Elk Mound School Board candidate: Tim Sivertson

ELK MOUND — Four candidates have filed nomination papers for three positions on the Elk Mound Board of Education in the April 1 election: Tim Sivertson (incumbent); Mark Cedarblade; Kelly Holzer; Patrick Rhude.

Tim Sivertson was the third of the candidates to return a questionnaire sent out by the Colfax Messenger.

Bill Moore and Jim Holte, who have both served on the Elk Mound Board of Education for 15 years, decided not to run for re-election.

Sivertson is a resident of county Highway H in rural Elk Mound. He is a registered nurse and is a case manager for Mayo Clinic Health System Homehealth and Hospice.

He and his wife, Sue, have four children: Adam, Jacob, Benjamin and Sara, all of whom graduated from Elk Mound. They also have two grandchildren.

Here are Sivertson’s answers to the questionnaire:

1. Educational background: I am a lifelong resident and graduate of Elk Mound. I have attended numerous classes over the years at Chippewa Valley Technical College related to farming and business; then in 2005 I graduated from there with an Associate Degree in the Registered Nursing program. I have been employed with MCHS Homehealth and Hospice for eight years caring for those in need of management of comfort cares or interventions related to their medical status. Over the 20 years of service on the Board, I have attended numerous programming on the state and national level to enhance and engage in more effective leadership abilities.

2. How long have you served on the Elk Mound Board of Education? I am in my 21st year of serving the Elk Mound School District.

3. Why have you continued to run for the school board? My motivation to continue comes out of my passion for good governance that provides the staff and tools our students require in the 21st Century to be successful. Student achievement and their safety while attending our schools are a priority. Our District has had and continues to have community support. While we are one of the lowest spending districts in the state, we have implemented measures to reduce our future liabilities as we strive to maintain an infrastructure that is up to date.

4. What aspects of your background make you particularly suited for serving on the Board of Education? In my 20 years of service, I have made it a priority to learn from other educational leaders and be engaged in professional development related to good school board governance. I have had opportunities in which I served on the Wisconsin Association of School Boards for nine years; one year as President of the Association; served five years on the WIAA Board of Control representing the School Boards Association; and currently in my fourth year serving on the National School Board Association as a member of the Board of Directors. I also serve on the Association for Equity in Funding where we continue to advocate for policies and legislation which sustains a more equitable funding system which ensures that our students have the same opportunities and experiences as those in higher spending districts. It continues to be an honor to serve as the President of the Elk Mound Board. I was first elected president by my peers in 1998. Involvement in those opportunities enhance the ability to interact and bring back the best of the best to Elk Mound.

5. What issues do you see as being the most important for the Elk Mound school district and why? We must continue as a whole Board to have improvement sessions where we look at data and our overall success or areas needing improvement. Our schools continue to meet Adequate Yearly Progress benchmarks, and this year on our statewide report card we are in the category of “exceeds expectations.” Elk Mound has been Nationally recognized, in 2008, for “Leading with Trust” and this year in “Supportive Leadership.” This is a testament to the commitment of the Board to fulfill their responsibilities.

6. What issues do you hope to bring to the Elk Mound Board of Education or what issues would you like to see addressed by the school board? We need to increase our advocacy and our voice to ensure we have the needed funding in order to provide what the law requires and what our students need to be prepared as college or career ready; while being good stewards of our taxpayers’ resources. We also are monitoring our student growth; as we continue to increase in number of students, we must plan and be prepared to accommodate it. As we continue to become a world of technology it is imperative that we provide our students the needed tools to be literate and proficient in that world. Our Board’s expectation and belief is that each and every student can learn at a higher level and we need to provide the needed resources to ensure their opportunity for that success.

7. Other comments? It is said that “kids are our hope for the future and we are their hope for the present.” I am committed to our children’s future by making a difference today.