Colfax Board of Education candidate Denise Solberg
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COLFAX — Four candidates are on the ballot in the April 4 election for three positions on the Colfax Board of Education: Jaclyn Ackerlund (incumbent), Kenneth Bjork (incumbent), Jodi Kiekhafer (incumbent) and Denise Solberg.
The Colfax Messenger sent out candidate questionnaires. Here are Denise Solberg’s responses.
Solberg, age 47, is married to Nathan Solberg and has four children.
• What is your occupation?
Currently I am a real estate agent with Keller Williams, servicing Northwestern Wisconsin. Previously, I was a paraprofessional in the Special Education department with the Colfax School District for seven years. I worked as a substitute for the district before that, as well as volunteered with the music department for many years.
• What is your educational background?
I have my degree in Criminal Justice through the Law Enforcement Academy at CVTC.
• Why did you decide to run for the Colfax Board of Education?
I decided to run for the Colfax School Board because the current board has become a group of establishment bodies, many of whom have occupied their seat on the board for far too long. The board needs a breath of fresh air from someone with a creative mindset, and a bold voice, someone who has worked in the school, directly with students, teachers, and staff, and someone who is interested in hearing from the community, making decisions in the best interest of the most valuable among us — our children.
• What do you believe to be the two biggest issues facing the Colfax school district?
School safety is a top issue and should be a top priority of our school board, as our kids deserve a safe environment. Safety includes two areas of focus — internal and external. In an era of school shootings nationwide, it’s imperative that our schools provide extensive security measures from external threats, to ensure the well being of everyone within the school walls. While our school has implemented some security measures and training, we need to continue being proactive by hiring a full time officer for our school. External threats might be rare, but internal safety issues are common. The most significant internal threat to our kids is peer bullying. If elected, I would like to work with administration in providing an anti-bullying program for our kids, to educate on the dangers of bullying, offer solutions, and teach peer support. This program would work hand in hand with our counseling department and have a positive impact on mental health as well.
Administration accountability is another important issue that needs to be addressed in our district. Admin has a unique role in which they are not only accountable to the board, but to the community, school staff, and parents. Staff retention, finances, how policies are being implemented, thorough communication, and active listening are admin responsibilities that the board needs to be reviewing on a regular basis. Current policy states that administration evaluates itself and presents the results to the board; however, a separate evaluation should be established whereas administration is also evaluated by school staff via anonymous surveys which the board distributes and collects annually.
• Anything else you would like voters to know?
The current school board has shown very little interest in community input over the last couple years. The fact that the board passed a policy amendment in 2021 to decrease public speaking time, shows their disregard for what Colfax citizens have to say. This is unacceptable, and if elected, I intend to address this issue with the board and work with them to encourage and include community interaction. My school board campaign website is — deniselsolberg.wixsite.com/denisesolbergcolfax