Jamie Klemme Gambrell

Prior political experience: In 2011, I was elected to the Plymouth School Board and served 14 months, until a move out of Sheboygan County forced my resignation. As a Board member, I participated in the decisions which have kept our school system on the cutting edge while utilizing our funds responsibly. We began development of our 4 Pillars of Education as well as the restructuring of the teacher compensation/ evaluation model. As a board member I was the liaison to the Plymouth Education Foundation and continue to serve on the Foundation Board as a board member. I have enthusiastically supported the revitalization of the Foundation and its expanded mission to enhance the educational experience of our students and teachers. I feel strongly about the opportunities Plymouth has to offer and opted for school choice so that Zach could continue here in Plymouth while we lived out of district. Circumstances have allowed me to return to the city of Plymouth and I am excited to rejoin the Board and support the positive direction of the district. I’d like to return my unique perspective to the Plymouth School Board and continue the work that began several years ago.

Children: 2 sons -- Jesse, 22, a UW-La Crosse senior and 2010 grad PHS; Zachary, 17, a PHS junior who has attended Plymouth public schools since 1st grade

Bio: Married; I was born in Plymouth and attended Plymouth Public Schools, graduating from PHS in 1977. I attended the United States Air Force Academy, graduated in 1981 with a BS in Biology and a commission as a 2nd Lieutenant. In 1982, I graduated from pilot training and went on to fly C141 cargo aircraft and then instruct new pilots in the T-37 jet trainer. In 1988, I was honorably discharged achieving the rank of Captain. Subsequently, I was hired by American Airlines, flying numerous different passenger aircraft both domestically and internationally. I have lived in many parts of the United States and have traveled extensively worldwide. Both of my children were born in Florida and we lived there until 2003, when we decided to relocate to Wisconsin. We were excited about the educational opportunities, the small town atmosphere and reconnecting with my extended family.

1. Why are you a candidate for the Plymouth School Board?

I am running for school board because I believe a strong school system is paramount to our children’s future and the future of our community and country. Plymouth has a unique combination of small town atmosphere, extensive industry support, varied academic curriculum and extracurricular opportunities. Superb teachers take pride in our children’s success. I want to be part of the process to keep our school system strong, giving all children the best education to succeed as adults while staying within our budget constraints.

2. What skills do you bring to the school board?

As an Air Force Officer and as a professional pilot, I have been trained to lead and look at problems methodically, logically and make decisions. I am not afraid to look for creative solutions to our educational challenges. We need to help our students succeed in our global society. As a mother of two and a native of Plymouth, I take pride in keeping our school system strong for our children and grandchildren. I will listen to and research all sides of any issue. I believe compromise is the only way to solve issues and politics has no place in our schools. As a Veteran, I have a strong sense of community and know what it means “to serve”. Strong schools and strong communities go hand in hand.

3. What actions and/or policies will you initiate?

* I would encourage community involvement from all segments of our community. I support volunteerism and interaction between all our citizens and our school age children. I would encourage and promote more community service opportunities for our children.

*I support ways to increase opportunities for children to learn a foreign language at a younger age. Linguistic skills are enormously important in a global economy.

* I support a healthy school lunch program and am proud of the strides we have made. The revamping of the lunch menu and emphasis on healthy choices helps to educate our students about lifelong health skills.

* The Food Science and Agricultural Center (Green House Project) that is spearheaded by the Education Foundation is an enlightened step to marry practical food applications with educational opportunities and our local food industries. I support any collaborative effort to educate our students in realistic applications of agriculture, science and technology while working with our local industries and technical schools.

* I support the use of our schools and facilities to improve the lives of all members of the community through the Community Education Program and its varied offerings. The programs encourage life-long learning and set a wonderful example for our children. Kathy Murray and her team have done an amazing job introducing new and varied classes, both academic and exercise related.

4. What are the greatest needs of the Plymouth School District?

*Continued fiscal responsibility

*Maintain strong/motivated teachers and administrators

*Continued evaluation of the current academic curriculum to maximize every student’s opportunity to succeed.

* Maintain our diverse extracurricular activities to enrich our students’ social education and enhance the community

* Motivate and challenge the entire community to participate in education

5. What are your ideas for solving the budget shortfall in the near future?

Every option must be considered to balance the budget but still maintain the high quality of education our children deserve. I will do my best to work with all the board members and administrators to find the most advantageous solutions to challenging budget issues. The current administration has done a marvelous job keeping costs in check and continues to look for ways to maximize the value of our dollars.

6. Where do you want our schools to be in five years? How will we know we’ve gotten there?

*Strides have been made to improve the evaluation tools for our students and educators alike. I would like to see the continued improvement of these tools to realistically measure the success of our teaching. The success of these changes will be evident in the success of our graduates and the ability of each student to reach his/her educational goals. The Plymouth School Board and its administrators have developed a series of pillars to set goals, and gauge the success of our district’s progress toward achieving these pillars. I am in favor of continued “fine tuning” of the established pillars and yearly evaluation.

*All parents actively engaged in their student’s academic education and social development. Encouraging a “Parents as teachers” mindset.

* Actively seeking continued opportunities to partner with the business community to enhance the educational model.

7. What should high school students know upon graduation?

* Our graduates should know how to learn and have the desire to continue learning throughout life

* To have awareness of their own personal strengths and weaknesses and have the tools to maximize their potential.

* To see their future as an opportunity to succeed and feel prepared to adapt to the changing needs of our society whatever career field they choose.

8. Is there anything else you want voters to know about you?

I will do everything in my power to help make the Plymouth School District’s students successful. I believe in fiscal responsibility, however there is much we have in our district that doesn’t have a dollar value assigned. The heart of our community, our soul, our enthusiasm, our pride are intangibles that cost nothing but have helped make Plymouth successful and stand out among our peers. I want to help our community continue on a promising trajectory of successful educational opportunities for all.

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