Hometown: Town of Dunkirk
Lived in the district since: 2004
Family: Jim FitzGibbon (husband), Jimmy and Nicholas (children)
Political experience: SASD School Board member since 2015
Why are you running again?
Because I strongly believe that public education is essential to the individual and the common well-being of our country. Every child should have access to quality education and I want to ensure that we’re doing everything possible to meet our students’ diverse learning needs and that we have a school environment where all children can learn.
What are the Stoughton school board’s most pressing challenges/opportunities in the next five years?
As most people have heard, declining enrollment is one of the biggest challenges our district is facing, which adds up to the budget deficit. Other challenges are the teachers shortage and increasing mental health needs
How should the board respond to the budget deficit the district faces in the very near future?
If the governor’s budget proposal is not approved, the only way we could responsibly manage the deficit (caused mainly by the state-imposed revenue limit) is by going to another referendum. This will allow us to exceed the revenue limit and balance the budget without making reductions to programs and services.
How can cooperation with the city help the school board, particularly in terms of bringing younger families into the district?
While only the city can plan/approve housing development necessary for new families to move to Stoughton, working along with the city allows us to maintain communication about the district vision, priorities, initiatives, etc (considered attractive to younger families) that the city can use for planning and for marketing.
What accomplishment(s) are you most proud of as a school board member?
I’m proud of having kept our transportation and bus drivers in Stoughton and of the new compensation plan that, although not perfect was significantly well received by our educators. I’m also very proud of how our district has been utilizing the resources to give opportunities to all students, like the 1:1 technology (Chromebooks for every student 6-12).