Name: Phil Kroner
Address: 7817 Jackson Park Blvd., Wauwatosa, WI 53213
Occupation: Part-time Instructor of Biochemistry and Microbiology, Milwaukee Area Technical College
Post-Doctoral Research Associate, Institute for Molecular Virology
Senior Post-Doctoral Fellow, The Blood Center of Southeastern Wisconsin
Associate Investigator, The Blood Center of Southeastern Wisconsin
Assistant Professor, Dept. of Pediatrics, The Medical College of Wisconsin
Project Manager, 3D Molecular Design
Education: -B.S., Microbiology, Oregon State University
-Ph.D., Botany (Plant Molecular Biology), University of Georgia
-Post-Baccalaureate Elementary Education Certification, -UW-Milwaukee; Wisconsin DPI licenses 118 (Grades 1-8 and 621 (Science, Grades 1-9) (active 2002-2012)
-Wisconsin Technical College System Teaching Certification-Natural Sciences
Family: Married to Jean Baker (Intellectual Property Attorney, Quarles & Brady, Milwaukee). Two sons: James, 19, Freshman at Berklee College of Music; Alan, 16, Sophomore at Wauwatosa East
How long have you lived in the city? 23 years
Have you held political office? Elected twice to Wauwatosa School Board Seat #1, 2007-2010, 2010-present
Two terms as Treasurer, Wauwatosa School Board, 2011/12, 2012/13
Related experience: -Vice-President, Lowell Damon Woods Neighborhood Assoc.
-President, Lowell Damon Woods Neighborhood Assoc.
-Participant, Wauwatosa School District Education Summit
-Committee Member (Parent Representative), Wauwatosa School District Long Range Plan Strategic Planning Committee
-Co-Chair, Wisconsin Model Academic Standards/Analysis of Curriculum Team, Wauwatosa School District Long Range Plan
Why are you running for School Board? I am running for re-election to the Wauwatosa school board to serve my community, and to ensure every student in Wauwatosa achieves at the highest level. During my 6-year tenure significant accomplishments in the school district include a complete review of all curricular areas, selection of reading for district-wide focus, expansion of summer school, and compleation of security upgrades at all buildings, all while maintaining low class sizes and music, art, and theater programs. I approach this job with the seriousness it deserves. I study issues carefully before voting and, applying my background as a research scientist and post-secondary educator, make reasoned decisions in the best interest of the students and taxpayers of Wauwatosa. I will continue to do so.
What is the biggest issue facing the district, and how would you address that issue, if elected? The biggest issue facing the school district is the underperformance of students who struggle to learn. This group includes not only special needs students, but also students with learning disabilities, and students who simply fail to thrive in our classrooms. We must identify these students early, apply the best research-based intervention programs, and rigorously monitor their progress. These students deserve the best we have to offer. By helping these students reach their true potential, we will raise the achievement of all students in the district. We need strong leadership on the school board to meet the needs of struggling students. I will provide that leadership.
As state aid continues to decline, how can the district continue to provide quality education while continuing to keep a lid on property taxes? Despite recent funding challenges, strong long-term financial management and responsible stewardship by the school board allowed our school district to not only strengthen existing programs, but to grow in new areas. This includes expansion of the STEM program at the middle schools and high schools, increased online learning for district students, and district-wide wireless computing, among others. This is accomplished by focusing on high-quality, cost-efficient programs that maximize student learning. This approach, coupled with the goal of providing comprehensive benefits to our employees in a cost-efficient manner, allows the school district to continue to provide a high-quality education, even in this challenging environment.
Has Act 10 been good or bad for the school district? Explain your answer. From the school board perspective, Act 10 has both positive and negative effects. On the positive side, Act 10 gave school boards more freedom to make decisions that promote student learning. On the negative side, Act 10 provisions led to reduced pay for teachers, and that, coupled with the negative tone of the overall legislative process, was very damaging to teacher morale. As the continued success of our students relies on our ability to attract and retain exceptional teachers, and there are many in our district, it is an important board priority that we maintain a strong, supportive, and respectful relationship with them. Students won’t reach their highest potential unless we help teachers reach theirs as well.