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

Monday, December 23, 2019

The Mercer School Board


2020 will give the Mercer School an opportunity to reverse an eight-year pattern of declining academic results and mismanagement and misspending. Progress has already been made with the replacement of Administrator Erik Torkelson and four of his five lackey school board members.

Torkelson has been on medical leave since last June. Now the new school board needs to make his removal permanent.  And the one remaining school board member who aided and abetted the mismanagement, Micki Pierce-Holmstrom, must be voted out of office when her term expires this coming spring.  

Pierce and two of her four Torkelson stooges – his mother-in-law Kelly Kohegyi and Denise Thompson – were booted off the board in earlier elections.  The other two were Noel Brandt, who moved away, and Deanna Pierpont, who chose not to seek reelection last spring because of probable rejection by Mercer voters.

The school now has a new interim administrator, Sheri Kopka, who appears to be making a sincere attempt to correct the many wrongs created over the past eight-year Torkelson reign.  Among other things she has formed a citizens’ advisory committee to receive important community input.

And four of the five school board members, all new within the last year, are working diligently to deliver reform.  While some of their actions may seem to be slow moving, it needs to be recognized that they are trying to fix eight years of mistakes.   They are providing much-need transparency and more involvement in managing school affairs, things Torkelson never allowed.

Board President Bob Davis and member Jim Hannemann have terms extending beyond next spring.  But Sue Loth and Jeff Nehring, who were appointed to fill vacancies created last spring, must stand for reelection this coming spring.

And so must Micki Pierce-Holmstrom. But the voters have an easy choice there.  Vote her out of office and the Mercer school may have an all honest, hard-working school board.

Let’s give them a chance.


  1. Hope for the best, but prepare for the worst.

    Best option is to have Torkelson and his cronies out of the school

  2. Any news on who has turned in their papers to run or ideas who is thinking about it or maybe be a great addition to the board?