Feb. 18 primary will determine who the two candidates will be in the April 1 election for the town of Weyauwega seat on the Weyauwega-Fremont School Board.
A primary election is necessary because three people – Kurt Duxbury, Reuben Larsen and David Veeser – filed nomination papers to run for the position.
The deadline to file nomination papers was 5 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 7. The term on the board is for three years.
Tony Beyer, the incumbent holding the seat, is not seeking re-election in the spring election. He has served on the board since April 2008.
Dan Kohl, who holds the town of Fremont seat, is also up for re-election this spring.
He has served on the board since December 2006 and is unopposed.
The two people who receive the most votes in the February primary will be the candidates in April for the town of Weyauwega seat.
Duxbury is a native of Mosinee and graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point with a degree in elementary and middle school education and minor in math. He has a Master’s degree in educational leadership from Marian University.
He joined the W-F School District in 1998 as a middle school math teacher.
Duxbury held that position for two years before becoming the dean of students and athletic director for one year. That was followed by one year as the middle and high school principal and then a couple years as the high school principal.
In 2005, he joined Quantum Dairy full time as a partner and general manager.
Duxbury has lived in the district since 1998. He and his wife, Anna, have two sons: one in first grade and one in preschool. Anna has lived in the district her entire life.
Having two children in the school district is the main reason why Duxbury is running for school board.
Other reasons include the fact his nieces and nephews on his wife’s side are or will be going to school in the district, as well as the children of his employees are or will be in the future.
“I want our school to stay on track,” Duxbury said. “I think we have a good leader in (District Administrator) Scott (Bleck).”
Duxbury believes his own background in education is the perfect one for a school board member.
“I have done just about every job in the school,” he said. “I think I have a perspective now as a partner and business owner.”
When Duxbury joined the school district in 1998, he felt the district had a strong, supportive school board.
Serving on the school board would allow him to help young, talented individuals become successful in their work, like the board did for him when he was hired to teach.
Duxbury looks at the job of the school board as to support and evaluate the administration. The board’s job is not to run the district, he said.
Larsen grew up in the town of Weyauwega and has lived in the W-F School District for more than 25 years. The several years he did not live in the district were spent living in the area.
He attended St. Peter Lutheran School, in Weyauwega, from kindergarten until the beginning of fourth grade, at which time he became a student at Weyauwega Elementary School.
Larsen attended W-F Middle School until the beginning of eighth grade. He then pursued self education through his family’s business and by reading books, he said.
He grew up in the family business, J.R. Larsen Company, and said he also worked, off and on, in marine construction before returning home to the family business.
Larsen has owned J.R. Larsen Company for about 2 1/2 years.
He has no children but considers partner Shaun Gates’ daughter like his own daughter.
The couple homeschools the young girl, who left the W-F district after fourth grade, and also educates her through a private online school.
Larsen said he is running for a seat on the school board because “I think education can be done a lot cheaper.”
He also has a lot of questions about what students in the district are being told and whether it is “appropriate,” he said.
Larsen says he would like to make efforts to help facilitate change in the district.
“I’m a taxpayer. I’m paying for it. As a taxpayer, I don’t agree with how the money is being spent,” he said. “If it was my school, I would run it differently.”
Veeser has lived in the W-F School District since 1999.
When he was growing up, he lived throughout the country.
“I’m actually a GI brat,” he said.
Most of Veeser’s education was in Arizona and Neenah. He is a graduate of Neenah High School.
He studied architecture, engineering and psychology at UW-Oshkosh and UW-Milwaukee.
“I’ve been a small businessman most of my life,” he said.
Retired, he was the administrator of Aikido Company’s groups homes in Waupaca. He worked for the company about seven years.
Veeser is a widower and said that is the main reason why he retired.
He has a 16-year-old son, who is a junior at W-F High School.
When asked why he is running for school board, Veeser said, “It’s very important to me and to a lot of people that I know that education should be the priority of the district. I think our school has lost its focus, and we need to find it again.”
He believes the district is placing its focus on other things, such as sports, instead of on education.
Veeser also thinks the district could operate more efficiently and effectively.
“They’re doing a good job,” he said. “They just need to refine it.”
Veeser says there is room for improvement.
“Children come first,” he said. “I think the function of school is to educate. We need to get back to it.”
An in-depth article about where the three candidates stand on school district issues will run in the County Post prior to the Feb. 18 primary.