BNR Article – Three compete for two seats on Baraboo School Board in April

Education School Board
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Here is the Baraboo News Republic article by Susan Endres titled: Three compete for two seats on Baraboo School Board in April (Mar 2021) which has a write-up about the 3 candidates running. Below are the relevant quotes from that article regarding me:

O’Neill, a website administrator for Sauk County and an Iraq War veteran, said he lost track of time because of the pandemic and missed the registration deadline to appear on the ballot, but is still running a write-in campaign. He sees himself as a “life-long learner” and was endorsed by the Wisconsin Green Party.

“I realize how important it (education) is,” O’Neill said, adding that he had bad grades in high school, went through the military and then did well in college. “I’ve seen kind of both sides and kind of what it took to get from a very poor student to at least being a good student.”

He also ran for the board last spring, one of six candidates for three seats, but came in last with almost 9% of the vote, 1,228 votes total.

O’Neill said he prefers virtual learning for safety reasons but recognizes some families can’t be home to watch their children all the time or have other extenuating circumstances.

Jim O’Neill

Age: 47

Family: Wife Tatsiana, 38; daughter Uliana, 12

Current occupation: Website administrator

Prior elected office: None

Other public service or community involvement: Fundraised for local organizations through the yoga studio he and his wife own, It’s All About You in downtown Baraboo.

Education: Bachelor’s degree in computer programming; associate degree in computer networking

Candidate email/website/social media

Q: What do you feel are the biggest issues facing the Baraboo School District?

Inequality and poverty, which are some of the “most devastating things to our children. It doesn’t just affect those who are afflicted with that, but it affects their friends, their family, their schoolmates, the teacher. It’s something that you cascade from … so working toward dealing with poverty and inequality directly will also help to solve the other issues, like bullying and school performance, child performance and that sort of thing.”

Q: What will you do to ensure those challenges are met?

“It’s a difficult thing to do, because it’s something that is external to the school district itself. The school district currently has an equity position, so I would look towards possibly expanding that to not just looking at internal equity issues, which is also a good thing, but also possibly having it expand to deal with external equity issues — housing, food, employment and that sort of a thing.”

He said he also wants to look at unionizing parents “as a basis for … dealing with inequality and poverty in the district.”

Q: Why do you want to serve on the school board, and why are you qualified?

“Education is the most important thing that we spend money on in pretty much our global civilization, because it creates the adults of the future. It educates them, instills values and helps to teach them how to become a member of society.”


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