District 834 Q&A: Michael Ptacek (incumbent)District 834 School Board candidate Michael Ptacek's responses to a Q&A.
Name: Michael Ptacek
Education: Bachelor of Science, Master of Science, PhD from University of Wisconsin-Madison
Occupation: Previously worked as teacher, principal, curriculum director, education consultant, and post-secondary educator. Currently retired.
Family: Wife, Jude; daughter Christi; and son Benjamin.
Civic involvement: Member of Youth Alcohol & Drug Partnership; Member of Steering Committee; secretary of Church Administrative Council; secretary of Valley Outreach board; volunteer; Member of District 834 School Board for four years as School Board member, two years as vice-chair.
The Bulletin asked District 834 School Board candidates the following questions:
1. What do you see as the major issues facing District 834?
2. If the district should find itself in another budget deficit, would you be in favor of going out for a levy referendum? If not, what would you cut?
3. How can the district incorporate technology into the classroom?
1. The greatest challenge facing the school district is providing a quality educational program for all students while being fiscally prudent and respecting the taxpayers and the financial constraints under which we operate. The present state funding formula has not kept pace with inflation, and schools are being asked to do more with fewer resources. Meanwhile, our population is aging and fewer community members have a direct connection with the K-12 public schools.
The challenge is to continually maximize efficiencies, while capitalizing on “the best practices and research based decision-making” in the delivery of a sound and effective education.
2. Last spring the Stillwater School Board had to make $6.4 million in budget adjustments for the 2012-13 school year after a failed levy. Next year the present operating levy runs out. In order to continue at the present level of services, the district voters need to decide whether they are willing to renew the present operating level. I would support a levy increase if there was a demonstrated need and there appeared significant voter support for such a request.
3. Twenty-first century educators realize students entering the classroom today are much different. To make authentic and relevant connections with these students, educators need to adapt strategies. With the resources available today, including interactive software, digital imaging, audio and video creation tools, on demand video sources, computers and LCD projectors, and Web 2.0 tools, the biggest challenge becomes choosing which tools to use and how to integrate them into the classroom. It is the greatest time in history to be in the classroom. Learning technology is changing at an exponential rate, and our students have the potential to thrive with it.
Michael Ptacek is an incumbent for District 834 School Board .