McDonald named to Waupaca School Board
New member fills seat vacated by Polebitski
By Robert Cloud
Molly McDonald is the newest member of the Waupaca School Board.
She was appointed to the board Aug. 22 to fill Mark Polebitski’s vacant seat.
Seven people applied for the position.
The successful candidate needed to be nominated by a board member, then at least four members needed to vote for that candidate.
Five times the board nominated a candidate and voted.
First, Shannon Anderson was nominated, then McDonald, then Kayla Van Dyke, then Melanie Peterson. Each time, three or less board members voted in favor of the nominated candidate, so the board repeatedly failed to make an appointment.
Board members then discussed adjourning the meeting, but McDonald was nominated a second time.
The school board then voted unanimously to appoint McDonald.
In her cover letter, McDonald noted that she is a lifelong resident of Waupaca, the mother of three students and a former student herself in the Waupaca School District.
“From my experience, the Waupaca School District has always been a fantastic place to learn and grow for all students and I would be excited for the opportunity to help positively affect that experience for not only the students, but the parents, staff, and administration as well,” McDonald said in the letter that accompanied her application for the position.
McDonald is vice president of quality control at WOW Logistics in Appleton.
She has been with the company since 2014, rising from director of operations to her current position in 2020.
Prior to WOW Logistics, McDonald worked in management at Frito-Lay Inc. in Kaukauna for 10 years.
“The combination of my professional experience managing budgets, communicating across departments, leading people, and understanding risk and liability along with my personal ties to the community will make me a great addition to the board,” McDonald said.
Her top priorities are fiscal responsibility and resource allocation, transparency from the administration to the parents and students, consistent policy administration and associated communication to all parties and providing well-rounded opportunities for the students.
“A main goal of mine is to help get rid of the divisiveness the past couple years saw across the community and bring back that common goal of making this school district the one everyone wants to enroll in.” McDonald said.
During her interview on Aug. 22, school board member Pat Phair asked McDonald how she would work with people whose beliefs and opinions may be different from hers.
McDonald responded by noting that working in corporate management requires working with people who have different opinions.
“Going into my position as a 22-year-old kid managing 30-year tenured guys in a warehouse, you learn that you need to listen,” she said. “You need that you need to have a little bit of humility and be humble and understand that people have different experiences than you do. You need to make sure you keep emotions out of it as much as possible and make decisions based on facts, the facts that you have at hand to move forward.”
McDonald said she had been on her organization’s covid task force. She described the experience as “very difficult.”
“Not only was it different viewpoints, but when you throw in politics and religion and morals and all of that, you’re going to have a lot of emotion in those conversations,” McDonald said.
She said the goal was to make decisions based on facts, collaborate and agree to move forward and communicate the reasons behind the decisions.