BELOIT — Newcomer Wendy Sanchez and incumbent Shelly Cronin have formally announced their candidacy for the School District of Beloit Board of Education in interviews with the Daily News on Wednesday.
Sanchez along with newcomers Adam Aberle, incumbents Cronin and Laurie Endres and former board member Tia Johnson have filed papers to run for the three available seats on school board. The Daily News has already given interviews to Aberle, Endres and Johnson.
The three seats open are for Endres’ position as well as that of board member Cronin and Nora Gard. Gard has said she will not seek re-election.
Wendy Sanchez, 38, of the 1300 block of Central Avenue, and her husband, Gabe, have three children in the School District of Beloit.
Able to speak English and Spanish, Sanchez works as a bilingual economic support specialist for Rock County.
It will be Sanchez’s first time running for office. She was born and raised in Beloit, and said she received a lot of encouragement from those in the community to run. She said she’s trying to be a voice for the Latino population.
“The most important thing is education and being able to help improve education,” she said.
Sanchez said she wanted to bring something positive to the board.
She said her number one priority is education.
When asked how she would improve education she said it will be a team effort.
Sanchez said she is proud of the school district but there is always room for improvement. When asked about her priorities or how she believes education could be improved at the district, she declined to go into any further details at this time.
Incumbent Cronin is a real estate agent with Shorewest Realtors. She and her husband, Jim, have three children in the school district. She’s been serving on the board since April when she filled the one-year remaining term left when former board member Michael Ramsdail resigned.
Cronin said she feels like there is a lot of work left to be done although the district is headed in the right direction. She said she was pleased with the district’s efforts to address what she considered to be priorities. For example, she said the district is working to get a more diverse workforce, working to close the achievement gap, involving parents more and seriously looking at funding issues.
Cronin said she’s excited about the district’s recent plans to launch an academic achievement committee.
“It’s a great way to bring the community together and have everyone have a hand in it,” she said.
A certified public accountant, Cronin said she can bring her budgeting experience to the board. She said she has a strong business background, having supervised people, worked in corporate America and owned her own businesses. She’s also served on two other school boards, Rock County Christian School and Rock River Charter School.
Cronin said the district needs to keep moving in the right direction, leaving no children behind. She said her family is behind her efforts to get on the board and she is hoping be elected for another term.
“I’m excited to run again, and feel I have a lot left to give,” Cronin said.