I have been very concerned about the recent media attacking three of the Wausau School Board candidates. Jon Creisher, Karen Vandenberg and Cody Nikolai have been inappropriately smeared and maligned “… by people who oppose their platform, which relies in part on a strong desire for in-person learning in all Wausau Schools.”* This has no place in a non-partisan election.
As acting School Board members, we received multiple emails and heard from hundreds of sincere citizens representing both sides of the in-person student issue while the Board was deadlocked on the issue. Creisher, Vandenberg and Nikolai were strong advocates for the reopening. They clearly articulated the problems with the School Board decisions that impacted the community and their own children. Their communications to the Board were passionate, articulate, well researched, courteous and compelling and are public record. Rather than simply focus on a single issue they also emphasized the mental health and learning consequences to students and families.
I have known Karen Vandenberg for many years. I did, in fact, suggest a couple of years ago that she consider running for School Board. She is a model of positive leadership values as a professional, as a parent and as a community member—a woman of integrity. Cody has a history of interest in local education and was only narrowly defeated in the last election. They, along with Jon Creisher, are extremely qualified to represent the community in advancing the Wausau School District. They do not deserve the recent, apparently politically motivated, criticism.
I hope that voters will properly review the issues in this campaign and study the candidates before voting. Should Jon, Karen and Cody be elected, I will welcome them as members of the Wausau School Board.
This letter represents my personal opinion as a member of the Wausau School Board and is not intended to reflect the Board as a whole.
E. Lee Webster of Wausau
*Elections, Wausau Pilot and Review March 24, 2021
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