Joining the big league

Local high school science teacher campaigns for Wisconsin state superintendent

Fondy science teacher Joseph Fenrick , is running for Wisconsin state superintendent this year, with a focus on teaching not testing, making great schools the center of a community and making a curriculum that will give every student a chance to enhance their skills and talents. The election is on April 6, 2021. Fenrick is also a UW Oshkosh geology lecturer and three-term Fond Du Lac County Supervisor.
“I want to bring a teacher’s perspective to the state superintendent position,” Fenrick said. “Together with families, educators, and students I want education to be a model of ground floor up instead of top down.”
As a teacher, he has seen the effects that standardized testing has on students, and he hopes to bring a focus on making sure that students actually absorb the information instead of just memorizing it in the hopes of passing a test.
“My number one issue is teaching not testing,” he said. “We have seen how being forced to teach to the test has diminished the art of teaching, teachers individualized voice in the classroom, and has limited the offerings our children are given in the schools. There is so much more to student achievement than a standardized test score. If we increase hands on learning, increase time devoted to teaching, we will see a positive effect on student achievement.”
Throughout his campaign, his daughter Hannah, a senior at Fondy High, has been a big source of support throughout his campaign.

Together with families, educators, and students I want education to be a model of ground floor up instead of top down.

— Joseph Fenrick

“Mostly for his campaign I’ve been his support,” she said. “A member of his cheering crowd. I’ve posted on my own social media posts about him and what his campaign stands for. While he was out gathering signatures, I stayed home to babysit and post posts asking everyone I knew to sign his papers to get him on the ballot. I’ve been support in the sense that he asks me how his speech went after he gives them. I mean, he is after all a family man, and so naturally he’s been asking me and the rest of my family to help him whenever we can and with whatever we are able to.”
In addition to increased focus on teaching, Fenrick also wants to ensure that special education is fully funded.
“Each child’s needs are unique, and our students in special education may require specialized supports and services for them to be successful,” he said. “I am committed to push for 60% reimbursement for special education funding and would like to see the costs of special education be fully funded by the state.”
Another target of focus in his campaign is ensuring that students have access to mental health resources in schools.
“As the Chair of the Social Service Committee for the Fond du Lac County Board of Supervisors, I have advocated for increasing the services that Fond du Lac County provides for mental health,” Fenrick said. “This means forming partnerships between Fond du Lac and the local school districts to better meet the needs of each and every child; these partnerships could be accomplished in every county.”
The final focus is improving on the lack of affordable high speed internet, which Fenrick believes is a major barrier to the education process. He already has big plans on how to move forward.
“When students leave the classroom they should have continued access to affordable and reliable internet, in every household across Wisconsin,” he said. “On the Fond du Lac County Board of Supervisors, I have voted to expand broadband internet to rural parts of the county. Currently over 20,000 families have increased access to the internet due to these votes. As state superintendent I will advocate for statewide broadband that is affordable and available to everyone.”
The election will take place April 6, 2021 and more information about the campaign can be found at