Is Change Good?

When things are sailing along smoothly, when there’s a proven solution to a problem, there is really no need to change direction, or reinvent the wheel. But when things aren’t working, when things go wrong, the only way to solve the problem, the only responsible thing to do is to examine what’s gone wrong. For several years, maybe more than that, it’s been smooth sailing for the Sevastopol School Board. Yes there are the challenges of school finance, finding enough space to properly educate all the students, providing the various services to a diverse population of children, and of course the increased reporting and testing requirements placed on schools by the state. With the support of the school board the Sevastopol staff and teachers have met those challenges and helped Sevastopol students succeed at high levels.

The ride for the last year or two has not been quite so smooth. Staff and teachers continued to serve students at high levels and students continue to succeed, but behind the scenes there has been fear, frustration, turmoil, mistrust and conflict. Concerns brought by large percentages of the staff and community were largely disregarded by some school board members. When teachers spoke of an intimidating culture created by a now-former school superintendent, it seemed some school board members simply wanted to push forward with a large building referendum. It seemed others had already made up their minds that the teachers had it all wrong and therefore no matter what they said it was considered invalid. It was like they were saying we have one way in which we operate and the way you are expressing yourself does not fit that mold.

Sometimes the mold needs to be broken. Sometimes a change of course is needed. Oftentimes fresh ideas, different outlooks, and new faces are what is needed to correct the path or right a ship. The Sevastopol School district is at a crossroads. Do we continue with the status quo, (think about what the district has been through the last year), or will we choose to change our representatives with common sense leaders who are seasoned at serving the community and who will offer a fresh start? Keith Volkmann and Tim Bley know that the best leaders listen to stakeholders, make swift decisions, and communicate things in a way that makes sense without alienating people. They understand that leaders allow those under them to feel empowered, involved and important which fosters a “work together” mentality. Keith Volkmann and Tim Bley understand not everyone can be happy with every decision; but everyone can be listened to and respected. Keith and Tim are leaders Sevastopol can count on to be fair, to be honest in their communication, to listen to everyone they represent, and who will understand when to stay the course or when to take action in order to preserve the best interest of the Sevastopol School and community.

Please vote for Keith Volkmann and Tim Bley on Aug. 23.


Mike and Connie Hafenbredl
Sturgeon Bay, Wis.

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