School Board Candidate Profile: Chuck Snyder

Chuck Snyder is one of six candidates vying for three school board positions.  The election will be held in April.

Courtesy of Chuck Snyder

Chuck Snyder is one of six candidates vying for three school board positions. The election will be held in April.

Chuck Snyder, School Board Candidate

Tell Clarion about your background, focusing on information that might be relevant to voters.

I have lived in Brookfield since 1989 and volunteer with various community organizations. My wife Lisa and I have a son who is a freshman at RB. Since 2001 my service on the District 95 School Board has given me experience dealing with many different areas that will be useful on the RBHS Board. That experience includes work with curriculum, budgets, tax levies, strategic planning, building maintenance/projects, hiring administration, and setting the vision for the district. I have been involved in eleven union contract negotiations, culminating in a landmark agreement with all three of the unions which tie compensation to the Consumer Price Index (CPI). That helps align the district expenditures with the revenues of the District.

What made you decide to run for RB school board?

I decided to run for the RBHS Board because RB and all the feeder schools are the main reason why our community is great. There are a number of issues facing the District including the teachers’ contract, educational challenges, building issues, and fiscal challenges. I believe I can use my experience to help provide an excellent, broad-based education to our students while being fiscally responsible.

What is one attribute that sets you apart from the other candidates?  Why?

My experience on a successful Board sets me apart from the majority of the candidates. During the last twelve years I have served on a school board where we have dramatically increased state test scores, moving them from 73% of students meeting or exceeding standards to over 91%. Additionally, through the relationship built with staff, we agreed on union contracts which align salaries to the tax revenues.

What do you see as the single greatest challenge facing RB right now?  How would you like to see the Board address that challenge?

This School Board needs to enhance relationships to build the future of the District. The community, staff, administration, and Board itself need to find ways to communicate better. Relationships and communication are critical in order to pursue educational excellence while being fiscally responsible.

Relationships and communication are not things that can be built by having the Board pass a resolution. They can only be built by a commitment to have open communication. I believe that the Board should stop holding Superintendent Committees and have them be Board Committees. This adds transparency to how the District deliberates on its action because the public is welcome to attend and they are subject to the Open Meetings Act. I do like that the Board in the past has formed ad hoc committees with community, staff, and administration to get feedback on critical topics. Communication does not mean that everyone will always agree, but everyone involved needs to listen and have respect each other’s perspective.

RB has undergone many changes over the last several years in order to lower expenses, including the shrinking of its teaching staff, an overall increase in class size, and the elimination of several clubs.  What changes, if any, do you see RB making or needing to make in the next few years?  Why?

The days of reading, writing and arithmetic being the only skills needed to prepare our students for the world have passed. We need to challenge the students and have high expectations. I believe we need to offer a wide variety of classes and extracurricular options to engage the students and prepare them for the future. However we must do those things within the current fiscal realities. As the Board deals with the fiscal realities, it will need to balance the program offerings with class size. It is difficult to say what changes need to be made until we know what is happening with the teachers’ contract.

Is there anything else you would like the RB community to know about you as a person and as a nominee?

My work with various community organizations and on the School Board has allowed me to build many relationships through communication. As a candidate for RBHS School board, I am excited that I may have the opportunity to help the District.

Go Bulldogs!!!