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Fox Point-Bayside candidates point to budget challenges, evaluations as key issues in race

March 6, 2012

Fox Point-Bayside School Board candidates Debbie Friberg and Eilene Stevens say the district's budget, technology, communications, and employee relations are the key issues as they vie for the seat in the April 3 election.

Due to the children she has in the district and the work she's already done at the School Board, Friberg said she's compelled to run for re-election.

"I've had a hand in the last three years in the changing administration," Friberg said, "and my children are still here. I feel an obligation and a duty to continue."

Problems facing the district necessitate some new thinking, Stevens said.

"I'm looking at what's happening to education right now and I think it's time for some creative problem-solving," Stevens said.

Concerns over budget

Both candidates agree that the budget presents a challenge for the district.

"We have less funding," Friberg said, "and we have to find creative ways to do more things with less funds."

Friberg said that the School Board's approach to the budget problem has been to hire Director of Business Services Amy Kohl, whom Friberg described as "creative."

Stevens said that she wouldn't want all of the necessary cuts to come from staff.

"So many (districts) are balancing their budgets strictly by cutting pay and benefits to employees," Stevens said, "We have to look at every possible option for making our budgets work, and diversify where we make our cuts."

Staff evaluations next

With nationwide core curriculum standards making their way into classrooms and Act 10 continuing to change the workplace dynamic of Wisconsin schools, Friberg said that the School Board should try to ease teachers' burdens. She said that the district is trying to model teacher evaluation models after current procedures, since state mandated evaluation models will eventually take precedence anyway.

"We're throwing so much change at them that we're not going to try to reinvent the wheel once and, all of a sudden, evaluate them a different way," Friberg said.

Stevens said that, if elected, she would advocate for nonresidents to be able to address the School Board at meetings.

"I'm disappointed that the School Board will only let residents speak," Stevens said, "which really closes out (open enrollment) parents from the process."

Friberg said that, if re-elected, she would continue to emphasize the role of technology in the district.

"Our world around us is changing with technology and how we have kids ready for technology," said Friberg, "and that's our future."

Debbie Friberg (i)

AGE:48

ADDRESS: 6475 N. Santa Monica Blvd., Fox Point

FAMILY: husband, Daniel, daughters Emma, 9, and in fourth grade, Bee, 8, in second grade, both at Stormonth

EDUCATION: elementary education degree from UW-Eau Claire

OCCUPATION/EMPLOYER: area director for AuPairCare and executive secretary at Congregation Beth Israel

PREVIOUS ELECTED OFFICES: three years on Fox Point-Bayside School Board

CONTACT: DFriberg@foxbay.k12.wi.us

Eilene Stevens

AGE:64

ADDRESS: 8576 N. Pelham Parkway, Bayside

FAMILY: husband, Mark; son, Michael (24); daughter, Dana (19)

EDUCATION: B.S. UW-Milwaukee

OCCUPATION/EMPLOYER: English teacher, Germantown High School

PREVIOUS ELECTED OFFICES: none

CONTACT: e.stevens@earthlink.net

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