Four seeking three seats on Onekama school board

ONEKAMA — Four candidates have filed for petitions with the Manistee County Clerk’s office seeking the three four-year terms on the Onekama ConsolidateD Schools Board of Education.

There also is one partial term two-year term on the Onekama Consolidated Board of Education that will be expiring. No candidates have filed for that seat at this time.

Manistee County Clerk Jill Nowak said she checked with the State of Michigan following an inquiry from one of the four candidates to see if they could file for write-in status and still have their name on the ballot. However, she said it does raise some issues.

“If someone is on the ballot and they want to write-in for another position, they can do that,” said Nowak. “The law is silent to this situation so it is allowed. A couple issues with this though is it could ‘water down’ the number of votes he/she gets the full term because they might write the person in for the partial; it could confuse voters; and if the person wins both seats the candidate would have to decide which seat they want to get sworn in for. The  board of education would then still have to appoint a

DYE

DYE

person to one of the positions.”

The Manistee News Advocate asked the four candidates to respond, in 200 words or less, to three questions. Below are their responses.

MNA: Please introduce yourself and describe your background, professionally and personally.

DYE: My wife and I have been residents of Onekama since 2011 and we have two girls that attend the Leaps and Bounds program at OCS.

I am a 2005 graduate of Michigan Technological University with a BS in Mechanical Engineering and a minor in Communications. I am employed by Packaging Corporation of America where I am a member of the Maintenance / Reliability Team.

Having lived and worked in large metropolitan areas such as Detroit, Kalamazoo, and Chicago, I feel fortunate to be able to raise a family in such a beautiful area and have access to the excellent

HRACHOVINA

HRACHOVINA

teaching/administrative staff and facilities that OCS has to offer. I am currently serving the final year of a board position to which I was appointed, and look forward to serving a full four year term in the future.

HRACHOVINA: I hold an Associates Degree from West Shore Community College and a Bachelor’s of Business Administration Management, Human Resources, from Davenport University. I am currently the program and administrative assistant for the Manistee County Community Foundation.

MADDEN: I have been a property owner and resident of Onekama Consolidated Schools District for 19 years. After serving in the United States Air Force for nearly five years, I attended Wayne State University where I received a bachelor’s degree in education, a Master’s degree in Guidance and Counseling and post graduate work in education administration.

MADDEN

MADDEN

I worked for 34 years in the Detroit Public Schools as a classroom teacher in grades 3-8, a guidance counselor and as an administrator. At the time of my retirement I was the principal of a pre-K through grade 5 elementary school with an enrollment of approximately 850 children, 55 adult employees and a six million dollar budget.

For the past 13 years I have worked with the state’s Foster Care program as a volunteer with the Foster Care Review Board in Wayne County and now in northwest Michigan. My wife and I have four children and eight grand children. We enjoy traveling and living in Manistee County. I enjoy woodworking, bird watching and reading.

WISNISKI: I am a lifelong resident of our community and a graduate of Onekama. I am also a parent of both current students and a graduate of Onekama. I work for Munson Medical Center as the ultrasound coordinator.

MNA: Why are your running for the board of education and what qualities would you bring to the

WISNISKI

WISNISKI

board?

DYE: Education plays a vital role in forming children’s lives. I saw this firsthand growing up with a mother who was a teacher, followed by the current experiences of both sisters who are presently teachers.

As a high school student, I was present at several school board meetings and recognized the importance of a school board and its members in contributing to the well-being of a community and its members, most importantly the education of its students. I understand the dedication of members contributing their time and service. With all of the needed changes to help improve public education, I feel it is important to be an active supporter of our public school systems.

Having young children has reinforced this principle and deepened my interest in becoming more involved in the community. A quality school board member should exhibit leadership and have exemplary communication skills. My experiences throughout my education and career have helped me develop those skills and would make me a valuable asset to the board of education.

HRACHOVINA: The success of Onekama Consolidated Schools means a great deal to my family and to me. As a lifelong resident of Onekama and a 1998 graduate of OHS, Onekama Schools helped to shape who I am today. Additionally, my three children are presently students at Onekama, and I served as the school’s librarian and media center coordinator from 2010 to 2015.

My experience as a student, parent, and past employee of Onekama Consolidated Schools demonstrates my conviction and commitment to our school system. Furthermore, my role with the Manistee County Community Foundation affirms my belief in the power of positive action and coordinated vision in order to achieve great things for our community.

MADDEN: I am running for the Onekama board of education because I want to contribute to the education of young people in our community. I have always been a passionate supporter of public education and have spent my life advocating for children. Our public education system is the bedrock of our society and must be supported by it’s citizens if we are  to remain the great country that we are today. I will bring experience and commitment to the position of school board member.

WISNISKI: I have served the Onekama Board of Education for the past four years and have had a rewarding and enlightening experience. I have been an advocate for Onekama School for many years prior to my board experience.

I have been involved in several bond requests both successful and unsuccessful. I have listened to parents, teachers and staff as well as community members when there were concerns or issues and requested answers if I did not have enough information to answer. I am proud of our local school and want to see our students be a success in all that they do.

MNA: Explain how you plan to address the issues and/or improve your school district if elected.

DYE: If elected, I will strive to be an effective member of a “team” that consists of the OCS administration and board of education members. Throughout my career I have always taken the position that no matter how productive, streamlined, or efficient an organization is, there is always room for continuous improvement and refinement of operating procedures. With keeping student education at the forefront of all decisions, I hope to bring an open minded and un-biased approach to continue addressing issues and working with the OCS team.

HRACHOVINA: If chosen to serve on the school board, my focus would be on assuring that Onekama School remains committed to providing a high-quality education that prepares students for life beyond graduation. All decisions —staffing, programming, community extension — should maintain this focus on providing an excellent education to the children in our care.

MADDEN: If elected to this position I will focus on one criteria only; how does this effect the learning process? Everything the district does MUST be directed toward supporting the learning of children. I will do all I can to make sure that every dollar spent is spent wisely and effectively on the educational goals. I will also seek ways to increase the resources needed to achieve these goals.

WISNISKI: I would like to use the next four years to encourage our parents, school employees, board members and community members to look to the next level for support for students not only here in Onekama but our state. We have bound our teachers to teaching to testing and processing data to obtain or maintain funding for our school.

Our state needs to invest in our kids by funding education locally and equally. Our current system has so much inequality as well as requirements that has no funding attached. All of our students of our state deserve a good education, a school councilor or social worker who can find our at risk students and get them help.

I will be an advocate for getting the school funding study attention by our local and state leaders. We need to fund our schools for what they are truly doing as well as funding them equally throughout the state.

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Posted by Ken Grabowski

Ken is News Advocate’s education reporter. He coordinates coverage for all Manistee County schools and West Shore Community College. He can be reached by phone at (231) 398-3125 or by email at kgrabowski@pioneergroup.com.

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