Does Sheboygan hold the answers to improving Oshkosh schools?

A group of Oshkosh school board members and administrators spent half a day last week visiting two Sheboygan businesses to see if they could bring back some of the community’s “great vibe.”

Inspiration for the road trip came from a marketing video produced by the Sheboygan County Economic Development Corporation titled “The Promise of Sheboygan.”

Board member Steve Eliasen showed the video during a meeting on Dec. 5 and proposed an exploratory trip to learn more.

“There seems to be a bit of magic in the air that I’d like to avail our board and district leaders to in an exploratory trip or conversation or a great meal or whatever that exchange is when we try to pick up the great vibe in Sheboygan,” he said to the rest of the board.

Superintendent Stan Mack II approved of the trip but said the district would not pay for it.

The board and some administrators departed at 2:30 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 10, and toured Jake’s Café, a membership community for creative professionals, and then stopped for a Neopolitan-styled meal and meeting with the owner of the Il Ritrovo pizzeria, before returning home later in the evening.

Board members said they were interested in the spirit of collaboration displayed by these businesses – the Il Ritrovo slogan is “A place to meet” – but were equally satisfied with a casual outing and bite to eat.

“I have a feeling we’re going to get more ideas about collaboration within this community,” board president John Lemberger said prior to going on the trip. “The whole idea of building up people is what I keep coming back to. If that’s all we get, along with a good meal, then I’m happy.”

About Adam Rodewald

Adam Rodewald is the senior reporter for The Oshkosh Northwestern and a member of the Gannett Wisconsin Media Investigative Team. He has been a professional journalist since 2006. He specializes in open records, data analysis, and issues surrounding education, children and families.
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