Over the next several weeks, leading up to the April 7 elections for Marshfield Common Council and School Board, Hub City Times will interview the candidates running for those offices so that readers may learn more about who is running and what they stand for. This week we interviewed Marshfield School Board candidate Frances Bohon.
Hub City Times: What in your view is the duty of a school board member?
Frances Bohon: The duty of a school board member is to provide our students with the best education possible, in partnership with parents, teachers and staff, and the community. This is done in the context of educational goals that allow each student to do their best. School board members function as a whole board to give vision and direction, set policy, and allocate resources to achieve educational goals. So, a school board member has a duty to first watch out for the best interests of our students and second to be accountable to the taxpayers in the use of resources provided for student education.
HCT: What is the biggest challenge that the school board will face in the near future?
FB: The biggest challenge is always to stay focused on the kids and continuous improvement as we navigate the changes in funding, laws and requirements, technology, and all the other demands of our world. That challenge will not be met in a school board bubble. It can only be met effectively by partnering with parents, staff, and the community. We need to retain excellent teachers and staff and provide a safe and encouraging learning environment. We need to be accountable to the taxpayers and involve the community in decisions regarding large funding changes.
HCT: What qualifies you to be a member of the Marshfield School Board?
FB: I value education and the ability it has given me to deal with the challenges of life. As the mother of five children, grandmother of four, and having had foster children, I understand the uniqueness of each child with their variety of talents and needs. I believe that all children need a solid educational foundation and can develop inquisitive minds and a joy of learning. Those characteristics will serve them well at any ability level.
Board members also need to be students by engaging in professional development and studying issues in order to make wise decisions. In the years I have served on the board, I have taken advantage of opportunities to see what is going on in our local classrooms as well as attending regional meetings and state conventions. From 2004-2010, I served on the state council that oversees teacher licensure as one of two board members serving by legislative appointment. I have also represented us at the Wisconsin Association of School Boards’ “Day at the Capitol.”
Finally, I bring a broad educational and work background to the table. My husband and I are small business owners, and I have previous work experience as an oncology nurse and as a civil litigation attorney.