Education watchdog group includes school district leaders

A new watchdog panel tasked with monitoring progress on a new Oshkosh schools strategic plan includes several of the district’s own top officials.

The superintendent, school board president and a second board member, a principal and a high school teacher are among the panel’s 27 members.

Other members of the Oshkosh 4 Education Commission include top city and university officials along with some local business leaders.

The commission’s makeup was announced Thursday during the school district’s first annual report to the community hosted by Oshkosh 4 Education, the community group that spearheaded the district’s planning and visioning process.

“Frankly we need all of you who are willing to serve on the education commission to be the reflective audience because we all —as members of the executive team, as the group of educators and all of our support staff — we get too close to it, so we don’t see it from the outside. That’s why it’s so important for you to be engaged with us,” Superintendent Stan Mack said Thursday to the watchdog panel, of which he’s a member.

The bulk of the community report focused on tasks completed over the past five months since the strategic plan was created.

Deputy Superintendent Dave Gundlach said each of the plan’s five priorities are between 9 and 41 percent finished. The plan is meant to take three years to fully complete.

So far, the district has finished:

  • 12 percent of the the first priority of supporting and recognizing teachers. This includes creating a new compensation and evaluations systems along with an employee recognition program.
  • 41 percent of the second priority of working together toward a common goal. This includes creating a citywide parent teacher organization and developing and sharing more district data.
  • 9 percent of priority three, which is improving communication. This includes establishing a school messaging system to get information to families, students and staff. It also includes developing a coordinated communications plan.
  • 41 percent of priority four, which is equity among schools. Goals include developing a three-year technology plan and student at-risk plans.
  • 10 percent of the fifth priority of partnering with the broader community. Goals include building partnerships to improve student support services and 21st century skills programs and working more closely with area higher education institutions.

The district also announced more than two dozen measurements for gauging the success of its strategic plan. Those markers will range from student test scores to drop out rates to open enrollment figures.

Members of the watchdog commission include:

  • Diane Abraham, Oshkosh Area community Foundation
  • Khurram Ahmad, Oracular
  • Tom Belter, BMO Harris Bank
  • Patti Calhoun, Community for Hope
  • John Casper, Oshkosh Chamber of Commerce
  • Tom Castle, Castle Pierce
  • Jamie Ceman, University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh
  • Dr. Robert Deverman, Aurora Health Care
  • Julie Dumke, Oshkosh Area School District
  • Lane Earns, University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh
  • John Fitzpatrick, City of Oshkosh
  • Scott Greuel, Oshkosh Police Department
  • Deb Heath, Fox Valley Tehcnical College
  • Barb Herzog, Oshkosh Board of Education
  • Stephen Hintz, Oshkosh resident
  • Erin Kohl, Oshkosh Area School District
  • Melissa Kohn, Fox Valley Technical College
  • Linda Kollmann, Winnebago County
  • Megan Hoopman Lang, First Weber Group
  • Liz Lynch, Oshkosh Parent Teacher Organization
  • Stan Mack, Oshkosh Area School District
  • Sue Panek, Oshkosh Area United Way
  • Dave Vierthaler, Hoffmaster Group, Inc.
  • Dayna Watson, Wisconsin Public Service
  • Matt Wiedenhoeft, Oshkosh Board of Education
  • Beth Wyman, Oshkosh Area community foundation
  • Bill Wyman, NeighborWorks

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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