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Heads Up: Primary Election – Tuesday Feb. 17

If you enjoyed making a difference in our federal government by exercising your right to vote, don’t stop now. On Feb. 17 you’ll have the opportunity to make a difference in how our schools in Wisconsin and Milwaukee are run. School Board Election The Milwaukee Public School Board is up for some changes. In District 4, long-time board member Charlene Hardin is running as a write-in candidate, because the Election Commission ruled that she didn’t have enough signatures on her nomination papers for her name to appear on the ballot. Three candidates for her seat will appear on the primary ticket: Gloria Gaston, Michael Mathias and Annie Woodward. See page 2 for their biographies. District 5 board member Jennifer Morales is not seeking re-election after eight years. There is only one candidate for this seat, retired MPS teacher and administrator Larry Miller. He will be on the ballot of the general election April 7. A New State Superintendent On the state educational scene, Superintendent Elizabeth Burmaster is not seeking re-election. There will be five candidates for the top school official on the primary ticket. Rose Fernandez, former hospital administrator and ex-president of the Wisconsin Coalition of Virtual School Families. She has already fielded a controversial proposal to create a temporary appointed MPS school board. Van Mobley, a Concordia University professor also advocates a takeover of MPS by the state or the mayor, although he disagrees with Fernandez’s proposal. Todd Allen Price is an education professor at Chicago-based National-Louis U n i v e r s i t y , which has a satellite campus in Milwaukee. He advocates smaller classes and smaller schools as a way of improving MPS schools. Tony Evers, the insider candidate as deputy superintendent of public instruction, says that state and federal agencies are already involved in MPS schools, and the district needs to focus on priorities that work instead of starting new programs. Lowell Holtz, Beloit School District Superintendent, suggests that the state agency collaborate with MPS on local issues. Important dates: Primary Race: Tues, Feb 17 General Race: Tues, April 7 Fourth Disctrict School Board  Candidates Profile Gloria Gaston MPS School Board District 4 Candidate Gloria Gaston is a lifelong resident of the Milwaukee community and a graduate of Lincoln High school. She received a BA in Communication at UWM. After receiving her degree she sought a career with several Fortune 500 companies in Milwaukee; Houston, Texas: and Atlanta, Georgia. She is currently working as an MPS substitute teacher serving student in grades K4-12 in regular education and exceptional education. She serves on the Executive Council of MTEA and is seeking an MS in Urban Special Education from UWM. She is the legal guardian of her niece and nephew, who both attend MPS schools. Annie Woodward: MPS School Board District 4 Candidate Until you know you her passion for education, you don’t know Annie Woodward. Born and raised in Alabama, Annie attended segregated public schools. From an early age, Annie learned that the word “can’t” didn’t exist for her in the classroom. Her teachers were compassionate and strived to help their students achieve. In 1961, Annie moved to Milwaukee to complete her education, attending MATC, Alverno College, and Concordia University. Annie worked for Milwaukee County for over 30 years in other community-related jobs. During her time with the county, she saw into people’s lives, specifically children living in poverty. Annie is a member of the Calvary Baptist Church and is committed to and involved with her community. She serves on the M.I.C.A.H. Board, as the Treasurer of Mary Church Terrell Club, Inc., and as Chair of the Parkview South Neighborhood Association. Annie believes that supportive communities, accountable leadership, and strong schools lead to successful students. Visit arwoodward.com for more information. Michael Mathias MPS School Board District 4 Candidate The father of three children enrolled in MPS programs, Michael has been married for 14 years to Anne Quimby Mathias. He is a graduate of UWM with a BA in English. He has 15 years experience in the non-profit sector, is a former Vice President of Highland Community School Board and a long-time resident of the 4th District. Mathias states that he is running for the 4th District seat on the Milwaukee Public Schools Board to improve student achievement, resolve the budget problems facing the district, and restore the community’s faith in MPS. His plan is to reduce costs in non-instructional areas and funnel the savings back into classrooms to support teachers, principals and programs critical to student success. He will advocate for changes in state funding so MPS gets the resources it needs to educate our children. Mathias believes that it’s time MPS directors act in the best interest of the community instead of serving the special interests that currently dominate the board and drain resources from our children. As an independent board member, he maintains that he will stand up for children, parents, teachers, and everyone working to secure the future of MPS.