My name is Karen Shulman, I have been a family doctor with the Marshfield Clinic for 20 years and all three of my children attended Marshfield district schools from kindergarten through high school graduation.
I am running for school board because I know that our school system is second to none in the area and has always been a source of pride for Marshfield. Our schools represent one of the main reasons people are willing to relocate to rural Wisconsin: they know their kids will get a great public education, one that rivals almost any private offering. I wish to help maintain that quality which sets us apart and lends support to a thriving community.
Despite our many strengths, I do think we have areas requiring attention. The athletic facilities do need to be improved – we can no longer host track and field meets due to the poor condition of our track. Building better, safer venues will create more travel to Marshfield rather than away to other schools, bringing revenue into the city as well. Those who avail themselves of school choice may be more drawn to Marshfield if the athletic facilities are on par with our educational standards.
As for the education options, few can rival us in AP programming and extra-curricular events such as drama and science clubs, including the nationally victorious Ocean Bowl team, but opportunities for improvement always exist.
I think the system would benefit from expanding the languages program, and we may need to be creative in how we offer more advanced academic opportunities for those who desire them.
I think it’s important to be a voice for the “at risk” kids in the system. We need to ensure we have staff at the middle school who are tasked with identifying and assisting kids at risk academically, so they might be sent off to high school with an adequate foundation in reading, math, and writing skills. Similarly, the grade schools have seen declining numbers of aides in the classroom and this affects the teachers’ ability to focus more of their energies on the larger class. All kids deserve appropriate levels of intervention for their particular needs.
I believe that the listening skills honed in practice and my ability to communicate ideas will be valuable to the School Board, along with my leadership and community-building skills developed in service as medical director of the St. Vincent de Paul free medical clinic here in town. I strive to provide equal opportunity for everyone to be heard, helped and succeed.
My philosophy is that all education is valuable, and anything that interferes or acts to block free access to education/idea-sharing is to be resisted. Teaching our youth to develop a love for self-education and critical thinking is vitally important to the health and security of our society. I will support open discussion of ideas, reasoned
consideration of all options, and most of all, I will be guided by what, in the end, is the best for public education in Marshfield – strong teachers, supported students, and solid community engagement.
I thank you for your support and look forward to serving you as a School Board member.