Theresa Villar, 55, is running against Margaret Oliver and Tonya Evans in the primary election. She is running for the Racine Unified School District Board 1st District. The election is taking place on Feb. 15.
Villar is a resident of Sturtevant, Wis. She has lived in Racine County for the past 10 years. If Theresa Villar wins, she will advance to the spring election on April 5.
To read more about other races and candidates visit the Racine County Eye Election Guide Spring 2022. The following answers were provided by Theresa Villar on Feb. 2, 2022.
Theresa Villar’s Questionnaire
Have you ever held an elected office position before?
In thinking about your election bid, what top three issues need to be addressed?
1) We need to address significant behavior issues that several RUSD schools are struggling with. 2) We need to address the fact that our students are growing up in a very divisive, polarized society. 3) We need to address the high rate of turnover of faculty, staff, nurses, etc.
How would you plan to address those issues?
1) I believe the large majority of behavior issues exhibited by students are caused by exposure to trauma. We need to better educate our faculty and staff in trauma-informed care and methods of discipline. We also need to provide more mental health support for our students who are struggling so that all of our students feel safe attending RUSD schools.
2) I plan to address the divisiveness/polarization in our society in several ways. First, I want to listen to my constituents and all stakeholders in RUSD. The only way for us to address the many challenges facing our schools is to listen respectfully to one another and to work together. I will also advocate for the values of diversity, inclusion, equity and justice to be taught in our schools.
3) I want to work closely with members of our faculty, staff and administration, including Racine Educators United, to brainstorm ways to improve the work environment of all RUSD employees. I would support many of the proposals that have already been brought before the School Board such as increased planning time for teachers and increased front-line staffing in our schools.
In reference to those issues you have identified, what would success look like to you?
1) Lower incidents of suspension and expulsion from our schools.
2) Greater civic engagement in board meetings in a respectful manner, and an openness/willingness on the part of our students to welcome and accept other cultures and backgrounds and points of view.
3) Increased planning time for teachers, and increased staffing in our schools.
Why are those issues important to you?
Education is the bedrock of our democracy. Our future depends on having citizens who are well informed of current issues, who are able to freely and intelligently develop their own opinions, who can articulate and advocate for their beliefs, and who are willing to consider other’s points of views.
At the end of your term, what would you like to have accomplished?
I would love to be able to say I contributed to a greater sense of pride in our school district. I want to help capitalize on our strengths, and to marshal the many resources both within the school district and in the larger community to meet our challenges.
Why should people vote for you?
I am here to listen to the concerns of my constituents and all stakeholders in RUSD. As a School Board member, I will be available and open for input and will make the concerns of my constituents known to the Board. I have spent my entire adult life advocating for children and I would love to have the opportunity to advocate for Racine’s children by serving on the RUSD School Board.
What is your educational background?
Law degree from Marquette Law School, 2010
BA from Notre Dame College, 1990
What civic organizations do you belong to?
Kiwanis of West Racine
Is there anything else you would like voters to know?
I was a high school teacher for 15 years in Cleveland, OH, and Clearwater, FL before changing careers and going to law school. As an attorney, I have represented victims of domestic abuse and served as a guardian ad litem for Racine County. I then joined the Racine DA’s Office in 2017 and am responsible for prosecuting all CHIPS cases (Children in Need of Protection and Services). I was also a foster parent for Milwaukee County and subsequently adopted 2 children, both of whom are enrolled in RUSD schools. I am very invested in children’s issues in general and in the success of our RUSD students.
Election Guide 2022
Learn more about the other candidates running with Theresa Villar in this primary election by viewing the Racine County Eye Election Guide 2022.
The Racine County Eye and Kenosha Lens are committed to providing you with accurate, timely election information. We are your source for local news that serves our diverse communities. Subscribe today to stay up-to-date with the latest election coverage and other local news.