Spring election promises school board turnover in Douglas County

Only one incumbent filed nomination papers.

Folks wait in line as others fill out their ballots
Folks wait in line as others fill out their ballots Tuesday morning, Nov. 8, at Northwood Technical College in Superior.
Jed Carlson / Superior Telegram
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DOUGLAS COUNTY — The spring election will bring new faces to Douglas County school boards; only one incumbent has decided to run again.

In Superior, the district has extended its deadline to file candidacy papers to 5 p.m. Friday, Jan. 6.

The Maple School District will hold a primary election after eight candidates filed for three seats, and in Solon Springs, a candidate is needed to fill the remainder of a school board term following a pair of resignations.

The spring election takes place April 4, with the primary election on Feb. 21.


Two Superior School Board seats will be on the spring ballot. They are currently held by Steve Olson, who is finishing his first three-year term, and Laura Gapske, who is finishing her second term. Olson is running for reelection but Gapske is not, according to Anne Schultz, executive assistant to the district administrator.


Schultz extended the time frame for candidates to turn in nomination papers by 72 hours based on a Wisconsin statute regarding late notice of an incumbent’s decision not to run again. Candidacy papers must be turned in to the Superior Board of Education by 5 p.m. Jan. 6.

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Solon Springs

Two seats on the Solon Springs School Board will be available this spring. Both incumbents have already resigned from the board. Angela Botner, who served on the board for nearly six years, resigned Oct. 31, and Ben Kidder was appointed to complete her term.

Ryan Smith resigned Dec. 20 after nearly nine years on the board. Solon Springs Superintendent Frank Helquist said school board members will appoint someone to complete his term, which ends in April, at the Jan. 16 school board meeting. Those interested in serving the remainder of Smith’s term have until Tuesday, Jan. 10 to apply.

Two candidates have filed paperwork for the two seats on the spring ballot — Kidder and John Swanberg.


Eight candidates will be vying for three available seats on the Maple School Board this spring, triggering the need for a primary election. All three incumbents on the Maple School Board — Danna Livingston-Matherly, Gail Saari and Brian Johnson — filed noncandidacy paperwork and are not running, according to Peggy Janigo, executive administrative assistant for the School District of Maple. Livingston-Matherly has served on the board for nine years, Johnson for three and Saari for 24.

The eight candidates seeking seats on the board are Katherine Brunette of Amnicon, Daniel R. Cowley of Lake Nebagamon, Daniel G. Diamon of Poplar, Vince Hursh of Maple, Christopher Jarman of Hawthorne, Jay Johnson of Poplar, Steven P. Probst of Iron River and James Streveler of Cloverland.

Streveler served on the Maple School Board from 2003-2009 and 2011-2020; the other challengers are newcomers.


This story was updated at 10 a.m. Jan. 5 with the number of years incumbents to the Maple School Board have served. It was originally posted at 9:10 a.m. Jan. 5.

Maria Lockwood covers news in Douglas County, Wisconsin, for the Superior Telegram.
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