FRANKLIN - With two seats on the ballot and three candidates looking to sit on the Franklin School Board, the April 4 election will leave one contender behind.
Both incumbents Tim Nielson and Linda Witkowski are running for the Franklin Public Schools Board of Education, along with new candidate Adam Scanlan. The two winners of the spring election will serve on the board for three-year terms.
To learn more about the individuals looking to serve Franklin schools, Now Newspapers asked each candidate about their desire to serve and their hopes for the future of the Franklin Public School District.
Some responses have been edited for length.
Why are you running?
Nielson: To continue my work of bringing real-world experience in the private sector as a business owner to the board room. I enjoy being one of seven community representatives working with our district administrative team to help shape the educational experiences of our youth.
Witkowski: I am running to support high expectations for our public schools in Franklin. As a school board member since 2008, I expect to build a strong partnership with parents, teachers and the community. I have been in Franklin for 30 years, and I am a parent of four F.H.S. graduates.
Scanlan: I am an active Franklin resident, father of three, and educationally active member as an administrator in Wisconsin. I bring the perspective of having been a teacher and a current assistant principal to help bridge gaps in understanding from the community, to the school, and to the board of education.
What is one area of Franklin Public Schools where you would like to see change or growth?
Nielson: I applaud our board's effort emphasizing the need to ensure Franklin High School graduates are college and career ready. It is my opinion all graduates need a solid understanding of personal finances. To that end, I would like to see more students take advantage of our Personal Finance class.
Witkowski: I would like to see greater involvement with the community including all residents and businesses. There has been tremendous change in recent years and there are more opportunities ahead that will require sustained engagement to inform the community and decision-makers about choices for the future.
Scanlan: I would like to see change and growth in FPS through our community outreach to prepare students in being both college- and career-ready. Funding comes from the state for graduates with certifications, and we should look at how we are structuring our curriculum and ensuring that graduates are well-prepared.
Plans are currently being developed for the new middle school. What sort of things would you advocate for, or like to see, in the new building?
Nielson: Inviting and open areas for collaborative learning across all subject areas; modern math and science labs; and safe and efficient traffic flow patterns. Site work designed for ample outdoor practice space and overall a building the community will be proud of for years to come.
Witkowski: The new building should include flexibility in classroom areas to allow collaborative but also personalized learning. The building should enhance security during the school day while allowing community access in the evenings and weekends. I would expect building systems and materials to generate energy efficiencies.
Scanlan: I would advocate for collaborative hands-on learning spaces, areas of use for the community, and fiscally responsible choices in material and structure that maintain a safe environment for our students and staff. Our new school should be sustainable and should proactively consider fluctuation of student body size for future decades.
Address: 7935 S. 67th St.
Political history: Franklin School Board, nine years; City of Franklin Finance Committee, two years
Phone number: 414-425-7735
Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Website: Facebook page, "Linda Witkowski for School Board"
Address: 4440 W. Central Ave.
Political history: No previous political background
Phone number: 414-791-0316
Email address: email@example.com
Twitter handle: @apks10
Website: Facebook page, "Adam P.K. Scanlan"
Address: 7826 Chapel Hill Court East
Political history: Franklin School Board, six years
Phone number: 414-529-5061
Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org