Tags: Geneva Lake West, News Page
February 05, 2013 | 12:45 PMWALWORTH — When residents in the Big Foot High School district vote on a referendum, they will also choose a new school board member.
During the April 2 election, Bill Grunow's name will be on the ballot to fill a school board seat vacated by current school board president Ann Zubow.
"I had three terms on the school board, almost nine years," Zubow said. "I just felt like it was time to pass on to the next generation. Mr. Grunow stepped up. He's got children in school, so it just seemed like the time was right to make a change."
Grunow said he wanted to give back to the community by serving on the board.
"I thought it would be nice to be involved and just basically help provide a good education for everyone," he said. "I don't have any personal agenda, I just have goals of providing a top-notch education with the budget constraints that we've got. It's difficult to have both right now with the funding that's been tightened up the last few years."
Zubow said with the upcoming vote on a referendum for the school, it was important for a candidate to be "up to speed on all that."
"I think the referendum is definitely necessary for funding (the school)" Grunow said. "I know it's a tough sell in this economic climate we have. From how I've seen the finances of the high school, they were unable to maintain teachers' salaries (and) benefits as well as the physical school itself with the funding they currently have available to them."
With Zubow leaving, the school board will select its president, vice president and clerk at an organization meeting after the April election.
"I believe it's in May, that will be the last meeting where we rotate out," Zubow said. "I would presume that the vice president would want to (be president). Ed Hayden has been on, I believe this is starting his second term. He's very capable, very conscientious board member. He knows a bit about the parliamentary procedure that the school board uses. I would think we would be a good candidate for sure."
Besides her long tenure on the board, Zubow said she had difficulties attending all the board's obligations.
"I do travel a lot for work," she said. "Being away and having to work out of the country so much, I haven't missed too many meetings, but it's a reason as well."
Zubow was on the Reek School Board earlier in her career, she said.
"I was on (that board) for about 13 years, part of that time overlapped with the Big Foot board," she said. "For many years, I was on two school boards. That was a hectic schedule. I really enjoyed my time on the board, seeing academic progress on all levels is amazing."
She said she plans to stay involved with the school after leaving the board.
"I think the best thing that we've done is that we've really grown our overall student achievement," Zubow said.
"It's really progressed. We always have work to do. I'll always be involved, but for now, I don't see me going back on the school board."
Campaign and election
Grunow said he is depending on name recognition to elect him to the board.
"I don't really have a campaign," he said. "I've been a resident of this area. I was born, raised and grew up in this area. I'm fairly well known, so I'm assuming I'll get enough votes to secure a position."
He said he is trying to learn more about the board and getting to know the current members.
"I think, from what I've seen, they're a good group, working together for the same purpose," Grunow said. "There's no one that shows up with conflicts or agendas or anything like that."
Grunow has worked with board members before for volunteer efforts in the community, and he said he doesn't see any conflicts working with the board.