KEWASKUM — Monday will bring four candidates before the Kewaskum School District’s Board of Education for interviews, but the district superintendent said he also hopes it brings stability and shifts the focus back to students and their families.
Superintendent James Smasal said the board policy is to replace a vacancy within 60 days, which means the next regularly scheduled meeting, in September, will include a new face.
“It is a state statute and subsequent board policy put it in place because of that a few years ago, as well as because of unscrupulous board political behavior,” Smasal said. “ (Board President Mark) Sette and the school board don’t have any choice but to vote and name someone.”
Smasal said there is no wiggle room here — there are rules and laws to follow, which will be seen all the way through.
“This is the democratic process, it’s the way we do things, and there’s nothing wrong with that,” Smasal said.
When Jay Fisher sent a letter to the board in July stating he could no longer serve because he was moving outside the district, the board quickly began accepting applications for the vacancy. Neal Weare and Mary Miller both have prior board experience, while for Dennis Aupperle and Wayne Sargent, it would be their first time serving the district in this capacity.
Each of the current board members can cast one vote, and if they cannot decide on one of the four candidates, then and only then can the board president appoint a replacement. Sette is in charge of the interview process, Smasal said, and he will consult with legal counsel to ensure everything is by the books.
“On Monday they will interview the candidates, consider them all equally, and decide who they all think can do the best job, who they want to support,” Smasal said. “As far as I know, there has been no conversation or communications outside the board meetings, because that would not be appropriate, so there’s no indication
how they feel right now, and honestly it’s too early to cast judgments.”
The board has been split from time to time on certain issues, so this replacement may be more important than some realize, Smasal said.
“So this is obviously a huge vote to determine the majority of the board,” he said. “I just hope the board votes with their heart and who they think is best for the job, for the district.”