Electors traveling to the polls for the spring election April 4, 2017 will see four Wauwatosa School Board races on the ballot. The open school board seats are the only Wauwatosa races that will take place for this election.
The Wauwatosa Common Council does not have any open seats because elections for those positions occur in even-numbered years.
If a person is interested in running for any of the open school board seats they will have to fill out the proper documentation, collect 100 signatures and deliver it to Connie Galante in the superintendent's office by January 3, 2017. The office is open 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays but will be closed for the holidays from Dec. 24 through Jan. 2.
The Wauwatosa School Board is comprised of seven board members elected on the basis of citywide numbered seats to three-year terms. Three seats are up for election one year (2016) and four the next (2017). The third year (2018) is an off year, and there are no school board elections. School board members serve without monetary compensation.
Here's a look at the available seats, current incumbents and each incumbent's declaration status:
- Seat #4 - Stan Zurawski - Declared for re-election.
- Seat #5 - Kristy Casey -Declared for re-election
- Seat #6 - Sharon Muehlfeld - Declared for re-election
- Seat #7 - Brian Bawden - filed non-candidacy and will not be running
Zurawski was selected for seat #4 after the November resignation of Mary Jo Randall. The remaining board members selected Zurawski Dec. 5 after an interview process that saw 11 people apply for the open seat. In the spring election he will be opposed by Leigh Anne Fraley, who was one of the 11 candidates that sought to fill seat #4.
"Board members should function as a team, to help the superintendent in his plan," Zurawksi said. "We can only do this with a nonpartisan attitude of civility and tolerance, which I intend to promote."
Fraley is currently employed by TNTP (formerly The New Teacher Project) and provides coaching to senior managers of educational institutions.
"I am a mom and I am in the field of education," Fraley said about her reasons for running. "I want to work with the community and the district to see every child and student grow to their full potential."
So far, Casey and Muehlfeld are running unopposed. Wauwatosa School Board President Mike Meier said it is not unusual for a single candidate to run for an available seat as that has been the norm for most of the past dozen years or so.
Bawden decided not to run due mainly to family issues, but also cited a desire to travel. He said he was not sure if he would run again in the future.
"I needed to take the time to take care of my family," Bawden said. "When your family gets up in age and has health issues, it takes more of me and my wife's time."
Steven Doman will be seeking election to Bawden's seat #7; Doman also was a candidate for the Randall seat that went to Zurawski. Doman works for UMB Fund Services as a fund officer and HR generalist.
In a letter to the school board that served as his notice of interest when he applied for the Randall seat, Doman said he was interested in serving on the school board because of his strong belief in providing a quality education for all students.
"I am passionate about educating our children to provide them the life and educational skills they need to be leaders of their generation," Doman said.
On the school board's website it says that the most important function of the school board is to set policy for the district and that the policies set by the board act as guidelines for parents/guardians, students and staff to follow while working toward the district's goals.