The 2021 Wisconsin Spring Election was held Tuesday, April 6. On the ballot for students with on-campus addresses were candidates for State Superintendent, Appleton Area School District School Board Member, Outagamie County City Court Judge Branch 6, Court of Appeals Judge District 3 and the City of Appleton Nonpartisan Redistricting Referendum.
Jill Underly won the election for State Superintendent of Public Instruction, the highest education position for Wisconsin. Underly received 58% of the votes over her opponent Deborah Kerr.
Underly’s campaign website provides her goal as the state superintendent: “To work with our school administrators and our different professional organizations and private-public partners in mental health to bring more training to our staff, but also provide more on-site mental health services for our students and families.” She also emphasized the increased needs of rural communities, which, along with the rest of the state’s districts, have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Underly supports high-quality education from early childhood to college, as well as education equity, especially for those who need more financial support- people of color and members of the LGTBQ+ community.
For the Appleton Area School District Board, the winners were Kay Eggert and Edward Ruffolo. According to her campaign website, Eggert believes that all children deserve a quality education. With that, she argues there needs to be a robust public education system to help students succeed both in school and in the community.
Eggert’s website states, “Meeting the educational needs of all students encompasses numerous factors including creating safe and welcoming learning environments; implementing and assessing best teaching practices; addressing student social, emotional and mental health concerns; and recruiting and retaining high-quality staff.”
Ruffolo’s website emphasizes his desire to ensure students with any type of disability, mental health issues and emotional health issues are given the full support and education to help them succeed as any other student would.
“As a member of the Board, my first and greatest concern must be the educational welfare and academic performance of all students attending Appleton area schools,” Ruffolo stated. “I shall promote the best interests of the Appleton Area School District as a whole; adhere to educational and ethical standards; and focus my efforts and Board action on policymaking, goal setting, planning and evaluation.”
The winner of the Outagamie County City Court Judge Branch 6 is Vincent Biskupic.
Biskupic claims that he is equipped to “fight for the rights of the citizens of Fox Valley.” His goal is to make the judicial system efficient and effective. He is advocating to have fairness, efficiency and professionalism within the court system.
The Court of Appeals Judge District 3 election came out with Gregory B. Gill Jr. on top.
Gill won 55% of the vote beating out his opponent Rick Cveykus on Tuesday night. Gill has served as the Circuit Court Judge in Outagamie County for the past nine years.
A quote from Gill states on his website, “I do not believe that the role of a judge is to create legislation; rather, I believe judges should be responsible for interpreting laws created by the legislature and determining if they are constitutional.”
The redistricting referendum in Appleton provided people with the opportunity to voice, via ballot, their opinion on whether the Wisconsin legislature should create a non-partisan procedure for redrawing legislative and congressional district maps. As reported by the Post-Crescent, Appleton voted in favor of a non-partisan procedure by more than 75%.