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by | Mar 11, 2016 | 8 comments

Greendale voters will go to the polls on April 5 in what is likely to be one of the most watched Village elections in many years. There are five candidates for Greendale’s Village Board and four candidates for the Greendale school board. Many voters have been wondering where the candidates stand on the issues. In an email interview with each candidate, Everything Greendale asked identical questions. The Q&A interviews will be published in their entirety over the coming days. In the second of a nine part series, Everything Greendale interviews School Board candidate Mary Grogan.

Greendale voters will go to the polls on April 5 in what is likely to be one of the most watched Village elections in many years. There are five candidates for Greendale’s Village Board and four candidates for the Greendale school board. Many voters have been wondering where the candidates stand on the issues. In an email interview with each candidate, Everything Greendale asked identical questions. The Q&A interviews will be published in their entirety over the coming days. In the second of a nine part series, Everything Greendale interviews School Board candidate Mary Grogan.

Q: What are the three biggest challenges facing the school district?

This question should be posed by the new Superintendent to parents, students, teachers, administrators and residents.   Once that data is collected, it should be presented to the School Board, by the Superintendent. The data should be prioritized and aligned with the District’s Strategic Plan. With this information, the School Board can then act.

It appears that the three biggest challenges facing the school district are: increasing transparency, the community working together to honor the Veterans with a Memorial, and the School Board consistently collaborating with the community. In short, coming together as a community by building trust, increasing communication and working together.   The only way to verify and clarify potential challenges would be with a 360 survey.

Q: How would you improve the relationship between the Village and schools?

Each School Board Member has only one vote and one voice, but improving any relationship  involves: clearing the air, improving communication, resolving to bury the past and begin again.  It is in the best interest of both Boards to get along.  Every effort should be made to increase contact and communication between the two Boards, with the intent of resolving any personal or professional conflict as quickly, thoroughly and permanently as possible.

Q: Do you support removing voting from Greendale school buildings now that the school district has adjusted their calendar during elections?

It’s my understanding that this issue has been resolved.

Q: What ideas do you have that improve the school district?

This question seems similar to question number one.  Greendale High School is ranked #11 in the state, which is something to celebrate.  Researching what is going on at high school  #1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10 would provide a list of improvements for The Greendale School District to discuss with the Superintendent and the community.

Q: Would you support school district plans for a referendum to support improvements to school buildings and facilities?

A referendum must have voter support.  If the residents of Greendale want a referendum, I would support it.  My job as a School Board Member is to bring the voters’ voices to the School Board table.

Q: Which Greendale community leader (elected or otherwise) do you respect, and why?

This is a very difficult question to answer, as there are several. Bob Rundle, my former boss at Greendale Park and Recreation comes to mind, as do the founding families of Greendale Twi-night.  However, I have enormous respect for The Department of Public Works:  the Greendale Educators, the Greendale Police and Fire Fighters, and Public Health Nurses, because they work day in and day out, making Greendale great.

Bio from the Candidate

I grew up in Greendale in both the “S” section and Overlook Farms. During my 25 years away, I have built a unique resume. The combination of my hometown roots and my vast experience makes me a strong School Board Candidate. Most recently, I served on a School Board in Sauk County, during the Walker Recall election. Nothing was quite as exciting or quite as challenging.

I look forward to bringing my time, talent and experience back home to Greendale. I would be happy to provide a copy of my resume to any interested voters. I have already provided a copy to the Forum Hosts and Everything Greendale. In short, I have “tasted every piece of the Education pie:” K-12 from Milwaukee Public Schools — to Homeschooling — to rural Public — to Private Catholic — to the School Board table.  I have done so as a Parent, as a Teacher and as a Resident.  This puts me in a unique position to give back to the community I grew up in.

Three Biggest Challenges

“It appears that the three biggest challenges facing the school district are: increasing transparency, the community working together to honor the Veterans with a Memorial, and the School Board consistently collaborating with the community.” — Mary Grogan

Voting in Schools

“It’s my understanding that this issue has been resolved.” — Mary Grogan

Support of a Referendum

“If the res­i­dents of Green­dale want a ref­er­en­dum, I would sup­port it.  My job as a School Board Mem­ber is to bring the vot­ers’ voices to the School Board table.” — Mary Grogan

About The Author

Bill Attewell

Bill Attewell is the editor and publisher of Everything Greendale. He has over 20 years experience as an award-winning newspaper editor, writer and publisher. His work has been read in in over 50 publications across the U.S. and abroad. Bill is a long-time resident of Greendale and a Greendale High School alum. Go Panthers!

8 Comments

  1. factnotfiction

    Ms. Grogan’s responses are essentially devoid of any substance. If she thinks that voting in schools is resolved, she has not been keeping up on the news. Plus, she never answered the question “do you support removing voting from the schools.” There are strong views both ways. What are hers? She punted there. The school district no longer owns the property upon which the veterans memorial is to be built and has no role in its construction. That’s between the Village board and the Memorial committee. How is that a top three challenge facing the school district? I would think that doing more with less given the state cuts, continued student success and retaining our excellent faculty would be more important. She never explains her school board experience in Sauk Prairie. What did she do? How long was she on the board? What would she take from her experience there if she was elected to the board here? Does she have children in the district? What does she do for a living? What specific problem is there between the school board and the village board? Clearing the air about what? Lots of unanswered questions and no real substantive ideas of what she would do the same or differently from the current board. Ron Barbian did a good job explaining his positions in his profile. Let’s hope the other candidates do the same.

    • Ann

      What is the school board’s position on voting in the schools?

      This issue isn’t going away until they state what they think.

      Why won’t they resolve this matter?

      They could by saying they intend to move voting out of the schools or to keep voting in the schools.

      Their reluctance to take any stand is exactly the problem with them. They have no backbone.

      • factnotfiction

        Why won’t this candidate state her opinion on this or anything else? The purpose of the questions was to flush out opinions of the candidate. She said nothing of substance. It’s not the school district’s issue alone to resolve. There are federal, and local issues that pertain to elections. The school board can’t do anything on this issue unilaterally. Slogans are not substance.

        • Dinkfester

          So Right FNF! TAKE BACK GREENDALE!!!

          WE the PEOPLE demand the Board of Education move voting out of the schools NOW!!!!

          Highland View Parents aren’t going to let up till the school board does what is right for OUR KIDS!

          Read Slota’s double talk and kick him out!

  2. community Radical

    Didn’t know much about this individual.

    She could change up the make up of the school board for the better.

    Signs are popping up of a wave of new life on the Board of Education. We had made up our mind to vote for new candidates and now know we have two good alternatives to what are there now.

    Isn’t it Albert Schweitzer that says insanity is expecting different outcomes when you keep doing the same thing?

    • factnotfiction

      Just found out that this candidate home schooled her kids. Don’t know if she has school age kids in Greendale or if this was in Sauk Prairie. That’s a pretty big omission.

  3. Heather

    Wish I lived in Greendale!!! I would be your biggest supporter!!! Anyone blessed to have Mary in their corner will benefit greatly from her experience and passion. Vote Grogan!

  4. Jess

    This candidate sounds like the common sense school board member our district desperately and badly needs. Didn’t know much about her before, but I am impressed! Thank you for running Ms. Grogan.

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