School board welcomes newest member

Published 7:49 am Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The newest Austin Public Schools school board member, David Ruzek, was sworn in Monday during the board’s monthly work session.

Ruzek is filling the seventh board seat, which was vacated in March, when the school board voted to remove Curt Rude from the seat.

“Hopefully it helps move things forward,” Ruzek said.

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Ruzek is a previous school board member, having served from January 1993 to December 1996. Of course, things are a bit different than when Ruzek served.

Ruzek was born in Austin, graduated from Austin High School, and moved back with his wife to work at the research and development arm of Hormel Corp. for 37 years. His wife was a school teacher in Austin Public Schools for 36 years.

“What all that means is we have a real stake here in Austin,” Ruzek said.

Ruzek will act as an interim board member for the remaining time left on his particular board seat, which runs out at the end of next year. In the mean time, he hopes to help the school board make decisions that will improve the schools here as well as the educational opportunities.

While he’s fast catching up on the issues that concern the district today as opposed to 1993, Ruzek hopes to help get the referendum approved in the upcoming Nov. 2 vote, as he’s served on several referendum committees in the past. He’s also concerned with how the district can improve math, science and reading scores on tests across the board, particularly state comprehensive testing scores, of which Austin Public Schools, like many schools across the state, has struggled for several years to make Adequate Yearly Progress rates.