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Even in a school district that receives many accolades both academic and athletic in nature, there is always a need for both maintenance and improvement.

Maintaining or even furthering the success of the Elmbrook School District and its students will be entrusted to a new representative of the district's Area I this spring.

Jon Dzurak and Allison Malnar will be competing against one another on the ballot April 4 to fill a seat left vacant on the board since August after the resignation of Richard Brunner.

In recent years the Elmbrook School District has continued to show strong academic performance. What do you attribute this to and what ideas do you have to maintain, or even further improve, that performance?

DZURAK: Having administrators who share the school's vision with all stakeholders on a regular basis; Providing teaching staff with the best professional development opportunities; Emphasize Domains 1 through 4 in the Framework for Teaching model to help administrators evaluate teachers; Analyze assessment data to observe strengths and weaknesses of each student.

MALNAR: Involved parents, exceptional teachers/administrators, and hardworking students are crucial to performance. My goal is to maintain course, while fine-tuning current programs. However, I would like to see a stronger grammar curriculum implemented. Also, introducing technology shouldn’t negatively impact mastery of the basics. I believe in innovation with a common sense approach.

Last fall the school district completed a youth risk behavior survey and last year the community was impacted by two student suicides. What types of measures would you like to see put in place (or reinforced if already in place) in order to make sure that the district's students are safe and healthy?

DZURAK: All staff members should be required to complete the Youth Mental Health First Aid Training program including ongoing professional development that can be presented by school guidance staff. I would recommend the use of Restorative Practices which is very effective in providing students the sense of belonging, growth and self-worth.

MALNAR: Student suicide is a tragedy with many causes. I support the district’s holistic approach of evaluating school, home, workload, social media, and scheduling demands on our students and making appropriate changes where possible. Elmbrook’s Parent Network is also a great resource for educating students and families on school/life balance.

The district approved a redistricting plan last fall in response to an influx of student enrollment. What are your plans for managing growth in a strong school district that continues to see more housing development and enrollment growth?

DZURAK: I prefer an option that uses both Hillside and Fairview South as a way to ease the crowding. Fairview South is currently housing a minimal amount of students and the enrollment there is declining. Hillside houses old. These buildings could house younger grades and open up classrooms at other schools.

MALNAR: The fiscally responsible closure of Hillside Elementary caused some community frustration. Moving forward we need to utilize our current resources and facilities wisely, more accurately predict growth in our district, and learn from past decisions. Creative, insightful problem-solving is key; this is my expertise.

Candidates:

Jon Dzurak

Age: 60

Address: 3340 Bradee Road, Brookfield

Political history: N/A

Phone number: 414-406-0292

Twitter: N/A

Email:engagelearners@aol.com

Allison Malnar

Age: 39

Address: 2810 Meadowside Court, Brookfield

Political history: None

Phone number: 262-844-4923

Twitter: N/A

Email:allisonforelmbrook@gmail.com

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