Pam Buchda has a long resume of service in public office, and she believes her experience would be an asset on the Tomah School Board.
Buchda was appointed to the board in October 2006 to fill the remaining seven months of Dennis Workman’s term. She was elected to her first full term in April 2007 and was elected again in 2010. She lost a re-election bid in 2013, was reappointed to the board later that year but lost a re-election bid in 2015.
She has served on the Tomah City Council since 2006.
“I served on the school board before, and I enjoy serving the community that way,” Buchda said. “Educating our youth is investing in our future.”
Buchda grew up in Melrose and came to Tomah in 1989 to work for Tomah Care Center, which is now Tomah Nursing & Rehabilitation. She still works there as activities director, a job which puts her in contact with people on a daily basis, she said.
“People skills is part of my job,” she said. “I have the ability to listen to people. Anything the school board does is part of a team effort.”
Buchda said the job also gives her management experience.
“As part of a management team, I’m used to being involved in future planning and making decisions,” she said.
During her years on the school board, she has served on the curriculum committee and was on the committee that led to the creation of four-year-old kindergarten in the Tomah district.
“I’m very proud that I was on the 4K committee and that we now four-year-old kindergarten in Tomah,” Buchda said. “It’s working well.”
She supports the April 5 referendum to exceed state-imposed revenue limits by $1.5 million over each of the next three years. It would be the first time Tomah has exceeded the caps since they were enacted in 1995. She said schools enjoy “wonderful community support” and hopes that support continues.
“It’s very much needed for our school district,” Buchda said. “Our school district has been very responsible and conservative. It’s going to hurt the education of our students if it doesn’t pass.”
Buchda said the local economy depends on quality schools.
“We want to maintain a high-quality education,” she said. “It’s important to attract business and maintain our tax base.”
She said the board will need to deal with rapidly changing technology to meet the needs of students and that online alternatives must be explored.
“I believe in offering a blended education,” she said. “I believe some students will do more online, others not. Personally, I wouldn’t be an online learner because I like the personal contact, but there are other kids who are native to technology and get more out of online.”
Buchda said Tomah schools offer a quality education and produce well-rounded citizens.
“I’m proud of our students and how they excel,” she said. “We have some neat things happening with the students in our school district.”