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Kroner, Rios face off for Wauwatosa School Board seat

Jan. 15, 2013

Three members of the Wauwatosa School Board have terms that expire this year: Anne Fee, Michael Meier, and Philip Kroner. Kroner, in Seat 1, is the only candidate with a challenger, Carmela Rios. Here are statements of candidacy and brief bios of the two candidates in the contested race. The election is April 2.

Philip Kroner: My motivation for serving on the Wauwatosa School Board is to provide the best possible education for the children who attend our schools, so that when they leave the district they reach their full potential and lead happy, productive lives.

Students must have strong fundamental skills and be critical-thinkers able to adapt to a rapidly changing world. This will only happen if we adhere to the highest standards in curriculum development, student achievement and the professional development of our teachers.

I am a strong School Board candidate because I am passionate about helping all students succeed. I have considerable experience both as a School Board member and as a community volunteer with the school district. I have specific training in education (I received a post-baccalaureate teaching certification and I currently teach at Milwaukee Area Technical College), and I have extensive training (B.S in microbiology and a Ph.D. in molecular biology) in, and place a high priority on, making data-driven decisions that best serve the students and families of Wauwatosa.

As a parent representative I participated in the development of the district's long-range plan as co-chair of Wisconsin Model Academic Standards/Analysis of Curriculum Team. A significant achievement by the School Board during my tenure has been a focus on student learning and implementation of many facets of the long-range plan. Of particular importance was creation of a curriculum review cycle assisted by outside experts focusing on research-based curriculum and instruction. As part of this process reading was selected as the primary focus of the district. In addition, school security has been continually upgraded to include full-time school resource officers in each of the four secondary schools, as well as upgraded security systems and protocols in all buildings. The education program is supported by an up-to-date information technology system comprised of fiber optics and wireless networking. And, despite budgetary limitations, class sizes remain low, our buildings are well maintained and we have been able to upgrade decaying athletic facilities and support co-curricular activities. Finally, in uncertain political times, the board and the administration have made it a priority to maintain a strong working relationship with our teachers, and to provide for their professional development.

Moving forward, my highest priorities will be to help struggling students, to promote even higher standards, and to create a safe, supportive and welcoming environment for learning.

Carmela Rios: I have been living in Wauwatosa for over 10 years, and my two children attend Wauwatosa schools. My husband and I are committed to having our children attend Wauwatosa Public Schools because of the high standards and the diverse experiences they offer. My personal and work history as a science teacher and curriculum facilitator for both middle and high school in the Greendale School District contributes to my ability to assess education from a classroom, administrative and parental perspective.

This is a time of change in education, and as part of the School Board, I would assess all decisions based on keeping Wauwatosa as a destination school district. I will work to ensure that our district continues to provide our children with the foundation to successfully continue to higher education and adult life.

Important changes are occurring in the public education system of our state. These changes are resulting in increased freedom and obligations for local school districts, which are now implementing novel plans and administrative reforms that will define the education of Wauwatosa's children for years to come. I want to contribute to the tasks of our School Board and bring to its service my experience in virtually every aspect of education: as a parent, a teacher, an administrator and a teacher of its graduates. I will serve as a board member with the best interests of children, parents, educators and Wisconsin taxpayers in mind. As a School Board member I will work to ensure that the dollars entrusted to the district are used to improve student learning.

Philip A. Kroner (incumbent)

AGE:56

ADDRESS: 7817 Jackson Park Blvd.

CONTACT: (414) 771-5067; pkroner@wi.rr.com; votekroner@gmail.com; VoteKroner.com

RESIDENCY IN DISTRICT: 23 years

OCCUPATION:biochemistry teacher at MATC; previously a research scientist at the BloodCenter of Wisconsin and an assistant professor at the Medical College of Wisconsin

EDUCATION: bachelor of science, Oregon State University, 1979; Ph.D. in botany, University of Georgia 1987; Post-Doctoral Research Associate, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1986-90; Senior Post-Doctoral Fellow, BloodCenter of Wisconsin, 1990-91; elementary education certification, UW-Milwaukee, 2000

GOVERNMENT EXPERIENCE: completing second terms as a member of the Wauwatosa School Board (Seat 1); completing second one-year term as treasurer.

COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT: co-chair, Wisconsin Model Academic Standards/Analysis of Curriculum Team, School District Long Range Plan, 2006; parent representative on the Wauwatosa School District Long Range Plan Strategic Planning Committee, 2005; School District Education Summit participant, 2004; Tosa Kickers soccer coach, 2001-05

FAMILY:wife, Jean Baker; sons, James, 19, and Alan, 16

Carmela Rios

AGE:36

ADDRESS: 1759 Underwood Ave.

CONTACT: (414) 534-3236; rioscar1@hotmail.com

LENGTH OF RESIDENCY IN DISTRICT: more than 10 years

OCCUPATION:Ph.D. student in molecular biology, Marquette University; former high school science teacher (10 years) and department chair (four years)

EDUCATION: bachelor of science, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, 1999; master of science in biology, Michigan State University, 2002; Ph.D. in progress, molecular biology, Marquette University

PREVIOUS GOVERNMENT EXPERIENCE: none

COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT: emerging, as my eldest child enters the Wauwatosa School District

FAMILY:husband, John Klaus; son, Carlos Klaus, 7; daughter, Marcela Klaus, 4

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