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Boards select school-minded candidates

WA-WM and Greenfield school boards fill separate vacancies

Aug. 7, 2012

Two local school boards recently selected new members to fill the terms of members who resigned before their terms expire in April 2013.

The newest member of the West Allis-West Milwaukee School Board is a former president of the teachers union, Jeffrey Sikich. And Rick Moze, who lost his seat on the Greenfield School Board in April, was chosen to again serve on that panel.

Sikich's background

Last week, the WA-WM board chose Sikich, 2550 S. 95th St., West Allis, on a majority vote from a field of 10 candidates. He will fill out the term of board member George Sotiros, who resigned because he took on coaching responsibilities in the district.

Sikich taught physical education in the elementary schools from 1988 until he retired last year.

Each candidate was interviewed, with a focus on their vision for the district and on what it takes to be a quality board member, said School Board President Sue Stalewski.

The fact that Sikich has been a strong advocate for teachers shouldn't disqualify him, Stalewski said, adding that his background in that respect is no different than any of the other nine board member who might be an avid supporter of another district element, such as athletics.

"It's good to have a broad range of opinion and expertise on the board," she said.

For his part regarding teacher support, Sikich said, "I've never been us verses them. It's what's best for the community, because I'm a taxpayer, also."

Sikich, a West Allis native who graduated from Nathan Hale High School, said his children benefitted from the district's high educational standards and other enriching experiences the district affords and he wants to be part of the team that continues to provide those.

He brings a deep background as to the workings of the schools to the board. He even joined School Board members and the superintendent in going to bat for the West Allis-West Milwaukee schools at a legislative hearing in Madison.

Moze's return

A split vote also returned Moze, from among three candidates, to the Greenfield School Board on Monday.

"All three candidates were exceptional," said School Board President Bruce Bailey following the board's meeting, in which the board filled the vacancy left by David Richlen, who resigned because his family is moving to Franklin.

As one of the four board members who favored Moze, Bailey said, "He just missed being on the board and showed enough interest to run."

Moze came in fourth in April's race among six candidates. The top three gained seats on the board.

Moze is probably best known for his strenuous support, before becoming a member of the board, of the referendum to build a new high school. He served on the board's business administration committee for five years and on the School Board from 2009 to 2012.

Before retiring from the Miller Brewing Company, he educated about 800 employees on leadership skills to create a more efficient workplace and on self-empowerment.

Moze promised to continue his style of openness and working together through tough times in a civil manner. He said he will continue to seek feedback, partly through attending school functions. He attended 120 functions last year.

"I'm in touch with what people are thinking, I get a lot of feedback and I appreciate that," he said.

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