Written by MARK JAEGER
Thursday, 30 July 2015 14:02
Former village president previously served as district’s superintendent
Three Village of Fredonia residents applied to fill a vacant seat on the Northern Ozaukee School Board, but one offered a resume that was too full to ignore.
The board voted 5-3 to appoint Bob Rathsack to fill the vacancy until the April 2016 election, when the remainder of the term will be on the ballot.
Rathsack served 22 years as a school administrator, including six years as superintendent of the Northern Ozaukee School District, and supervised student-teachers for three years at Concordia University Wisconsin in Mequon.
Although the other two candidates, Pattie Barrie and Albert Klinter, expressed a desire to serve the community, those good intentions couldn’t match Rathsack’s lengthy record of involvement in education.
He also served 12 years as Fredonia’s village president and two years on the Ozaukee County board.
“I have a strong interest in education and believe I still have something to offer,” Rathsack said when interviewed by the board.
Answering a series of questions that were posed to all three candidates, Rathsack said the biggest challenge the school board faces is keeping its focus on educational quality.
“It is up to the School Board to obtain and retain the best teachers and staff available,” he said. “The board must make sure each dollar we spend gives us a dollar’s worth of value.”
Rathsack took the oath of office following the board meeting. He said he intended to run for the remainder of the term in spring.
Barrie said she would offer a different perspective if appointed to the board.
She has served in a variety of volunteer positions, including on the Ozaukee County 4-H Leaders Board and as a trustee for American Legion Post 470 in Saukville.
“Enrollment is a big issue. There is a lot of movement in and out of the district, and little attempt to discover why,” Barrie told the board.
Klinter, a graduate of Ozaukee High School, said his ability as a decision maker and a team player would make him a good fit on the board. He has worked at Charter Steel in Saukville for the past 10 years.
Thanks to the state’s open enrollment process, Klinter said the board must recognize what a competitive environment there is in the educational world.
“If kids don’t find the programs they want, they are going to go somewhere else,” he said.
The vacant Fredonia seat on the board occurred when no candidates filed papers for last April’s election. The board had been short-handed since that election.