Boots & Sabers

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1708, 29 May 16

Superintendent Candidates Did Not Sign Walker Recall

Well, that’s good.

A quick check to see if anyone signed the Walker Recall.  Results posted below.

• Dr. Dean Gorrell, current Superintendent of the Verona Area School District, Verona, Wisconsin  DID NOT SIGN

• Dr. Brenda Lewis, current Assistant Superintendent of the Rochester Public Schools, Rochester, Minnesota (only Wisconsin residents could sign, but her name is not there)

• Mr. Erik Olson, current Assistant Superintendent of Operations and Continuous Improvement of the Sun Prairie Area School District, Sun Prairie, Wisconsin  DID NOT SIGN RECALL

In the comments of the post at the Washington County Insider, former West Bend Mayor Kristine Deiss asks, “What has whether or not they signed the Walker recall got to do with being qualified for the job? I would hope our School Board did not ask this question.”

It’s a valid question, but it is important and I do hope that the School Board asks about it. Act 10 is the single-most important school reform in this millennium (it sure sounds impressive that way, doesn’t it?). We need to know if the incoming superintendent view Act 10 as a detriment to public education or as a tool with which to make the West Bend School District better. Given that the citizens of the district overwhelmingly support Act 10 and turned out in huge numbers to vote for Governor Walker during the recall election, a new superintendent who hates Act 10 will come in immediately out of a step with the community he or she is supposed to serve.

So yes… ask the question. Do the due diligence.


1708, 29 May 2016


  1. Ralph

    Enough already. Take a look at how aggressive Neitzke was at implementing Act 10 policies. The district is in shambles compared to the surrounding districts. The former mayor brings up a great point…who cares???????

  2. old baldy


    “Act 10 is the single-most important school reform in this millennium”.

    That is utter nonsense. While the you may feel that is the case in WB, the rural districts in this state will disagree with you all day long.

  3. Owen

    You equate “important school reform” with “good school reform.” I think it was good. You do not. But in either case, it was a massively important school reform.

  4. Dave

    It was important if your ultimate goal is to dismantle public education and privatize it.

  5. Jeff Simpson

    Its incredible as someone who follows politics, that you think the recall was about ACT10. It wasn’t. Its also funny to me how indebted you are to Scott Walker. Willing to destroy your schools over not allowing criticism of him. Why anyone would want to come in as Superintendent of your district and have to deal with the hard core righties everywhere trying to destroy public education is beyond me.

    However back to ACT10 it is not the most important piece of school ‘reform” there was no reform to it. It was the most extreme piece of punish your enemies legislation ever enacted in WI. The intended consequences were to hurt the public employee unions so they have a harder time working against the Repubs in the elections.

    The unintended consequences were that we have lost tons of institutional knowledge because many teachers best options were to retire. Or that we have sucked $5 billion in demand out of the economy which places us in the lower 10 percent of pretty much every economic indicator there is. Because of the demonization of teachers, the college students going into teaching is declining every year at an alarming rate. That every school district now has to keep their doors opened by referendum because the state is starving every district especially the smaller rural districts who will not be able to survive another few years. Also that it completely erodes local control, but they have done that time and again so ACT10 is not unique to that situation.

    Its not about do I support it or not support it….its about the facts in the ground, take off your dark red glasses and you could see that.

    As for overwhelmingly support ACT10 can you show me one ad where walker ran where he discusses ACT10 and what it is?

  6. old baldy


    I didn’t confuse anything. The word “important” was your choice, not mine. Act 10 is neither important (unless you are a glass half empty guy), nor good school reform. It has been an awful piece of legislation for rural schools.

  7. Kevin Scheunemann


    Act 10 was not “important”?…did you miss all the union occupying in Madison around it’s passage? The Senate Democrats fleeing to IL?

    If it was so unimportant, why were there teachers camped out for days yelling “Fox lies”?

    This might be the silliest statment you have ever made. Right up there with DNR mandates being “optional”.

  8. old baldy


    Act 10 was important if you were out to bust the public unions. It was far from important as far as school “reform”.

    “DNR mandates being “optional”. You are making stuff up again. Isn’t there a sin against that? Now don’t get your undies all bunched trying to rationalize the difference between a mandate and a permit. You will fail once again.

  9. Justin

    Thank you Owen for having the guts to actually put into writing the usage of the recall petition as the PRIMARY applicant screening tool when hiring for any professional position in Walker’s Wisconsin. Since Governor Walker himself made it acceptable state policy to hire & fire based on the recall list, most school district personnel directors in school districts across Walker’s Wisconsin commonly screen applicants using the Recall Petition Signers List.

    Fact is that there is rampant discrimination towards anyone who signed a Walker Recall petition. Nearly every school district in the WOW counties regularly uses the list the primary candidate screening tool. Teachers already employed when they signed the list have seen retribution in the form of small or non-existent merit pay increases, and an increased incidence of firings and non-renewals versus teachers who are good Republicans and didn’t sign the Walker Recall petitions.

    Over the past 3 years, two colleagues of mine who have nearly identical resumes have been applying for administrative positions across Walker’s Wisconsin. The only major difference in their resumes is that one signed the recall. The colleague who didn’t sign the recall has had nearly double the interest from school districts, especially in the heavily Republican WOW counties.

    An earlier poster nailed the current situation in the West Bend school district; a really screwed up district, and definitely a terrible place to teach in. Teachers are literally fleeing West Bend. Earlier this year there were over 30 high school teaching vacancies in critical areas such as math, science, tech ed, and special ed posted by the West Bend school district. The reason teachers are fleeing West Bend is that this district uses all the tools of Act 10 to literally work their teachers into the ground, gives little or no raises, and offers teachers little incentive to make teaching in West Bend a viable career pathway.

    Sincere kudos to Owen though for shining the light of truth on the #1 employment screening tool used to hire superintendents, administrators, and teachers in predominantly Republican school districts across Walker’s Wisconsin. Everyone knew this has been happening for years, but no one else had the guts to put into writing what goes on in hundreds of school districts across Walker’s Wisconsin. Thanks Owen!!

  10. Owen

    It’s amusing how so many of you are so opposed to people being held accountable for their actions. If a superintendent candidates signed the recall, why shouldn’t his or her potential employers know about it? And why wouldn’t a recall signer want people to know? Are they not proud of their action? Are they not willing to explain their rationale for wanting to recall our governor?

    Apparently not.

  11. John Foust

    What meanings can we assign to signing a recall petition?

    Were there many reasons someone might’ve signed? Signing was not obligatory, of course, so is it a good metric to determine beliefs?

    For whatever view you are assuming they had, could that view have changed since they signed?

  12. Owen

    Perhaps. That’s why it should be a subject of the interview.

  13. Kevin Scheunemann

    I have no problem using recall petition as a criteria for employment as a standard for proper judgment. Signing the recall petition says a lot about how much power you want the unions to have as an administrator.

    Liberal teachers at school district used public email to try and boycott my business for having a Scott Walker sign proudly out front during the recall.

    The liberals crying here about using the recall petition…where were you on the liberal Palermos boycott, the Johnsonville boycott, etc, etc?

    This kind of tactic was perfected in liberal circles.

    There should be no crying about it now, when the tactic is fairly used by all sides.

  14. Bill Kurtz

    So, Owen, if signing the recall petition shows applicants go against prevailing opinion in West Bend, how about overwhelmingly anti-Walker districts (Milwaukee, Shorewood, Superior, pretty much anywhere in Dane County)? Maybe applicants there should be disqualified if they DIDN’T sign?

  15. Pat

    “where were you on the liberal Palermos boycott, the Johnsonville boycott, etc, etc?”

    Probably at the same location as those that are boycotting New Glarus bewery, and Penzeys. With the same childish rationale of, “Well he did it first”. Where are the grownups??

  16. old baldy

    I sure am glad that the sane folks up here didn’t even think to ask that question when they hired a new superintendent. If the applicant is a good administrator then it really shouldn’t make any difference. But then there are the laws of purity that need to be protected and held dear by the alleged conservatives.

  17. Pat

    The recall was much more than Act10 and teacher unions. I, like many other Wisconsinites, didn’t sign the petition, not so much for as we agreed with Walker, but because we felt that the best way to deal with it would be during a regular election cycle after enough time had pasted to see if the policies implemented would be good overall.

    With that said, I also wouldn’t hold it against anyone who wanted to start/sign a recall petition. Reason being, it’s within their state constitutional right to be able to. It’s holding an elected official accountable, and if enough signatures could be obtained for the purpose of a recall, so be it. Our governor is an elected official, not a god, and like any other elected official the electorate has a right to hold him accountable.

  18. Mark Maley

    It’s a non issue .

    Ask/ Don’t ask

    The law is the Law

    Hire the most effective super we can find
    Whether he is a Walker Sycopant or not

    The issues are with testing , retaining and expanding student population and employee morale

    Focus on the issues we need fixed .
    Voting for or against a person who can fix the districts ill’s because he doesn’t think Walker walks on water is bad business personified .

  19. Jeff Simpson

    It’s amusing how so many of you are so opposed to people being held accountable for their actions. <<<, thats hilarious coming from someone who is adamant that the john doe investigation end because there should be no consequences for the behavior of scott walker.

    I am curious though what actions would you hold them accountable for? participating in democracy? following the Wisconsin Constitution? Should we not also then know how everyone votes (or doesnt vote) so we can hold them accountable also? Maybe have everyone have to wear a sticker on their clothes of the yard signs in their yard so you know if you should do business with them or not? Maybe we could find some places where we could send the people who do not blindly support Scott Walker, where they could all get together and be "reeducated" like say some kind of camp.

    Your onto something here Owen! Freedom is NOT Free!

  20. Kevin Scheunemann


    In case of Penzey…owner literally called his customers racists and bigots for simple “crime” of living outside Milwaukee.

    That is a whole other level of liberal crazy, from what we are talking about here.

  21. Pat

    Kevin, would you be able to provide the direct quote where Penzey literally called his “customers” racists and bigots. And are you’re saying that there are no racists and bigots that live in the suburbs?

    Penzey’s opinion on a subject matter is no different than some other businessman’s opinion on a subject matter. You for instance offer your opinion on a variety of things that some potential customers might find offensive. What’s the difference?

  22. Pat


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