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Good Government Council: Altoona Board of Education Questionnaire

When: Tuesday, April 2nd, 2024; polls open 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Find your voting location at myvote.wi. All absentee ballots must be requested by March 28th, 2024 and turned in no later than 8:00 p.m. on April 4th either by mail or dropped off in-person. In-Person absentee voting will start Tuesday, March 19th and end Friday, March 29th. If you plan to vote by mail, voters are strongly encourage to mail their ballots as soon as possible to ensure their ballot is received by the deadline.

What it’s about:  There are 2 candidates running for the 1 School Board seat this April. The Altoona School Board includes 5 members who each serve a three-year term.  The candidates include:

James Myren *

Nathan Simonson

* This candidate did not respond to the Questionnaire

Who can vote: The election is open to all eligible voters in the Altoona School District.

Where you vote and who is on your ballot:

Go to
Enter your voting address to learn which races are on your ballot and where you vote.

Why this questionnaire: The Good Government Council (GGC) is a committee of the Eau Claire Area Chamber of Commerce dedicated to encouraging voter participation and providing members of the business community with non-biased information about candidates’ positions on important issues. Although the Chamber is active in policy issues, it is non-partisan and does not endorse political candidates.

Candidate Responses:

1.  What are your background and qualifications for this position, and what value will you bring to the School Board personally?

Nathan Simonson

As a parent with students in the School District of Altoona and as an educator, I have experienced both the successes and challenges that students and staff face within our educational system. I have been a devoted student-centered educator for the past 13 years serving as a Special Education Assistant, Special Education Teacher, Behavioral Interventionist, and currently an Instructional / Behavior Coach. My knowledge of District policies, special education, and interventionist/coach will positively affect the Altoona School District moving forward. I intend to bring these experiences to help enhance the work of the School Board of Altoona. Honesty and transparency are critical in these times, both values which I will bring. Policy does not allow board members to provide students with resources or curriculum since this is a day-to-day operation and that is not the board's role. I will support any policy changes that positively impact our students to reach their full potential.

2. With a strong local economy and low unemployment, many businesses report difficulty in filling positions. What can the school system do to work with the local employers to ensure students are introduced to a variety of career options within the area, including all post-secondary options, whether two-year, four-year, apprenticeships, etc.?

Nathan Simonson

The School District of Altoona is currently engaged in the right work in preparing students for life after school and can continue to grow by providing students the career and post-secondary options. The district currently partners with Jobs for America’s Graduates (JAG) Program which helps students find meaningful employment, teaches them valuable life skills, and provides them with opportunities to build skills that are essential in the workplace. I would highly recommend local employers reach out to the district to help provide students in the JAG program with more opportunities and experiences. Allowing local employers, CVTC and other community partners into the schools will provide students with information and experiences they may not get outside of the school setting. The relationships created between our local employers and the district can provide some of the most impactful experiences students can receive before graduation.

3. Altoona is one of the state’s fastest growing communities. How should the School Board address its impact on the school system?

Nathan Simonson

The school board and its members need to bring forth a referendum to address the increasing population in Altoona. If all stakeholders work together, we can form stronger relationships that will not only support a referendum but will support our students. The school board and school district can achieve this by being transparent and providing different options for a referendum, facilitating engaging discussions within the community, and gathering data to help guide the needs of the district. Engaging the Altoona community, parents, guardians, students, and staff in the referendum process will ensure all voices are heard. If everyone works in the best interest of the students, there will be a positive future for the Altoona School District.

4. If elected, what will be your top three priorities in your term as a School Board Member?

Nathan Simonson

My number one priority is and always will be the students. When the board reviews policy or votes on an item, they need to ask, is this what is best for our students? The students are the foundation of the district and always come first. My second priority is creating positive relationships between the board, students, parents, guardians, staff, and the community. These foundational relationships within the School District of Altoona have been through ups and downs over the years. We need to work together and listen to each other for our students. My third priority is teacher retention. Teacher retention plays a significant role in student success. As an educator, I have seen that consistency within staff has a positive effect on student growth. The answer to any problem is first to discover the root cause. Staff voices need to be heard without fear any retaliation or retribution. This is why teacher retention is another priority and a foundational building block to student success.

More Information:
Altoona School Board Election Information 2024 (Eau Claire Chamber of Commerce)

Posted by Mallory Williams Governmental Affairs Intern

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