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Brookfield resident runs as write-in for school board

March 18, 2014

A Brookfield resident has announced that he will run as a write-in candidate for the Elmbrook School District's At-Large Seat at the April 1 spring election.

Jim Kratoska will run against incumbent Kathryn Wilson, who was previously running unopposed for the seat.

Kratoska currently works as a Process Improvement Consultant for his businesses, Lean Business Solutions LLC, which helps clients manage their operations more efficiently.

The Lean business model is a method by which companies can "streamline" their operations to cut out any excess steps, Kratoska said.

"I've worked with a lot of commercial organizations to improve their methodology… and public institutions are no different," he said. "My talents and skills (as a consultant) can really help benefit the district."

Kratoska, who has registered as a write-in candidate, said he hasn't been involved with any school committees, but does have an extensive background in education and business.

He earned a bachelor of science degree in applied mathematics and physics, and master's degrees in business administration and philosophy at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, where he later taught as an adjunct professor for several years.

Kratoska has been a Brookfield resident for more than 40 years and has two grown children who were taught in the Elmbrook School District.

As a businessman, Kratoska said he's very skeptical when it comes to the state's Common Core standards.

"The problem is that Common Core has never really been tested for results," he said. "The state essentially wholesales a new curriculum into the district, replacing the old curriculum, and says 'this is going to be just as good.' That approach is heavily discouraged in the business sector."

Overall, Kratoska said he could help the board by making efficient, but educated, decisions, while still keeping the board's goal the same: "to keep Elmbrook the best school district around."

"I work a lot with team building exercises," he said. "I have a healthy respect when working with those who may have different ideas, while still working in harmony (with them)."

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