As Madison school board members prepare to appoint a replacement for longtime Madison Metropolitan School Board (MMSD) member Mary Burke, they have 26 applications to look through.
MMSD policy requires that the Board choose an immediate replacement to fill Burke’s seat within 60 days of her departure. However, a Wisconsin state statute requires that appointees win election in the next possible spring, in 2020, to continue their service on the board. Additionally, because the person appointed to Burke’s seat would be serving out her original three-year term, that person would be up for re-election yet again in 2021.
Those interested in applying for the vacant board seat was asked to complete a short statement describing their views on critical issues facing the district, and early thoughts about how those issues might be addressed. Those applications were due July 19, and were posted online for public transparency.
Board members plan to discuss potential applicants and select a new board member at its July 22 meeting.
Here’s a look at the applicants, in alphabetical order:
David Aguayo is an executive assistant in the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development, and has previously held positions as a paralegal in with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and as a commissioner with the Washington D.C. Commission on Latino Community Development. He expressed interested in seeking alternatives to detention as a disciplinary practice, and highlighted the need to attract and retain more teachers of color in MMSD schools.
Erin Arango-Escalante is the administrator for the Division of Early Care and Education at the Wisconsin Department of Children and Families, and previously held positions at WIDA within the Wisconsin Center for Education Research and the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction. Arango-Escalante, a graduate of MMSD schools, identified issues with funding streams for English Language Learner (ELL) students, community-based early education opportunities, and family outreach as core to her goals as a potential board member.
Micah Ariel-Rohr is a former Chicago Public Schools (CPS) teacher, and currently serves as assistant director at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Hillel.