot be funded unless other areas are cut or a referendum is passed to increase spending.” She said there is a need to “explore additional ways of producing revenue outside of the tax base and state aid” and “continue to nurture and foster relationships with school and community groups. These groups use the school buildings but also give back monetarily to the school district. For example, PTAs collectively donated over $70,000 worth of technology last year.” Regarding building space North said she is a believer in small class sizes. “The district has a guide line/policy for class size. We are over the guide line in several elementary grade levels. Specialty classrooms can be used to deliver grade level education however this means art and music travel from room to room. I feel this is a temporary solution to space.” “Ultimately, building an elementary school is the solution to easing the space needs and getting back to the class size policy. The board will need to feel the pulse of the community in judging whether to put the referendum question out there,” she stated.
What do you want voters to know about yourself? Medved stated: “I would describe myself as a common sense conservative. I believe in effective, efficient government at all levels and believe that decisions should remain local. I support Gov. Scott Walker and think that ACT 10 was a good idea to get expenses in check. I have a background in construction, inventory control, management, loss prevention, leadership roles in volunteer organizations, and fundraising. This experience has allowed me to lead others and we have been able to accomplish amazing results in a short amount of time. I am a critical thinker who comes up with innovative solutions to complex problems. I believe you could not put a better candidate on the School Board. If I am elected, know that all stakeholders in Germantown will be in good hands. My guiding principle as a School Board member will be, “what is in the best, long term interest of all the students in the district while keeping all stakeholders in mind.”
In response to the question North said: “I have a true passion for education. I am committed to providing excellent public education for the students of Germantown School district. I have been involved in the schools and community for the past 17 years; school district committee member, Leadership Germantown participant, Girl Scouting, Destination Imagination coach, Junior Achievement volunteer, active in PTA’s at all levels and have help leadership positions. My experience and involvement gives me a perspective on what is happening in our schools. I positively interact withal groups and am a creative problem solver.”