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Cris Carusi announces run for Madison School Board

Cris Carusi announces run for Madison School Board

Cris Carusi, who first ran for a seat on the Madison School Board in 2017, has filed paperwork with the city clerk's office to run again for School Board this spring. 

Carusi, who has been a district parent for more than a decade and was an active parent-teacher organization member, will seek to unseat incumbent School Board member Dean Loumos, who currently holds Seat 3. 

"I am running because I believe I am well-positioned to make good decisions for our schools and community in a challenging political and budgetary climate," Carusi said in an email to the Cap Times. "I have more than a decade of experience working with people across the district to advocate for just and equitable schools."

Carusi's campaign filings were received by the clerk's office on Nov. 30, according to records. The filings included the registration of her campaign, the Committee to Elect Cris Carusi for School Board. 

Loumos, as well as School Board members TJ Mertz, Seat 5, and James Howard, Seat 4, are all up for reelection this spring. 

"I know Cris and think she is a strong advocate for our schools," Loumos told the Cap Times on Monday. "I anticipated that there would be others running and look forward to it. Democracy is better served this way."

The three incumbents all ran unopposed in the 2016 School Board races. The seven-person School Board's members serve three-year terms. 

Carusi ran in the 2017 primary for Seat 6, which opened up after current mayoral candidate Michael Flores decided not to run for re-election. Carusi received 28.9 percent of the vote, but did not advance to the general election that featured GSAFE co-executive director Ali Muldrow and the now-School Board member Kate Toews. Muldrow won the primary, while Toews won the general election. 

Carusi said she gained valuable experience during her first campaign in 2017. 

"As a first-time political candidate, the 2017 primary was a tremendous learning experience for me, and I emerged with better organizing and leadership skills," Carusi said. "I've since worked with families, students and educators to advocate for better learning conditions in our schools."

Carusi works as the associate director for communications at the Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. 

She noted the achievement and opportunity gaps as the most pressing issues to tackle, as well as facilities upgrades and giving families, students and staff opportunities to make their voice heard in the district. 

"As a School Board member, I will fight for strong neighborhood schools where every child is welcomed, supported and challenged, and where teachers and staff love their work," Carusi said. "I will prioritize investments in evidence-based strategies to close gaps, such as small class sizes and early childhood education."

Candidates were able to circulate nomination papers starting Dec. 1. The deadline to file to run for School Board is Jan. 2, 2019.

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Education Reporter

Negassi Tesfamichael is the local education reporter at The Cap Times. He joined the paper in 2018. He previously worked as an intern at WISC-TV/ and at POLITICO.

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