The Janesville School Board is in for a bit of a makeover with one member staying put as it attempts to deliver education post-vaccine.
Two new faces will be joining incumbent Greg Ardrey on the school board after Tuesday’s election. All three will serve three-year terms.
Voters on Tuesday pegged Elizabeth Paull and John Hanewall as the board’s newest members. Paull earned the most votes with 4,082. Ardrey received 3,960, and Hanewall received 3,252.
Paull is heavily involved in Janesville education and serves as the president of Janesville’s Parent Teacher Association. She said she looks forward to continuing to serve families as a member of the board.
“I think just focusing on the kids and just getting there, learning the job and doing the best job that I can do to help us continue to foster a really strong district and focus on the kids,” Paull said of what is next for her.
Ardrey said he is happy to continue serving on the board, saying the board will face some issues he would like to see through.
“I think we need to make sure we are paying attention to the ‘others’, whether that’s with respect to minority students or others with respect to their position within the district—everything is always focused on the teachers, and we will always take care of teachers, but we need to make sure we pay attention to the other people, too.”
He referenced the operational referendum passed by voters this year, calling it a “get-by.” He said the district needs to make plans in the next few years to counter a continuing decline in enrollment and might have to make some tough decisions.
Hanewall said he would like to see the after-effects of the pandemic, but he hopes to focus on remedial programs or educational deficiencies caused by the last year.
All three are excited to help the district recover from a global pandemic.
Ardrey looks forward to getting students back to full-time learning.
“It will be up to parents, but clearly the biggest issue we have in the district right now is the high school on A/B days as opposed to normal attendance. So the focus will be on getting them back to every day attendance,” Ardrey said.
Hanewall agreed, adding that options such as a fully virtual education at ARISE, the district’s virtual school, will be a good thing.
“What we will need to definitely pay attention to is recommendations from the CDC and Rock County Health (Department), but all indications look like we will be able to return to in-class teaching, which is good,” Hanewall said.
“And I think it’s important that the district has talked about options for students who didn’t want to return, and those might be the people who fall into that category of either opting not to be vaccinated or opting to not have their children return to school.”
Paull hopes for the safe return of school activities and volunteers, as well as the “magic” that has been missing due to the pandemic.
“A big focus has always been making sure that we have the right support systems as we transition back to a new normal or getting back to life as we once knew it,” she said.
“I’m excited to see all of that magic come back to our schools.”