Maple school board -- Eve ZoselAnswers provided by candidate Eve Zosel.
Name: Eve Zosel
Education: Univ. of MN, UWS
Occupation: I retired in 2009. My employment experience has included being a childcare provider in my home, on staff with Head Start and working as a Resource Specialist for a Child Care Resource & Referral Agency for several years. Prior to my retirement, I was employed by the Department of Public Instruction working with school districts and communities in the Northern Region of Wisconsin on 4K Collaborations,
Town/ Village of residence: Lake Nebagamon
Civic and Government involvement: I served on the School District of Maple Board of Education for many years. I currently serve on the Missions Board at Mission Covenant Church, Poplar and I am active in Women’s Ministries at church. I am on the Advisory Committee for the Maple School District 4K collaboration and volunteer in family outreach for 4K. In the past I served in various leadership roles in my church and the Nebagamon Community Association. I was PTO President, and volunteered as a 4H and Girl Scout leader when my children were young.
Why are you seeking the seat?
I chose to run for a seat on the board because one of the current board members was not seeking re-election. The current board is doing an excellent job. The board has several members that have been on the board for less than 3 years. I believe my past experience, as a board member would be an asset to the board in these tough economic times.
I am a candidate for the School District of Maple Board of Education because of my interest in the need for quality education of our children. As a parent and grandparent I believe the education of our children is vital to our future as a community, state and nation. I believe a board member needs to focus on the educational needs of all children and represent all citizens in the school district.
As a board member it is important to be informed on educational issues and make knowledgeable decisions in the best interests of children in a fiscally responsible manner.
How can the district weather the coming budget crunch? What cuts do you feel can be made to keep costs down? Do you foresee taxes increasing to maintain the quality of education?
Unfortunately at this time no one knows exactly the extent of the budget crunch. Wisconsin schools have been operating under budget restrictions since 1993 with revenue limits and other state and federal funding streams have declined and been eliminated. Making budget cuts and adjustments is not something new for the district. However each year it gets more challenging to manage as supplies, equipment, utilities, health insurance, transportation and other costs continue to increase. Maple School District has had a stable enrollment, which is a positive for the district.
A reduction in staff through attrition is one way to reduce costs, although not desirable. Collaborative (shared) services from CESA 12 can reduce costs. Limiting travel, field trips and mailings are other ways to reduce costs.
We need to be thinking “outside the box” to find ways to stretch our limited funds further. We need to be looking at 21st century educational opportunities. We are in a very fast paced changing world. We need to keep up and make intelligent decisions.
Raising taxes is not desirable given the current economic status, however there needs to be a plan for funding or another form of revenue to meet inflationary costs. I believe everyone will be impacted by economic challenges. We all need to make sacrifices to continue to provide quality educational opportunities for our children, and not put financial burdens on our children that we have created.
Finances are a critical issue in these difficult economic times. We need to work to together to make tough budget decisions and adjustments that do not negatively affect educational programs for students. As taxpayers and community members we need to be informed on legislative decisions being made that adversely affect education and speak out on what is best for children.
Do you have a plan to absorb students from the South Shore School District, if it dissolves? How big a financial strain would that put on the district in regards to busing costs? Is there enough room in the schools to absorb them? How would those issues be addressed?
Through open enrollment there are a number of South Shore School District students attending Maple (and other districts).Unfortunately if South Shore were to dissolve, students would most likely be absorbed in the Maple, Bayfield and Washburn school districts, depending on where students reside. However that is purely speculation. Maple has space for additional student enrollment growth. It may require some realignment of classrooms, depending on numbers of students and grade levels. Increased transportation means increased costs, adding to our approximately 500 square miles of current busing. It would certainly strain finances further.
What other big challenges are facing the district. How would you deal with them?
Maple is fortunate to have very good, energy efficient, up to date facilities in the district. We need to budget properly to maintain all of our facilities to keep them safe, efficient and usable for many years. This is important during severe budget crunches.
Bus replacement is a challenge. As mentioned above Maple School District encompasses 500 square miles and we need safe and reliable buses to transport students. We need to continue to maintain and replace buses on a regular schedule. Replacement is difficult when money is tight.
As the board makes hard decisions we have to be sensitive to how it affects children, staff and families. I do not want to see cuts in co-curricular activities, class offerings, increase in class size, or staff reductions, but in reality that may be what has to be done in the future. Money can only be stretched so far. I feel strongly we need to put students first in our decision-making. We need to maintain the excellent educational opportunities for our students. They are our future!
What strengths do you bring to the job, what sets you apart as a candidate?
I served on the school board for many years. I held each of the board officer positions and chaired the Curriculum, Negotiations and Personnel Committees and held other leadership roles on the Maple School Board. I was a member of the planning committee for the collaborative 4K programs in the Maple School District.
For several years, I represented the School District of Maple on the CESA 12 (Cooperative Educational Service Agency) Board of Control, which represents 17 school districts. I served as Treasurer, Vice Chairman and Chairman of the Board of Control (BOC) of CESA 12. Serving on the BOC provided an opportunity to understand educational needs of the rural northern region of Wisconsin.
I have attended numerous state and national educational workshops and conferences as a school board member, CESA 12 BOC member and through my early childhood educational work experiences. These opportunities have provided me with a broad understanding on educational issues from a statewide and national prospective. I believe these experiences would be a valuable asset to the Maple Board of Education.
Is there anything else you feel is important for voters to know about you or your qualifications?
Our family moved to Lake Nebagamon in 1979, when my husband accepted the position of Superintendent of the Brule River State Forest. Our children attended and graduated from the Maple School District and completed post secondary education and are successful in their chosen careers because of their positive educational opportunities. We are proud grandparents of seven wonderful grandchildren.
The School District of Maple has always put kids first in decision making. Maple has an exceptionally dedicated and caring staff, strong community support and the students are the best. My lifelong interest has been in children, families and education. I am committed to representing each student and community member in the School District of Maple.