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April 16, 2021

4/2/2021 9:02:00 AM
Schmitz, Douglas seek open seat on Barneveld School Board

There is a contest for an open seat on the Barneveld School Board and two newcomers are competing for the chance to serve.
Derek Schmitz and Denise Douglas are on the ballot. Following are their bios and answers to questions concerning the upcoming race.
DEREK SCHMITZ
Please give an introduction as to who you are: Name, family status/children, education , current occupation, community service/public service.
My name is Derek Schmitz, 45 years old. I have been married for 20 years to my wife, Heather. I have 2 daughters, a junior and a freshman. We have resided in the Barneveld/Brigham area for the last 20 years. I graduated from Mount Horeb High School in 1993. I went into the trades right out of high school and have been in the flooring business for 25 years. I now have my own small business I've owned for 15 years, as a flooring installer. I have volunteered hundreds of hours to the Barneveld Youth Softball club over the last 12 years, and help organize the On Deck Club, which supports youth softball.
Why are you running for a position on the school board and what are your qualifications.
I am running for school board because I have been attending school board meetings regularly for 7 years now and I feel I am well-rounded in the happenings in and around the school through my involvement in my daughters' academics and co-curricular activities, as well as being involved with youth groups for many years. My wife has also been an educator and administrator for a combined 20 years. I use her as a resource and reference, which is beneficial to me and our community.
What do you like about what is happening in the school district?
I think the staff and students are working well together by following procedures, keeping each other safe, and trying to keep a safe environment for everyone. I think Mr. Price, our school administrator, is doing an excellent job communicating with staff, students, and community members with updates from Iowa County Health during this pandemic. Finally, I am excited the students are getting back in school and starting to get back to " normal" life.
What would you like to see changed/improved for the district?
Changes or improvements I would like to see made is more representation at board meetings. I would like to have a student and staff representative give an update of good things going on as well as discuss any concerns they may have. I think it's important to hear from those that are in the building on a daily basis. I would also like to see more cohesiveness between staff, students, and community.
How would you work with fellow board members to ensure a quality education for students in the school district.
Open and continuous communication are vital to have an impact on quality education. The school board needs to work together to make decisions that align with the district's vision on education. Closing the academic achievement gap that has occurred during the pandemic is going to be an issue that we need to address sooner than later. I have confidence our staff and students will do a great job getting back to our academic standings prior to March 2020.
DENISE DOUGLAS
Please give an introduction as to who you are: Name, family status/children, education , current occupation, community service/public service.
My name is Denise Douglas. I graduated from Mineral Point High School. I attended UW-Platteville and got a Bachelor's Degree in Accounting and a Bachelor's Degree in teaching/math. I have lived in Barneveld for over 13 years now. I am widowed - with a daughter in elementary school. I work in Mt Horeb as a Staff Accountant. I am an active community member.
Why are you running for a position on the school board and what are your qualifications.
As a mom with two Bachelor's Degrees - I know education is the greatest tool that we can give our kids. Likewise, I want to be an active participant in my daughter's / community's education - to accomplish this effectively it truly takes a TEAM approach - everyone (teachers, parents, students, community members) working together to get the job done - I'm ready to be this TEAM player.
What do you like about what is happening in the school district?
There is lots to like about small town Barneveld's school district. First, I liked how they took all the necessary precautions and were able to keep the kids in school during this pandemic. Kids learn better in school and in person - especially for the younger grades. Also, they have some AWESOME staff at the school that truly care about the kids. The new addition also makes the school great.
What would you like to see changed/improved for the district?
I would like to see communication improved between the district and the parents on the plans and expectations. Being open with WHY can help parents understand the reasoning and better support our staff and students.
How would you work with fellow board members to ensure a quality education for students in the school district.
Being a team player means listening more than speaking. By listening you can better understand and ask questions to engage in constructive policy changes. Our priority as a school board team is to provide a positive environment and reinforcement for the community.





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