Three candidates including two incumbents (I) are vying to represent two village of Windsor seats on the DeForest School Board in the April 5 spring election. The top vote-getter will win a three-year term and the second-place finisher a one-year term.
Keri Brunelle (I)
Address: 6692 Prairie Creek Road, Windsor
Family: Husband and two children
Job: Development and donor relations, Waisman Center, UW-Madison
Prior elected office: DeForest School Board, three years
Other public service: None
Education: Milton High School; bachelor’s degree in public communication with minor in marketing, UW-Eau Claire
Stephanie Sarr (I)
Address: 4464 Brookview Court, Windsor
Family: Married with a son and daughter
Job: Entrepreneur/owner of Savanna Beauty Supply
Prior elected office: DeForest School Board member, less than a year
Other public service: None
Education: Shorewood High School; bachelor’s degree in sociology with an emphasis on criminal justice, UW-Whitewater; master’s degree in business management, Cardinal Stritch University
Address: 3946 Finch Trail, DeForest
Family: Married with four children, including a DeForest High School graduate, DeForest High School junior, DeForest Middle School seventh grader and 3 year old at Yahara River Learning Center in Windsor
Job: Strategic account manager at Envera Health
Prior elected office: None
Other public service: Deforest Area Youth Football grade director, eight years; grade level representative Deforest Gridiron Club, three years; secretary, Norski Lacrosse Club, three years; volunteer at Windsor Elementary, 15 years; youth group liaison, Door Creek Church, three years
Education: La Follette High School; bachelor’s degree in business management, University of Phoenix
Why are you the best candidate for this office?
Brunelle: I have experience on the BOE and understand the roles and responsibilities of both the board and the administration. I have two kids in the district (one of which has higher/special needs) and I believe every child is unique and deserves personalized education. I will fight for all kids and their right to the best education.
Sarr: I believe every student should have access to quality education and each student should feel connected, and engaged in their academic career in the Deforest Area School District. I will continue to make sure each student has access to an equal quality of education.
Taylor: I am running to represent everyone in the Deforest Area School District. I will put our student’s education first and foremost. I want to hear what is important to voters and help make progress in our Deforest Area School District. I will advocate by being thoughtful, sincere, transparent and deliberate in my approach. I will represent the entire community and not specific groups.
What is the most important issue in this election and how would you address it?
Brunelle: Equity. Every student has a right to the best education. I believe everyone has their own path and strengths/interests. We need to do our best to prepare them for the future and the rest of their lives — creating plans for each individual.
Sarr: I find many of our teachers are challenged with the task of the re-teaching basic curriculum, social, and emotional skills to our younger students. We need to continue our social emotional learning work in all grades K-12 and make sure all students have mental and emotional support. We should also make sure we are providing support to all of our staff who are the direct link to our students.
Taylor: I want to build a platform on the issues that our voters and community think are important to our district. I am not running on specific issues. I am running to represent everyone in the Deforest Area School District.
What would you ask lawmakers to include in the next state budget to improve K-12 education in your district?
Brunelle: A larger priority needs to be put on every student receiving the supports/resources they need to prepare for life outside of school and become better citizens. A huge part of this is dependent on resources such as staff. We will need to hire more staff to better support our students’ needs and that will require more funding.
Sarr: I would ask lawmakers to increase funding and support for teacher. I believe this would help attract and retain teacher and improve the overall quality education.
Taylor: To include what our voters and community deem to be important to the Deforest Area School District that will help our community continue to make progress.
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