Three candidates for PdC School Board

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Duane Rogers

Kristin Davis

Nick Gilberts

There are three candidates running for two seats on the Prairie du Chien School Board in the April 7 election. The top two vote-getters will each be elected to three-year terms. Nick Gilberts is the incumbent. Board member Kyle Kozelka is not running for re-election. Former board member Duane Rogers and newcomer Kristin Davis round out the field.

The following are brief biographies of the three candidates.

Duane Rogers

My name is Duane Rogers and I’m running for one of the open school board seats in the Prairie du Chien School District. I currently work for Peoples State Bank. For the past 10 years, I have been a County Board Supervisor for Crawford County, serving on the Personnel and Finance committees. I am also President of Driftless Development Inc., a regional entity working to improve the economic vitality of our region. My wife is a business professor at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville. We have one daughter who is a student at Prairie du Chien High School. 

I’m running as a candidate for the school board because I feel my past experience on the school board, county board and economic development work can be beneficial to the school district. One of the struggles most school districts have in Wisconsin is balancing limited resources with needed programming. Working to make the best financial decisions for the district can continue to allow the district to remain financially stable.

One goal I have is to help bridge the gap between the school district and our employers in our region. While going on to college after high school is one avenue to succeed, we have many careers that don’t necessarily require a college degree to be successful. Many of our employers struggle with finding ample workforce that can handle the technological changes that play a large role in our society today. If we can provide a bridge between the school district and our local employers, we can help to make our local economy work better for all of us. In closing, I hope you will consider voting for me on April 7.

Kristin Davis

I am Kristin Davis, running for the school board. I am currently retired. In the past, I was a public school teacher in Milwaukee and a social worker in the Wisconsin Department of Corrections.

I have a Master of Arts in teaching and a Master of Science in curriculum and instruction, emphasis in mathematics, along with a Bachelor of Arts degree in social work from Marquette University.

I am married to Chester Davis and together we have a blended family of five adult children.

One top challenge facing the district for me would be the shrinking tax base because of a steady decline in Prairie’s population. 

In addition, the gaps in the cohesiveness of how mathematics are taught across the district and the missed opportunities for teaching across disciplines.

Nick Gilberts

My name is Nick Gilberts and I am seeking re-election to the Prairie du Chien Board of Education. I have been married to Andrea Gilberts for almost 18 years, and have an eighth-grader who attends Bluff View School and a first-grader who attends BAK. I have been employed by the city of Prairie du Chien Street Department for 17 years, owned Revitalize Salon and Spa along with my wife Andrea, and am co-founder of Scream Xtreme, which puts on the annual haunted house and other festivities in Prairie du Chien. 

I have been on the Board of Education for the past five years and currently serve as vice president.

We have a lot of great things going within our school district right now. Our new auditorium is bringing in a variety of performances, our students are performing well in regard to the mandated state wide testing, our enrollment numbers are slightly increasing, and we have a very dedicated staff for our students.

One of the biggest challenges we are facing is funding for our schools. We came in over budget on the building additions and upgrades due to some unforeseen expenditures and some poor planning done by previous leadership. Due to this, our fund balance had to be spent down some. We now are in the process of building up our fund balance, but it will take time.

One thing that I want to see our board do is to continue to be fiscally responsible. We are heading in the right direction, so now we need to follow through with it. We can’t and shouldn’t raise taxes to offset this. Too many people live on fixed incomes and can’t afford any more raises in taxes. 

Another item that I want to see is to have the city and school work together on expanding programs for our children. I believe that an after-school care center would make a huge impact on our students and create a place for our younger children to go.

Lastly, I still believe that we can reduce the school day by 15-20 minutes. We currently exceed the state mandated hours by 132 hours a year. I believe our students still can get a high quality education in the time required by the state.

Please take time to get your absentee ballots or vote on April 7.

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