Two candidates are listed on the ballot for the Reedsburg Board of Education in the upcoming spring election.
Eben Christensen and Alice Heckenbach will run for school board to represent Reedsburg, filling in the spot for Beth Voigt. It is both candidates first time running for school board.
Christensen, who has lived in the city for three years, graduated from high school in Eau Claire and holds a bachelor degree in International and Political Economics and Philosophy and Political Science from Carthage College in Kenosha. He also has an MA in Political Science. He also served as an adjunct professor at University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh and UW- Marinette.
Some topics Christensen would focus on are helping move the school board along with referendum projects and construction of the new elementary school. He also hopes to improve is the communication and efficiency between the school district and parents on progress of students from an academic standpoint. In addition, he said also would focus on paid compensation “an emphasis on recruiting and keeping high quality educators.”
“If we don’t have the ability to compensate the good teachers to keep them here they will either leave the profession or go to a larger district where they can be paid more,” Christensen said.
Both of his children, ages 6 and 9, currently attend Pineview Elementary School. He said his children used to attend South Elementary School and will attend the new elementary school when it opens for the 2019-2020 school year.
“I had a vested interest and being a participant in that process,” Christensen said.
Like Christensen, Heckenbach is also interested in talking about South Elementary School, especially with the configuration of the buildings within the school district once South Elementary School closes and the new elementary school-located on East Reedsburg Road and Golf Course Road-will open in 2019.
“With families having different kids in different grades all going to different schools, I think there will be parents that will be wanting other kids to go to the same school but it might not work out,” Heckenbach said.
Heckenbach is also interested in topics like performance for pay and standardized testing, which she said was a “big topic” that was debated during her time as an educator.
“I feel sometimes there is too much of teaching to the test instead of having some of the freedom to do all of the other activities with children,” Heckenbach said.
Heckenbach grew up in Reedsburg and is a 2005 graduate of Reedsburg Area High School. She saw running for the Reedsburg School District Board of Education as another way to continue her passion for serving in education and to get involved in the community. She has a teaching degree from University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and was a substitute teacher for four years at the Reedsburg School District. She now works as a full-time in patient registration at Reedsburg Area Medical Center.
“I really enjoyed working with the kids when I did teach and I feel like being on the school board gets me a way to get back into the schools and find out more of what is going on in the classrooms,” Heckenbach said.
Additional candidates for school board include Neal Pulvermacher and Nathan Johnson for Area II. However, Johnson is no longer eligible if elected because of a personal decision to move to the City of Reedsburg. Due to a number of candidates in the election, there will not be a primary election Feb. 20. The spring election is April 3.