The Kenosha Unified School Board is expected to interview 13 candidates after a former board member who initially expressed interest dropped out of the running this week.
The board will conduct interviews Thursday night before appointing a new member to fill the vacancy left by the departure of Dan Wade. Wade announced June 10 that he was resigning at the end of the month due to health reasons. His last day was Wednesday.
The board is scheduled to meet at 5 p.m. Thursday at the Educational Support Center, 3600 52nd St., to interview the candidates in two rounds.
All candidates will be interviewed in round one. The board will then narrow the field to three candidates who will participate in a second round of interviews before deciding who will fill the vacancy.
Falkofske drops out
Last week, 14 candidates submitted their letters of interest in running for the open position. Kenosha resident Mike Falkfoske, an analyst for MGP Inc., who previously served one term from 2015-2018, asked to be removed, according to a list update from School Board Secretary Stacy Stephens sent Wednesday.
In his correspondence sent to Stephens Tuesday, Falkofske asked that his name be taken off the list saying that after reviewing the revised Spring Election date he realized he could not commit to the time required to be a board member and run an election campaign. Initial information to candidates indicated that the person appointed would serve a term through April 2023, however, Wade’s term is due to expire in 2022. School Board members earn an annual stipend of $6,500.
Kyle Flood, of Kenosha, who previously served one term is the sole former board member on the revised list. Flood, senior organizer for the super PAC For Our Future, previously served from 2013-2016. He opted not to run for School Board in order campaign for a seat on the Kenosha City Council, but was not successful.
Flood also campaigned a year ago for a seat on the board.
Three spring candidates
Also vying for the open seat are Valerie Douglas of Kenosha, an educator and long-time substitute teacher; Brooks Litz, of Pleasant Prairie, a retired firefighter/paramedic for the City of Zion; and Eric Meadows, also of Pleasant Prairie, a project/process improvement manager.
The three were candidates for School Board in the April election and have applied for possible appointment to fill the vacancy.
New to the process
Wade’s resignation also elicited response from a large number of newcomers to the process — nine who have not been candidates for the board of education in the past. They include:
Aziz Al-Sager, Kenosha, a funeral director at Casey Family Options.
John Bush, Kenosha, a Carthage College student studying political science and former campaign manager for School Board member Todd Alan Price.
Genevieve Gagliardi Gerou, Kenosha, a local artist.
Jonathon Kim, Kenosha, owner of United States Taekwondo Academy.
Patrick A. Langston II, Kenosha, owner of Kenosha Beauty Supply and one time budget analyst U.S. Military Entrance Processing Command.
Sarah Rendulic, Kenosha, a registered nurse.
Matthew Richer, Kenosha, attorney, U.S. Army Reserve Judge Advocate General’s Corp.
Atifa Robinson, Kenosha, community strategist for Kenosha’s Lifecourse Initiative for Healthy Families.
And Samuel Roochnik, Kenosha, Indian Trail High School and Academy math teacher
Two years ago, the board appointed Yolanda Santos Adams, currently School Board president, from a field of nine candidates, to fill the vacancy left by Gary Kunich, who had moved out of the district.
WATCH NOW: Spring 2021 Kenosha Unified School Board candidates introduce themselves
Six candidates are vying for three seats on the Kenosha Unified School Board in the April 6 election.
The six candidates running for office are: Incumbent Mary Braun Modder of Somers; Valerie Douglas of Kenosha; Eric Meadows of Pleasant Prairie; Brooks Litz of Pleasant Prairie; incumbent Todd Battle of Kenosha; and Todd Price of Kenosha.
Kenosha Unified School Board seats each have terms that last three years and those up for election this spring would then expire in the spring of 2024. Board members earn a yearly stipend of $6,500.
The Kenosha Unified School District encompasses the City of Kenosha and the Village of Pleasant Prairie east of I-94, and the Village and Town of Somers.