Eady challenges Bauer in Area 5 school board race

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There will be two contested Middleton-Cross Plains Area School Board races on the April 7 ballot. In Area 4, which includes the towns of Middleton and Westport, newcomers Todd Smith and Linda Yu will square off. In Area 5, the school board’s central district, incumbent Anne Bauer will be challenged by Tia Eady. In Area 1, newcomer Kelly Kalscheur filed to run unopposed. In Area 2, which includes Cross Plains, newcomer Sean Hyland filed to run unopposed.

Tia Eady, the challenger in Area 5, is the mother of two school-aged children who attend MCPASD schools. She is also a longtime volunteer.  

“We moved to Middleton in 2008 when my husband, Ray Eady, accepted a position at University of Wisconsin,” she said. “Our oldest son, Tyree, is a sophomore at Middleton High School, honor student and plays on the Varsity Boys Basketball team.  Our youngest son, Taylen, is in 3rd grade at Sunset Ridge, a great student, and loves being a Middleton Wing Hockey player.”

Eady graduated from Northeastern University in 1995 with an undergraduate degree in Computer Information Systems.  While in school, she led a math program at Mary McLeod Bethune Saturday Enrichment School for three years.  

She said she has been in the classroom in various roles for over 13 years to support our teachers and work with kids.  

Eady currently works at Cognizant Technologies as an Associate Director of the Global Automation team.   Working worldwide equips me to provide valuable insight to the districts global initiatives.

Area 5 incumbent Anne Bauer earned a Master of Education degree from Arizona State University and has what she called “practical classroom teaching experience in both general and special education settings.” 

“As a parent, I have been a weekly classroom support and special events volunteer for many years,” Bauer shared. “This experience has given me an opportunity to develop relationships, as well as to understand the challenges our educators face on a daily basis. Currently, I serve as board treasurer, which gives me unique perspective on the district’s finances.  I have also served our community as a trained volunteer in the role of Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) for abused and/or neglected children of Dane County.”

Eady said she is running for office to “bring a different and needed perspective to the board with respect to the districts goals around diversity and student achievement.”

Bauer said she is seeking re-election because her three years on the board have taught her “that working through challenges for the best interest of my children and yours is never ‘done.’” 

“I have experience to draw from now, allowing me to be a better board member with each issue I face,” Bauer said. “I have gained the respect of many fellow board members and was selected by them to serve as board treasurer.  This role has been a work in progress for me as I have taken on the task of learning school funding.”

According to Eady, the district’s biggest challenge today is “operating within the current state funding formula following unprecedented cuts.”

Eady wants to grapple with those cuts, while finding ways to close achievement gaps and support careers “of the future.”

“We have students with high absenteeism, reading challenges, and poor academic performance,” Eady explained.  “Our district needs expanded programs and ongoing staff development to effectively prepare all students for success.”

“Our students’ careers will be very different than the careers of today,” Eady continued. “ As community leaders, we need to better prepare our students with 21st Century skills required for future positions.”

Bauer believes the board “needs to continue to address our district’s achievement gap and determine what actions are working most effectively.”

“We need to support our staff through these many changes: Teacher Effectiveness evaluation process, Common Core, Badger Exam, etc.,” said Bauer. “We need to move forward in developing a new compensation model for our teaching staff in order to accurately express what a teacher can expect in salary on an annual basis moving forward.”

“School funding will definitely have an impact on our budget,” Bauer continued. She added that the board will need to be “vigilant” in maintaining an inclusive handbook process for employees.

Both Eady and Bauer believe the district is doing many things right.

“Our school board and administration work hard to ensure they make decisions in the best interest of the Middleton-Cross Plains Area students,” said Eady. “Our children are our biggest asset and number one priority.  Most recently, the work on employee handbooks has paved the way to show commitment and build trust with our staff. We have an enviable administrative team and outstanding teachers who need the board’s ongoing support.”

“The district leadership team has done a great job supporting the site-based decisions on addressing achievement gap issues while maintaining district wide approaches such as implementing and maintaining the community 4K programs and the District Equity Leadership Team (DELT),” added Bauer. “Our leadership team has selected and hired a very talented teaching staff.  Our students are held to a very high standard and our staff has done an amazing job working with student’s to realize those successes.   Finally, our district leadership team has worked hard to promote our district and highlight our strengths to the community through district communications on social media, school to parent email, and through newspaper and television sources.”

But there is always room for improvement, and both candidates outlined areas in which they believe Middleton-Cross Plains Schools can improve.

Eady declined to say what, if anything, the school board is currently doing wrong.

“I look forward to offering new ideas to expand the current programs to close the achievement gaps and to further address 21st Century skills,” Eady said.

Bauer, on the other hand, said she hoped to improve a “strained” relationship between teachers and district leadership.

“In considering what is the ideal environment for kids to learn, it is important to own the truth that we can always do better,” said Bauer. “Students thrive where the adults are engaged and modeling positive relationship building skills.  The relationship between many of our teaching staff and district leadership is very strained.  In my opinion, district leadership needs to be very conscious of the need to nurture these relationships in the process of moving beyond the past.  Our staff morale is quite low, as evidenced in the results of the survey last spring.  Focus needs to be placed on building trust and respect.  I want our district leaders to be the model for this behavior for the good of our students.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

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