Responses from Gibraltar School Board Candidates

Five people are running for three seats on the Gibraltar School Board. Lynn Herman and Mike Ashley are newcomers, and the other three are incumbents Lynnea Hickey, Martha Luber Pelrine and Mark Weborg. All five responded to 10 questions from the Peninsula Pulse. Here are there responses to some of those questions. See all the responses at

1. What motivates you to be on the school board?

2. What kind of relationship should the district and school board have with its community?

3. What is the greatest challenge facing the Gibraltar School District that the school board can have a role in, and how should the board deal with that challenge?

Mike Ashley

1. Helping our children receive the best education and best opportunities possible is a huge motivating factor. I also think it is time for some fresh ideas and perspectives.

2. The district and school board need to have an open and honest relationship with the community. This is the only way we can work together to better our school.

3. I think the greatest challenge is keeping the support of the community.

Lynn Herman

1. I am motivated to be on the school board because I am eager to continue to impact the lives of Gibraltar students. I taught at Gibraltar School for the last 14 years. Throughout this period I was able to make improvements to the district as an effective educator. I actively reinstated the Honors English 9 after it was dropped. I implemented a strong district Enrichment program as the Enrichment Coordinator that provided challenging curriculum to all students. I focused on meeting individual students’ needs, whether it meant extending the curriculum to challenge or reinforcing basic concepts to mastery level. I served on the Student Learning Committee for four years discussing curriculum, deliberating best instructional practices, and advocating for attainable academic standards. My goal was to assist and inspire students to succeed and promote self-confidence. Retirement allows me the time to continue the passion I have for helping students achieve but now at the school board level. My dedication and commitment will carry forward by continuing to keep the focus on what is best for the students. I am running because I care about the students of Gibraltar.

2. There should be more inclusion of the community. The district is made up of different interested groups:  administration, board members, teachers, parents, and community members. Each group has a unique contribution to make toward the betterment of the school. One way to promote respect between all is by including representatives from all groups on decision-making committees. The community deserves respect for their input. They see the results of certain policies or actions taken by the school that others wouldn’t see. The board deserves respect for decisions that are made in the best interest of the school but with open and honest communication. Student welfare and advancement in decision-making should include everyone.

3. The greatest challenge for the district right now is the loss of revenue. The only fix for that is an awareness of fiscal responsibility. I may sound like a broken record, but that is the answer. There is also the issue of declining enrollment. Currently, Gibraltar has the reputation of one of the best schools in the state. This reputation draws new families to our district. We need to protect our reputation. Hiring high quality staff, implementing unique course offerings, and involving the community to provide exceptional enrichment opportunities will continue to draw new families. The board can assist in initiating these opportunities. Careful consideration of new staff members is part of the board’s responsibility. They can also be involved in recruiting people to come into the school to present enrichment activities. Our community has great networking possibilities.

Lynnea Hickey

1.  To advocate for kids and families to receive the best education our community can provide to become productive citizens in a global society.

2. A relationship that has open and honest communication that is responsive to the needs of students and families. Building relationships with all stakeholders in the community is central to addressing the challenges that we face in public education. A relationship built on trust and respect will bring a joint commitment to the vision of the district.

3. The greatest challenge at present is the state budget as presented will have an impact on the school district. We need to be vigilant and proactive with our local representatives and the legislature. We have already met with Mr. Kitchens and are members of the fair aid coalition which continues to advocate for small districts. These are initial steps in meeting that challenge.

Martha Luber Pelrine

1. I feel it is a critical time for public schools in Wisconsin. Public education is so strained in Wisconsin at this time with funding cuts, new unfunded mandates, required testing, data collection, and more. As a state we need to constantly strive to improve all public schools instead of further diluting the pot of state aid and freezing/ cutting the revenue cap. A high quality public school system is important for Wisconsin’s future and Gibraltar School is a critical key to a robust Northern Door community. We need to keep it an exceptional school.

2. The relationship should be one of transparency and open communication – both ways. Although it has been a difficult several months on the school board, I welcome the fact that public attendance of the meetings is way up. This can only help to improve things.

3. One of the major challenges is finding our way in the post Act 10 environment. A big part of this is the relationship between employees and employer with the absence of union contracts and navigating the new world of the educator effectiveness system. It is a huge change for both groups and I hope we can turn the page together to do what is best for the school and community. The board is elected to make the big decisions, but we must listen to all the stakeholders first.

Mark Weborg

1. I believe the biggest reason is my desire to see all children succeed in their education and the joy to see them enter school as little tots and become responsible adults in the work force.

2. We should make it very well known that great things are happening at their school and encourage them to come and see the many wonderful things the students and staff are accomplishing.

3. Because of circumstances of the last year we need to work with the community and the staff to refocus our efforts to bring unity to the school atmosphere.