William E. "Wes" Smithing

Below are candidate-submitted answers to a biographical survey Riverside-Brookfield Landmark sent out to all candidates running in this year’s elections.

Age:  47

Previous political experience:  

I have not sought or held elected office

Previous community experience:

Brookfield little league Coach Minor league (9-10 year) – 3 boys

YMCA – Indian Guides program, 7 years, Treasure 2 years, Chief 2 years

E.R.T. – Member of the Emergency Response Team United Airlines.


Manager Facility Design & Construction for United Ground Express.  United Ground Express is a wholly owned subsidiary of United Airlines and manages the ground handling responsibilities for over 31 cities/stations and counting for United Airlines, Inc.  I manage all construction and facility projects for the ground handler from facility upgrades such as kiosk and ticket counters to insourcing deicing programs for station outlets.


Bachelor Science of Entrepreneurial Management from the University of South Carolina.

RBHS has completed or is completing a number of physical improvements to the school, particularly its athletic facilities. Now that the work is complete, on what other long-term projects – either physical, curricular or both — should the board focus its attention? 

I believe the boards focus should be on the strategic planning for the district, determining the mission, vision and long range strategy.  What the board decides today will determine how the district will be competitive and beneficial over the next 10-20 years.  This is an ongoing process that will continuously be re-evaluating the initiatives and priorities set forth.  The administration should focus on the long term planning to achieve the strategic goals set by the board.  I will add the current athletic facilities are scheduled to be completed this fall with the addition of the tennis courts and parking lot.  In addition the life safety and roof maintenance continues.

What is the long-term financial outlook of the school district? Will there be a need to seek new revenues via a referendum, and would you support seeking such a referendum?

Everyone would like additional revenue however I believe the district spoke on this referendum in 2011 with a resounding NO.  I believe we are projected to run a 2 million dollar deficit by the year 2021.  The 24 Million dollar question is that 72% of the budget is salaries and benefits.  This leaves 28% (almost 6.7 million) for everything else that is needed to run the school.  I have confidence the school district through continued management / diligence will live within their means and budget constraints.  Hence, the reason for strong proactive strategic planning 5, 10, and 15 years into the future.

Are there programs or areas of the curriculum on which RBHS needs to focus more attention or less attention? How would you rate the education being provided to students of all abilities at RBHS?

Recognizing that of 1,188 public schools in the state RBHS is ranked 24th and 661st out of 26,407 public schools in the country.   With the graduation rate better than 95% I am positive we are providing an excellent education for our youth.   Almost 40% of our students go to 2 year community/trade school or join the work force after graduation.  I would like us to evaluate the means that we are preparing these students for productive career choices.  There has been great opportunities in the trades and advance manufacturing sectors that I feel we should explore to give all the students greater options in the future. 

RBHS is becoming a more diverse place in terms of student demographics. What is RBHS doing to address those changes? What more can be done? 

Riverside Brookfield High School identifies the population of students to be: 43% diverse, 16% low income and 12% with disabilities.  I believe the school administration and faculty are engaged in a proactive course of education, education, and more education with respects to all forms of bullying and discrimination practices.  I do not think the board has a role to play in any individual disciplinary cases as it pertains to student interactivity.  However the board has and will continue to set proactive expectations for the district, administration and staff holding to a no tolerance policy. 

The district instituted a Chromebooks program a couple of years back. How do you feel that is working out and are there other ways technology can be integrated into the curriculum?

The positives well outweigh any negatives as it pertains to the 1 to 1 initiative.  The faculty seem to be on board and fully engaged in the program which is crucial to the successes.  I would need to hear the opinions of professional staff and leadership for other ways technology can be integrated into the curriculum with the chromebooks.   I believe the district is doing a fine job implementing and am a supporter of this program. 

Explain your views on the relative advantage of assessments and using them to measure proficiency or growth.

I feel if the faculty is involved with the development, implementation, and analysis of the assessments this can have many benefits.  The faculty can better determine the levels of thinking or reasoning appropriate for the course, engage in more productive conversations about the status of student achievement, and identify future instructional development. 

What other issues are important to you as a school board candidate? How would you advocate for them as a board member? 

I feel I will be a productive and proactive part of the board and future of our neighborhood.  In the past I felt the board was not fully engaged in the needs and/or wants of the community as a whole.  I would like to leave the board and district better than when joined, through an approach of preparing the district for future trends.  I would like to have the board develop a comprehensive long range strategic plan.