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La Crosse Education Association endorsing school board candidates for first time in decades



The La Crosse Education Association, representing the teachers in the School District of La Crosse, works closely with our administration, our parents, and our Board of Education.

This article was written by John Havlicek, the president of the La Crosse Education Association the past eight years. Havlicek is also in his 26th year as a Spanish teacher at Central High School. Havlicek will be on La Crosse Talk PM on Monday, beginning at 5:07 p.m. Tune in on 96.7 FM (La Crosse), 106.7 FM (Holmen area) or 1410 AM (everywhere else).

We know how important it is that all of us share a common vision and mission for our schools. We know that our schools are the bedrock of our community, and that we need strong, competent, knowledgeable leaders.


For many years, school board elections, held in the spring, have been rather low turnout elections, without a great deal of fanfare in the community.

However, at times, these elections have garnered more interest, a greater number of candidates, and, unfortunately, at times, national attention.

In 1992, for example, there was a recall election of our school board, due to a disagreement over enrollment boundaries. In our current environment, we believe that it is crucial to have the most qualified people at the helm of our public schools.

Thus, for the first time in at least thirty years, we have chosen to endorse candidates for the Board of Education for the School District of La Crosse.

Juan Jimenez, as current President of the Board of Education, has shown that he is a thoughtful leader. He is willing to work with diverse groups who may have competing interests. He is interested in coming up with solutions that work for all concerned. He has experience in several education arenas, and he has strong leadership skills. He has earned our endorsement.

Meredith Garcia is already a member of the education community and understands what goes into creating and maintaining an excellent, comprehensive system of education. Her university work with our next generation of teachers demonstrates her experience and passion for this work. Ms. Garcia has a strong background in public education and research into the solutions that we need to solve the problems in our current system. She has earned our endorsement.

Katie Berkedal has outstanding qualifications for this work based on her long history of community involvement. Her work with the La Crosse Community Foundation, her understanding of the unique needs of the La Crosse community, and her experience as both a student and parent in our district, all give her the needed background knowledge to be successful on our school board. Her independent voice and fresh input will help her represent the parents and community that we serve. She has earned our endorsement.

All three of these candidates have shown the background knowledge, the leadership experience, and the civic-minded temperament needed at this point to guide our schools toward academic excellence, equity, and stability.

We believe that these three candidates will solicit and respect input from parents, community leaders, and our general public, and we trust that they will make the best decisions for all concerned.

John Havlicek — President of the La Crosse Education Association

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