School Board gets new member


Ozaukee Press staff

After an eight-year run of the same seven people serving on the Cedar Grove-Belgium School Board, two new members have joined in as many months.

Jeremy Spriggs of Cedar Grove was the latest addition, appointed by a 4-1 vote on May 17.

Spriggs, a plant manager at Kleen Test Products Corp. in Port Washington who has two children in third and fifth grades in the district, was chosen over Randall Kurth, an electro-mechanical technician who is on the steering committee for Rocket Academy, the district’s new charter school that focuses on technical education.

Four candidates submitted letters of interest to the board. Former board member Aileen Dahlke, who served for 23 years before losing to Eric Meinnert in the April election, pulled her name from consideration, telling Board President Chad Hoopman before the meeting that it was time for new blood on the board, and Shayla Trader, an elementary school art teacher in Oostburg, didn’t attend the meeting.

The vacancy was created when Dan Bruhn resigned to handle other priorities. He has a dental practice in Oostburg and his partner is retiring, has been helping to care for his mother since his father died in August and is focusing on his own health after complications from back surgery in December, he said.

The board held separate interviews with Kurth and Spriggs, keeping each candidate in the district office while the other was speaking.

Spriggs is a graduate of West De Pere High School and has a bachelor of business administration degree from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. He planned to open a hotel and restaurant but when the recession hit in 2008 he went to work at Best Buy instead. Now, he manages a few hundred people directly and indirectly at Kleen Test.

Spriggs said the biggest asset he brings to the board is his ability to adapt, and he noted that conflicts can often be resolved through communication. He said he wants to make sure student achievement is “always the focus.”

Kurth said he has a passion to serve and wants to do what is best for the community. He said conflict resolution should involve coming in with an open mind and working on the best solution.

After the vote, board member Kurt Kraus thanked both men for their interest.

“It wasn’t an easy decision. We had great people,” he said.

“It’s great to have two great candidates,” Hoopman said.

Spriggs’ seat will be up for election next April. Hoopman encouraged Kurth to run, saying he feels good about what the board has accomplished but knows some people will opt off the board at some point.



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Ozaukee Press

Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

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