Spring, 2014 | ELECTION WATCH • INTER-COUNTY LEADER
Holicky, Ennis running for Frederic School Board
First contested Frederic election since 2007
Gregg Westigard | Staff writer
FREDERIC – There is a contest for the Frederic School Board this April, the first contested election since 2007. Chuck Holicky, the incumbent, and Matt Ennis are running for the single seat open this year on the five-person board.
Holicky is a retired schoolteacher and lives in Frederic Village. Ennis has a business restoring log homes and lives in Lorain. The winner will serve with present board members Becky Amundson, Scott Nelson, Troy Engen and Shari Matz.
Frederic had contested school board elections each year but one from 2000 through 2007. During that period, eight people retired or resigned from the board. One election, 2005, there were no candidates on the ballot and an entire write-in contest. Two years later, 2007, four of the five seats were up for election due to two resignations. Two incumbents were defeated and the senior board member finished fourth and took the one-year term. Frederic School elections have been quieter since then.
Profiles of the candidates are based on phone interviews and written statements.
“Frederic has a strong board now,” Holicky says. “We work together. There is no one there with an issue to push. We bring different skills to the board that provides a balance.”
Holicky says the strength he brings is an understanding of curriculum. His lifelong interest in education led him to a career as a teacher of children and of adults. Holicky taught fifth grade at Unity for 35 years. He also taught teachers for 10 years as an adjunct professor for a college in Minnesota and has worked as a consultant on staff development through CESA.
The Frederic district has a solid plan now and has made good strides toward its goals, Holicky says, especially in advancing technology and reducing the open-enrollment loss. He feels the district has excellent administration and teachers and is in a strong financial situation.
Holicky says he wants to continue serving on the board helping the Frederic district move forward. He says he has a lot to offer, especially in curriculum areas. And he says, “I have a lifelong love for education.”
“I believe Frederic needs a new look at things,” Ennis says. “I would bring a different perspective to the board to try and help balance some of the decisions that need to be made as we move forward. I would bring a fresh set of eyes.”
Ennis has concerns about the Common Core Standards Curriculum now being taught. He says, “I do not believe it is a proven curriculum and we should use caution with how entrenched we become with the program.” Ennis wants dialogue on the school board about that and other topics, saying discussion is healthy for the board and the district.
Frederic has come a long way in the technology area, Ennis says, and he thinks the district needs to use that progress to help enroll more students and to build stronger relationships with the home-school community. He thinks the Hybrid teaching is a great tool and needs to be put to use more to build enrollment.
“I believe that my moral beliefs and ethical views are what the Frederic School Board needs right now,” Ennis says. “We must consider the needs of all the children in the district and make sure they are being held to the highest standards and are being taught how to think, not what to think.”