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Candidate Q&A: River Valley School Board

Candidate Q&A: River Valley School Board

From the 2020 Spring Election Guide: Find out more about who's on your ballot series
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Wisconsin State Journal (copy)

A longtime incumbent faces a challenger for a seat on the River Valley School Board in the April 7 election. The term is for three years. (I) denotes incumbent.

Julie Flint

Julie Flint


Age: 50

Address: 7710 Mellum Road, Arena

Family: Married with four children

Job: Realtor

Prior elected office: None

Other public service: Army Reserves; Miracles on Hoof fundraisers

Education: Liberal arts degree, Madison Area Technical College

Website or email address:;

Deborah A. Nelson (I)

Age: 63

Address: 6767 Amacher Hollow Road, Arena

Family: Married with five children

Job: Dairy farmer; former school bus driver

Prior elected office: River Valley School Board since 1993

Other public service: Iowa County Board of Adjustment; volunteer, Arena EMS and Fire Department; club leader, Iowa County 4-H Leaders Association

Education: Bachelor’s degree in agriculture, UW-River Falls

Website or email address:


Why should voters elect you instead of your opponent?

Flint: My opponent has closed four schools and shipped our kids and resources to Spring Green with no plan to fix the problem. Division, bitterness, declining enrollment, open enrollment is what we are left with. We need a plan! We can’t keep asking the taxpayers to pay more for bad management.

Nelson: I have served on the board for 27 years. I have attended the State Education Convention and other valuable training many times. I know the history behind what has happened in our district over the years and I can help our district continue to be the great district it is.

What is the most pressing issue in your community and how would you address it?

Flint: Enrollment! Advertising and increasing our state and federal stats by increasing our reading scores so the other 60% can be proficient would go a long way. Good schools and good special education programs bring people to communities. Arena had a 23% increase in enrollment! Too bad they closed it.

Nelson: We need to continue to build on the great school district that we have. We are preparing our children for jobs that don’t even exist yet. We need to work with local businesses and post-high school educators to have our students career-ready.

How can your district raise achievement levels for all students while holding the line on property taxes?

Flint: We need to go back to phonics, basic math and civics. We would save a ton of money by not making more special education students. We need to bring back cursive. Studies show that phonics and cursive are crucial to helping children do better. We need to be a leader.

Nelson: The state funding formula is broken. Until elected officials at the Capitol decide to fix it, we will continue to have to ask local taxpayers to help. At the local level, our board will need to look at what is best for students and how to fund those needs.


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