Kretz, Bockes decline to run for posts on Antigo school board|
|Two veteran Antigo school board members have declined to seek re-election.|
Board Vice-President Joe “Smoky” Kretz and Beth Bockes, the board’s treasurer, filed declarations of noncandidacy on Friday, leaving a wide-open field for the spring election.
“I enjoyed the seven years,” Kretz said, adding that the panel’s recent inability to move education forward “has been a disappointment.”
Kretz, who is involved in Riverview Golf Course, said that he retains his love of education, but feels that he would be unable to commit to serving a full three-year term.
He added that it has been a pleasure to work with district staff, stressing that the administrative team “works extremely hard to do what is best for the district as a whole.”
Bockes, a design engineer with her family-owned Johnson Electric Coil, first joined the board in 2003 and has become known for her steadfast commitment to education and the children of the district.
“I have always been proud to be a part of education in Antigo, to have come to know so many staff members and to learn about and inform others about the many important and cool things we do on behalf of our children and to advocate for all of our children,” she said.
Both board members said the decision to retire from the panel was not an easy one, especially at such a critical time in the history of the district.
“I truly think the time has come to make room for a fresh perspective,” Bockes said. “Someone who also genuinely cares about our children, administration, support staff, community and education might be in a better position than me to help move the district forward.”
Both Bockes and Kretz have been strong supporters of consolidation plans and proposals to construct a new, central elementary school to replace the district’s current seven facilities.
“I understand that people don’t want to see their schools closed,” Kretz said. “But this is starting to affect the middle and high school negatively as well because we haven’t solved the elementary school inefficiencies.”
Bockes said she hopes 2014 “brings better times for education in Antigo” and stressed that she will continue to be an advocate for children, staff and the value of a great education.
“I will continue to do all of these things for all the same reasons, just not from the same spot, and I will surely miss that spot,” she said.
The school board has four seats available, just shy of a majority on the nine-member panel. In addition to Bockes and Kretz, the seat held by Clark Palmer, who was appointed last year, along with a vacancy the board has deadlocked several times over filling, will also be on the ballot.
Candidates have until 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 7 to file a campaign registration statement and a declaration of candidacy.
The spring election is slated for April 1. If necessary, a primary will be held on Feb. 18.
Joe “Smoky” Kretz and Beth Bockes, shown in Antigo Daily Journal file photos, have declined to seek new terms on the Antigo school board. They filed their declarations of noncandidacy on Friday.
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