Cost per student Mercer $25,097,
Wis. $13,505, Nation $11,762
ACT comp. score Mercer 17.0,
Wis. 19.6, Lakeland UHS 20.0,
Hurley 18.7; perfect score 36.0
Mercer DPI Report Card score
lowest of all 421 Wis. districts

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Election Results
Mercer voters have left managing the Mercer school and cleaning up the administrative/school board mess in a quandary.  They elected only one of two school board candidates, Jim Hannemann, who ran on a pledge to make changes and restore transparency and honesty to the dysfunctional and mismanaged school administration and school board.
The other candidate elected in Tuesday’s school board election, Bob Davis, appears willing to maintain a status quo for the school – and the status quo is not good.  See MSF 3/30/19 Save Our School. 
So, we are left with two board members on one side -- Karl Anderson and newly elected Jim Hannemann, who want to end the many questionable practices; and two on the other side, newly elected Bob Davis and Administrator Erik Torkelson’s longtime minion Micki Pierce-Holstrom, owner of Century 21 Pierce Realty, who want to maintain the status quo.
The other advocate in the election for change for the better, Christa Reinert, was the victim of a “smear” campaign loaded with many false accusations by Davis and his followers.  Among those false claims was a charge that Christa was “disruptive and bullying” at school board meetings when audio recordings of the meetings prove just the opposite.
In what was probably one of dirtiest campaigns in Mercer’s history, it was intended to get Christa off the board before she uncovered the misuse of school tax dollars, unwarranted pay to the administrator and other improprieties.  However, some of this information is already in the hands of authorities. 
Now, with a two and two board makeup, it appears that very little might be accomplished, including the important necessity of removing and replacing Torkelson. With the tied situation, it seems questionable if the board will even be able to decide on a replacement to fill an existing board vacancy or elect the board’s officers.  This stalemate could exist until the Spring 2020 election. 
Until Tuesday’s election, the board was comprised of three members who would wrongly do as they were told by Torkelson, and two members, Christa and Karl, who struggled to do what was in the best interests of the students, staff and community even though they were outnumbered.
But things again began to change as the election neared. Deanna Pierpont decided not to seek reelection to the board and Noel Brandt, board president, took a job out of town and resigned his board seat.  (Brandt resigned at the February board meeting – he was not at the February of March meetings – but then supposedly withdrew his resignation and submitted another one effective with the April meeting.) See MSF 9/28/19 Three School Board Members Absent.
As the election neared, the board was left with one resigned (or unresigned) board member, one not running for reelection and Torkelson supporter Micki Pierce.  In order to maintain his control, Torkelson had to replace his missing two supporters so he hand-picked Davis and Paul Chaney as his candidates in Tuesday’s election.
Mercer voters have been slowly waking up to the dire situation of the school under Torkelson and the school board members he controlled.  It was not too long ago when all five board members would do as he commanded.  That began to change when one of his staunch supporters, Denise Thompson, was voted off the board and Christa Reinert voted in. 
Next to go down was Torkelson’s mother-in-law, Kelly Kohegyi, who was beaten by Karl Anderson.  Kohegyi’s defeat was probably due to her huge conflict of interest as the administrator’s mother-in-law and to the widespread negative publicity Mercer received after it became public that she had shown the sexually explicit movie “50 Shades of Grey“ to young Mercer school girls in the back seat of her vehicle.
Karl and Jim will most certainly have the best interests of the students, staff and community in wanting to make the needed changes and put the school on a path toward operating efficiently, transparently and honestly.  It remains to be seen if Pierce and Davis will cave into Torkelson’s demands and allow the school flounder.


  1. One can only hope that Davis will take the duties and responsibilities of a school board member seriously.

    And thank you Christa for all you've done.

    1. Mr Davis, please remember that you work for the taxpayers and that Torkelson works for you.

  2. In the coming weeks Mercer voters will become aware that they made a huge mistake in not reelecting Christa Reinert. The misuse of their tax dollars will continue, as will the poor education of their children. But more is to come!!!

  3. The Davis gang still doesn't get it. They're in for embarrassing surprises to come.

  4. Guys, I'm sorry to be blunt, but we can't have the stink of your corrupt school rubbing off on the rest of this region. I think it's time to petition the other members of the Indianhead Conference, asking them to boot you out. Somebody needs to make a statement that this type of behavior is unacceptable.

    1. Save Our StudentsApril 4, 2019 at 7:01 AM

      What Torkelson and his gang members has done to this school is tragic.

  5. I’m concerned that Bob Davis will be able to read and understand school board materials. He certainly wasn’t able to comprehend a very simple one of your blogs about Lipstick on a Pig (2/10/19) and several times said it was a reference to the school and the kids. Any simpleton could read that it was about his mis-fit group of followers.

  6. Will reasonable minds prevail...

    How does the Mercer School Board fill the position of Noel Brandt?

    Can an argument be made that the most economical, in terms time and money, way to fill Noel's position is for the Board to agree that seeing as how the top two vote-getters are to be on the Board, that the third top vote-getter should get the, now vacant, Noel Brandt, seat.

    It seems to me that this is a logical way to proceed.

    Can reasonable minds agree? Can we at least put this idea out there for discussion?