Oconto Falls School Board picks 2023-24 officers

Gardebrecht, Baumler and Harter re-elected; Schindel takes over as clerk
Warren Bluhm

Clint Gardebrecht will spend a second year as president of the Oconto Falls School Board after the board’s reorganization meeting May 8.

Gardebrecht, who took over after longtime president Ron Leja was defeated in the 2022 election, was nominated by board member Ken Harter. New board member Carrie Hill nominated Bryan Baumler, and Gardebrecht was re-elected 4-3.

Baumler was then picked to continue as board vice president on a unanimous ballot, and board member Sarah Schindel was unanimously chosen as clerk, succeeding Jan Stranz, who chose not to run for re-election after 18 years.

Then Baumler nominated Harter, who has served as board treasurer for many years, to continue in that role, and board member Chad Earley nominated Hill. Harter won the ballot 5-2, and operations supervisor Debra Woods was selected to serve as alternate clerk to compile the minutes if Schindel is unavailable.

Gardebrecht then handed out a list of suggested committee assignments for the coming year.

“Usually board members have anywhere from three to five committee assignments,” Gardebrecht said. “Some committees meet on a more regular basis, and some don’t meet unless there’s a particular reason to do so.”

The recommendations are essentially the same as the past year, substituting new members Hill and Emilie Trudell for Stranz and Adam Adler, who also retired from the board, Gardebrecht said. Both newcomers were named to the Transportation Committee; he tabbed Hill for the policy and compensation panels, and Trudell for curriculum, public relations, and the joint city and school district recreation committee.

The assignments are just recommendations at this stage, Gardebrecht said.

“This week, maybe, or over the course of the next week and a half, if anyone has anything that they especially don’t want to be on or want to be on and you want to get to me, I’ll take that under consideration,” he said. “This was kind of the first pass.”

The board voted to maintain the longstanding schedule of meeting on the second Monday of the month, with two exceptions. The September meeting was shifted to the third Monday to coincide with the school district’s annual meeting, and the October meeting was shifted to the third Monday to accommodate the annual budget timeline. The budget cannot be finalized until after state aid numbers for the year are released, usually on Oct. 15.