2023 Appleton Area School Board Candidates: (in alphabetical order)
Candidate: Jason Kolpack
My name is Jason Kolpack and I am running for school board because I want to help ensure a safe and
inclusive learning environment for every student, support and empower educators to do what they do
best, and contribute to defining the policies that shape our students’ education.
I grew up in Appleton and returned to the area six years ago when my oldest child was starting school.
One of the reasons we decided to move back was because of the high quality education we knew we
could secure for our boys in Appleton.
I am a veteran of the US Navy and have a degree in Management Information Systems from UW-
Milwaukee. I currently manage a software development team and I volunteer as a member of the IT
Advisory Committee at Fox Valley Technical College helping to ensure that the technology programs
offered by the college are relevant and up to date with current industry standards and workforce needs.
I also volunteer as a basketball coach for Appleton Parks and Recreation where I’ve had the opportunity
to work with dozens of kids from all over the city over the past few years.
A primary goal of mine as a member of the school board would be to work on staff retention within the
district. Thankfully it seems Appleton has been able to avoid the worst of the resignations in education
sweeping the nation, but I believe there is more we can do to support and maintain the great staff we
have and to improve staff and educator morale such as creating a direct line for feedback between the
staff and the board and reviewing current metrics being used to measure staff engagement and
Candidate Statement: Nick Ross
I am running for a position on the AASD school board for many reasons. My partner is a teacher in the
district. I received the promise of a good public education when I graduated from Neenah High School in
2008 and became the first person in my family to go to college at Columbia University. I believe that
strong public schools are the foundation for a healthy, thriving community. We have a lot of great things
going for us in the district, but our students and staff are struggling and need support.
We urgently need to prioritize student mental health. Nearly half (48%) of all high school students in
Outagamie County indicated in the 2021 National Youth Risk Behavioral Survey that they “rarely or
never get the help they need” when they are in emotional distress. 10% of all Outagamie high school
students indicated that they had made a plan for suicide in the past 12 months. These numbers are
significantly higher for our students of color and LGBT students – for example, 24% of LGBT students had
made a suicide plan.
I will advocate for policies that increase students’ access to mental health support and I will help the
district build stronger partnerships with our community’s resources. I will also work to see that existing
evidence-based programming and partnerships like Sources of Strength are prioritized by district
I am uniquely positioned to address these challenges. My work as an advocate connecting people in
crisis to resources and support, as well as my history of community involvement, has allowed me to
build strong relationships with our community’s network of resources. We need all hands on deck to
address these challenges, and I am eager to help facilitate these connections to help improve the lives of
our students, families, and staff.
Candidate: Kristine Sauter
Strong public schools are essential to individual student, family, and community success. A lifelong
resident and proud graduate of the Appleton Area School District (AASD), I personally experienced the
benefits of an AASD education as did my spouse, our children, and family members, some of whom are
current students. During my thirty-year career as a special education, regular education, and substitute
teacher, I learned alongside many dedicated, talented educators and families. I am honored to serve the
community and am seeking re-election to the AASD School Board to continue to advocate for all
stakeholders in public education.
I have gained valuable experience and knowledge of the responsibilities and duties of a school board
member. I prepare thoroughly, seek input from stakeholders, and work collaboratively in decision
making with other board members, district staff, families, and community members to provide optimal
learning opportunities for all AASD students in a safe, accepting environment while remaining fiscally
responsible to community taxpayers. I am currently serving as vice president of the board and as a
member of the community linkages committee-.
In addition to the goal of meeting the diverse academic, social, emotional, and behavioral needs of all AASD students, since 2020, the board has focused on the following:
- Navigating the ever-changing pandemic challenges
- Providing safe education options for students and staff
- Providing additional student supports to meet the increased academic, social, emotional, and behavioral needs
- Transitioning to a new board governance model to promote efficiency and accountability
- Initiating community listening session opportunities to promote dialogue with stakeholders
- Attracting and retaining talented staff
- Hiring a new superintendent
- Planning for the recently passed referendum
Thank you for the opportunity to share this information. I would be honored to continue serving as a member of the AASD Board of Education.
Candidate: Deb Truyman
My name is Deb Truyman, and I am running for re-election to the AASD Board of Education. My passion,
as a community member, former educator, and grandmother of five children in the Appleton Area
School District, is to ensure that all students have an equal opportunity in attaining their educational
potential. I believe we can all contribute to a successful environment for our schools. We —parents,
teachers, families and community — all play interconnecting roles that can enhance the learning and
success of children in the district.
Having proudly served on the AASD Board of Education for the past four years, I have worked for
accountability, meaningful communication, and transparency within the AASD through community
involvement and developing reportable goals. I have met with community members, staff members and
parents, through our Community Linkages program, to understand the concerns they have regarding
staffing shortages, student behaviors, student achievement and decreasing funding for the added
programs needed by the District. With your support, I will continue to work with all stake-holders as well
as administration to continue to move AASD forward in preparing each and evrty student for college
and career readiness.
Please feel free to contact me with any further questions you have. I am on facebook webpage-
Sincerely, Deb Truyman
Learn all about the candidates you will see on your ballot this spring!