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Luxemburg-Casco Board of Education plays critical role in the success of the district and its students

This week – October 1-7, 2023 – has been designated as Wisconsin School Board Week by the Wisconsin Association of School Boards (WASB). The goal is to build awareness and understanding of the vital function that the school board plays in education.

Luxemburg-Casco is joining public school districts across the state to honor local board members for their commitment to the community and its children. School board positions, which typically offer little recognition while requiring hours and hours of work, are

Members of the Board of Education are (L-R), front row, Kollross, Spude, Salentine; back row, Berceau,Delain, Mleziva, Jonet.

instrumental in the success of a school district.

“Strong schools are the best way to build a strong community,” says District Superintendent Jo-Ellen Fairbanks, Ph.D. “Our Board of Education members devote untold hours to make sure that our schools help every child learn at the highest level and reach his or her potential. They are regularly faced with tough decisions while being accountable to the citizens of our community.

“While we are showing our appreciation to board members this week, their contributions and commitment occur year-round."
Members of the Board of Education for the Luxemburg-Casco School District are:

•President Linda Jonet (member since 2013), a retired educator who spent 42 years as a teacher, including 35 at L-C;
•Vice President Bob Berceau (member since 2017), who is self-employed and a former coach in the district for 24 years;
•Clerk Dave Delain (member for 15 non-consecutive years since 2007), owner of an insurance agency and a former educator;
•Treasurer Jenny Salentine (member since 2020), Kewaunee County Promotions & Recreation Office, Kewaunee County Highway Dept. and partner in Salentine Homestead Dairy;
•Alex Mleziva (member since 2020), a truck driver;
•Brandi Kollross (member since 2023), senior financial analyst for a local bank; and
•Travis Spude (member since 2021), owner of Spude’s Mill Equipment.

Board of Education members choose to be on the board for the impact they can make on the local community and its youngest citizens.

“I serve for the kids,” says Jonet. “Education is a promise to our kids and future. I want to see the good things happening at L-C continue.”

“I want to see the community thrive,” adds Delain. “As a former teacher, I think I have a lot of insight and wisdom I can offer.”

Berceau says that his interest in participating on the Board of Education was piqued when the district was approaching a key referendum on facilities in 2017, which subsequently passed, allowing the district to have the high-end facilities it enjoys today.

For several on the Board of Education, their service also is personal. Salentine, Mleziva, Kollross and Spude all have children who currently are students in the district.

“I chose to become involved because I have two daughters in the district and thought it was important to have input in the educational process,” says Spude.

“With kids in the district, being on the school board is a great way to serve the community,” adds Kollross.

WASB describes a school board’s responsibility as establishing goals, setting policy and overseeing resources for the school district, specifically:
•Creating a vision for what the community wants the school district to be and for making student achievement the top priority;
•Establishing standards for what students will be expected to learn and be able to do;
•Ensuring progress is measured to be sure the district’s goals are achieved and students are learning at expected levels;
•Being accountable for their decisions and actions by continually tracking and reporting results;
•Creating a safe, orderly climate where students can learn and teachers can teach;
•Forming partnerships with others in the community to solve common problems; and
•Focusing attention on the need for continuous improvement by questioning, refining and revising issues related to student achievement.

Academic performance by the Luxemburg-Casco School District has been ranked near the top among the 38 school districts of the Cooperative Educational Service Agency for Northeast Wisconsin (CESA 7), based on the District Report Cards of the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI). L-C has been one of the top four CESA 7 districts in Math and English Language Arts (ELA) each of the last three years that DPI reported test scores.

The district’s Achievement score of 80.5 in the most recent DPI report cards put it among the top seven percent of Wisconsin districts.

At the individual school level, L-C High School in 2023 was ranked as a Top 10 high school in metro Green Bay, and 58 percent of its juniors and seniors participate in Youth Apprenticeship.

The Middle School opened its new educational building in 2020, featuring science classrooms with labs and a modern culinary lab, along with art and technology-education rooms. Its Math and ELA Achievement was more than 20 points above the state average in the latest DPI report cards.

The Intermediate School has been ranked as a Top 30 educational building in the state of Wisconsin each of the past two years, while ranking in the 97th percentile in Achievement in the most recent DPI report cards.

The Primary School, which offers small classroom sizes, features distinctive programs in world languages, computer science and art, plus the availability of Early Childhood Special Education.

The National School Boards Association (NSBA) adds that school board members “are elected by people in the community to represent their values, views and desires for the public schools in their district. As selected leaders in their community, they consistently communicate with the public to keep community members abreast of challenges, ideas and progress…They are advocates for students and their parents and entrusted to engineer a better future.”

Members of the Luxemburg-Casco Board of Education take their responsibilities seriously.

“We have to find ways to educate our kids at a lower cost,” says Jonet.

“We have to get and keep our budget under control,” adds Berceau. “It’s important to make sure that we’re fiscally responsible for the community.”

“Making sure that we hire good teachers is an important aspect of our work,” says Kollross.

A robust curriculum with a high level of student achievement, along with fiscal responsibility, are the pillars of a successful school board. Members of the Luxemburg-Casco Board of Education take pride in the district’s accomplishments and want the community to feel the same way.

“We really should be proud of what we have here,” says Delain. “We are an exceptional district.”

“Our students are getting the best education possible,” adds Jonet.

“The board cares deeply for the district and wants to keep moving forward with our curriculum, particularly Youth Apprenticeship,” says Mleziva.

“We are committed to bettering the entire educational process,” adds Spude. “We now are seeing some of our programs being recognized.”

“Our district values our dedicated staff – their hard work does not go unrecognized,” says Salentine. “Luxemburg-Casco is a great place to be for our students, staff and community.”

Delain shares the ultimate factor in the success of the Board of Education, saying, “Our community is pro-education and committed to it.”

That commitment from the community, along with the dedication of Board of Education members, has translated into the continuing success of the Luxemburg-Casco School District.