Terry McKeown: Candidate Profile
Bloomingdale Elementary D13
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Note: Answers provided have not been edited for grammar, misspellings or typos. In some instances, candidate claims that could not be immediately verified have been omitted.
Website: Candidate did not respond.
Office sought: Bloomingdale Elementary D13
Family: Married to Marianne, 3 children Kevin, Brian and Katie
Occupation: Area Manager-AT&T Midwest U-verse Operations
Education: Bachelor of Science-Marketing, Northern Illinois University, 1982
Master of Business Administration, Loyola University Chicago, 1989
Civic involvement: *Bloomingdale School District 13 Board of Education - December, 2001 to present.
*Bloomingdale School District 13 Citizens Advisory Council -1999-2001
*IHSA Certified Football Official - 1995 to Present
*Team Manager Lake Park Hockey Club - 2006-2009
*Illinois Suburban Hockey League - Coordinator of Academic All-Conference Team, 2007 to Present
*Team Manager Flames Hockey Club - 3 years
*Soccer Coach Bloomingdale Lightning - 4 years
*Baseball Coach Bloomingdale Baseball - 8 years
Elected offices held: Bloomingdale School District 13 Board of Education
Have you ever been arrested for or convicted of a crime? If yes, please explain: No
Key Issue 1
Campaign Issue #1: Administrative Turnover. Our Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and our Special Education Director are retiring at the end of the 2010-2011 school year. 6 additional members of the administrative team, including our Superintendent, will also be retiring within the next 2 years. Proactively, we have a Continuity and Succession Plan in place. We have already identified and hired replacements effective July, 2011, for the 2011 retirees. With the administrative turnover occurring over the next 2-3 years, I believe continuity on the school board is key for managing the transitions that will be occurring over the next 2 years.
Key Issue 2
Campaign Issue #2: Continue to Improve Student Performance.
I am proud of the continued improvements our district has had with student performance. District 13 test scores are at an all time high having had 7 straight years of improvement. This is not haphazard, rather the results of curriculum mapping, differentiated learning, strong devoted teachers, a hard working student body and a supportive community. We can't rest on our laurels rather we must continue to build upon the successes we have achieved. Building a strong foundation for our students within District 13 will help their transition to high school and help ensure continued educational growth.
Key Issue 3
Campaign Issue #3: School District Funding.
School Financing is and will continue to be an issue in all school districts. The financial crisis within the State of Illinois continues to plague schools and delayed payments and reduced funding will be status quo for the foreseeable future. 85% of our district funding comes from local sources. Property values have declined and tax caps are in place. We have managed the finances of District 13 in a conservative, sound and prudent manner. We have weathered this financial crisis better than most districts and continue to balance our budgets. Our exemplary management of the budget has earned our District the highest financial rating by the State of Illinois for the past 7 years.
How satisfied are you that your district is preparing students for the next stage in their lives, whether it be from elementary into high school or high school into college or full-time employment? What changes, if any, do you think need to be made?
I am very satisfied with the educational opportunities afforded the students of School District 13. Our mission statement refers to developing actively involved learners and responsible citizens in partnership with the community. That is exactly what our District strives for. We are a data driven district and our survey results received from the community, parents and teachers state that all three groups are satisfied with the District as a whole. The district has seen 7 straight years of ISAT test score improvement and our curriculum mapping and differentiated learning is helping to challenge our students to strive for excellence.
What budget issues will the district have to confront? What measures do you support to address them? If cuts are needed, be specific about programs and expenses that should be reduced or eliminated. Do you support any tax increases for local schools?
Our conservative stewardship of our constituents' tax dollars has afforded our district to be in an enviable position. Over 85% of our funding is received from local sources. Tax caps limit the amount of money we can obtain via referendums. We plan our budgets accordingly and do not spend money we don't have. A projected stable student enrollment and staff reductions via attrition have and will continue to allow us to offer excellent core curriculum and extracurricular activities, while maintaining a balanced budget.
Is experience as a teacher or support from a union valuable because it suggests educational insights or detrimental because it creates pro-teacher bias? Please clarify whether you have such experience or would accept union support.
I feel teaching experience is neither a positive nor a negative in regard to a school board candidate. The school board represents the community in which the schools reside. As such, it is important to have a good cross section of the community as a whole, reside on the board. I have been a businessman for 28 years and I am confident that my business acumen is beneficial to the role of school board member. My role as a school board member is to represent the needs of the students, the administration, the teachers and the taxpayers of the district. I serve my role in an unbiased and prudent manner and if an individual group is pleased with my performance, I would be happy to accept their support.
As contract talks come up with various employee groups, what posture should the board take? Do you believe the district should ask for concessions, expect employee costs to stay about the same as they are now or provide increases in pay or benefits?
Each contract negotiation should be dealt with individually based on the general economic climate and the financial condition of the school district. I was a member of the District 13 bargaining team during our last contract negotiation. I feel we offered a fair contract to the union membership. We took into account the economic wellbeing of our taxpaying constituents and the projected revenues and tax caps over the next few years to provide a competitive contract while still balancing our budget.
If your district had a superintendent or other administrator nearing retirement, would you support a substantial increase in his or her pay to help boost pension benefits? Why or why not?
When our school district is in the market for an administrator, it is important for us to be competitive with our total compensation package. In addition, we consistently stay within state guidelines, so as not to be penalized by the state pension system. In today's economic environment, substantial and excessive pension boosts are counterproductive and place additional financial burdens on an already stretched and underfunded system.
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