Three candidates for two seats on PdC School Board

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Lynn O'Kane

Cassie Hubanks

Duane Rogers

 

There are three candidates running for two seats on the Prairie du Chien School Board in the spring election on April 2. The three seats are all for three-year terms. The top two vote getters will be elected.

The candidates are incumbent Lynn O’Kane, incumbent Cassie Hubanks and former school board member Duane Rogers.

The following are the biographies and statements by each candidate.

 

Lynn O’Kane

Lynn O’Kane has been a Prairie du Chien School District School Board member since 2012. Lynn is employed by the Department of Corrections, Prairie du Chien Correctional Institution, as a social worker for 21 years and is currently a substance use disorder social worker. Lynn is a lifetime Crawford County resident. She grew up in Eastman and attended Eastman Grade School and graduated from Prairie du Chien High School. Lynn’s husband Marvin owns and operates O’Kane Plumbing LLC, along with their son Dustin. Son Tyler is employed at Dillman Equipment, a division of Astec, Inc. Daughter Megan is a sign language interpreter for the Boscobel School District. Daughter Kylee is currently a junior at Prairie du Chien High School.

As a school board member my number one priority is to oversee the development of students as they prepare for a fulfilling and productive life. Today’s students represent tomorrow’s future. I believe Prairie du Chien School District including The Mighty River Academy of Virtual Education, has much to offer. Our schools have received awards such as Bluff View, Wisconsin School of Recognition, 2012-2014 and US News & World Report Best High School 2012 - 2016, and we are reaching the point of completing our capital improvement project. All three of our schools have received some type of facility upgrades or additions. It is time to revisit the school district vision so all stakeholders — teachers, students, their families and community members — continue to work together.

Having a fiscally healthy district is always my top concern. Instructional expenses, school operation and overhead costs are all very expensive.   As a school board member, I will continue to support conservative strategic planning to reduce expenditures without impacting our schools’ core programming. I support the school board goal to build and maintain a combined fund balance without raising the school tax levy. Increased enrollment, increased student achievement and increased community involvement are all important and ongoing issues. Relevant topics such as school safety, tobacco free schools and student and staff wellness are at the forefront.

I believe there are many good things going in the Prairie du Chien School District people may not be aware of. Please ask questions, come visit our schools and attend our school board meetings. I am proud to say that I have been involved in changes that have taken place during the last seven years. With that, I feel my background and experience has much to offer. Please vote April 2, 2019.

 

Cassie Hubanks

Cassie Hubanks was elected to the school board in the spring of 2015.

Hubanks is the recreation and aquatics manager for the city of Prairie du Chien.

The Prairie du Chien School District has so much to be highlighted, continued efforts to maintain and share the great things the administrative team, teachers, support staff, and students are doing are the biggest concerns. According to the DPI, we are above state average in all priority area scores. These areas include student achievement, graduation rate gaps, graduation rate, attendance rate, and several other areas on our annual report card. Our schools’ prevention and intervention strategies to maintain and grow these numbers involve more than excellently rated district report card scores and excellent academic instruction, it also includes implementing programming that fosters a supportive environment for all youth focusing on strengths and positive reinforcement. For example, our schools have student empowerment models, staff personal and professional growth opportunities, peer modeling groups (3K at BAK, Sore Core at Bluff View, and Sources of Strength at the high school), and programming and education strategies targeting all of our students with the intention that they not only graduate successfully, but to prepare them for entering the world more prepared than ever. Our students are ready to enter the workforce with experience in the skills and manufacturing trade as well as post secondary education preparedness such as the ability to enter college with college credits, etc. We pride ourselves in being innovative and innovation has continued to progress for our diverse population of students. The school supports students in other ways, we have counselors in all three schools, life skills programs in middle school and high school, and an outpatient counseling opportunity, held within the school and offered at all three schools. Beyond academics, we have continued our trend in innovation by expanding offerings at our school by adding a Center for the Arts, gymnasium space, Orchestra Club, Future Business Leaders of America Club, and Gay/Straight Alliance Club, to name a few. The district will rely on the continued support of the community, local businesses, administration’s guidance, teachers, staff, and volunteers to continue to maintain our excellent DPI score, wide ranged academic offerings, and a safe and supportive environment for all students.

 

Duane Rogers

My name is Duane Rogers and I’m running for one of the two open school board seats in the Prairie du Chien School District. I currently am the senior vice president of business development for Peoples State Bank. For the past nine years, I have been a county board supervisor for Crawford County serving as chairman of the finance committee as well as a member of the personnel committee. I am also president of Driftless Development Inc., a regional entity working to improve the economic vitality of our region. I’m a member of the redevelopment authority board for the city of Prairie du Chien. Most recently, I have been appointed a member of the board for Opportunity Enterprises. I received my Master of Science degree from Purdue University. I am married to Dr. Misty Lemon-Rogers, a business professor at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville.  We have one daughter who is a junior at Prairie du Chien High School.

I’m running as a candidate for the Prairie du Chien School Board because I feel my experience on local boards and in particular my experience as chairman of the finance committee can be beneficial to the school district. One of the difficulties our local school district has encountered over the past few years is maintaining a balanced budget. All too often our district has operated at a deficit, which has resulted in a dwindling of its reserve funds.  I would like to work with the current board and administration to find ways to not only balance the budget but to begin to rebuild its reserve funds so the district has the financial flexibility to handle future financial challenges.

Another one of my goals will be to search for ways our school district can continue to be efficient and effective at improving student achievement results so our children can be ready to embrace their future in an ever changing and complex world. Finding new ways to work with our existing businesses so that those students who do not plan to further their education in a college setting can find gainful, meaningful employment right here in our local community. Strengthening the school-to-work pathways can help our local businesses who increasingly are finding it hard to find employees to help their businesses succeed. I’m also excited about the possibilities that technology can provide in the learning process for our district. In closing, I hope you will consider voting for me on April 2.

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