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updated: 2/23/2011 3:43 PM

Mark D. Turk: Candidate Profile

DuPage H.S. D88

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  • Mark D. Turk, running for DuPage H.S. D88

      Mark D. Turk, running for DuPage H.S. D88

 

 

 

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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.

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BioKey IssuesQ&A

 

Bio

City: Addison

Website: Candidate did not respond.

Office sought: DuPage H.S. D88

Age: 55

Family: Married Two children

Occupation: Printing Company Executive

Education: Bachelor of Arts in Journalism/Speech-Communications, Eastern Illinois University, 1977

Master of Science in Industrial Technology, Eastern Illinois University, 1982

Civic involvement: Partnership for Inspired Education (Districts 45, 48 & 88 Foundation)

Addison Trail HS Citizens' Advisory Council

Addison Unity Task Force

Addison Business-Education Partnership Council

District 88 ""Building the Future"" Committee

Elmhurst Elks

Woodmen of the World

Elected offices held: Candidate did not respond.

Have you ever been arrested for or convicted of a crime? If yes, please explain: No.

Candidate's Key Issues

Key Issue 1

The financial challenge we face with the reduction in state funding--we have to continue to thrive in spite of the mess in Springfield. All schools are affected by this and ours is no exception. We must challenge ourselves to find ways to be more fiscally responsible, yet continue to improve our educational standards inside and outside the classroom. We challenge and require our students to be creative and engage in critical thinking, therefore we must demonstrate the same effort. It's up to us.

Key Issue 2

Improving our schools' test scores. The district has improved its ACT scores each year for the past few years. This district is doing remarkable things that are being recognized nationally. I believe it is important to maintain this trend. Through the years the D88 Board has always been a ""kids-first"" board. I'd like to help keep it that way.

Key Issue 3

Embracing and celebrating diversity. Our schools' demographics have been changing and I believe this is a challenge that can be turned into something positive if we really communicate and be proactive. Once again, it's up to us.

Questions & Answers

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'm proud of our district for the manner in which it prepares students for the next level, whether it be college, trade school, or other business endeavors. The district also connects well with its ""feeder"" districts to better prepare students in the transition to high school. The efforts of our schools are attracting national attention. The challenge is to involve and expose more students to the fascinating opportunities that exist in our world today.

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?

The state witholding funds to our district has hurt. Unfortunately, we have to face this issue. Reminding ourselves we are a ""kids-first"" board, any proposed cuts or reductions in programs and/or services must be examined in the most diligent manner. It may also come down to finding additional revenue sources besides tax increases. Budget cuts are generally one-time ""fixes."" What do you do next year? I never saw any organization ""cut"" its way to success year-in and year-out. Something else must be done. I am not at this time convinced a tax increase is necessary.

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 have been a teacher and I have managed a department for a company with eleven different craft unions. I believe any and all experiences in these types of environments offer valuable ""insights"". However, at the end of the day it comes down to trust and how well people can work together to achieve a common goal in the best interests of the students.

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?

I believe the information we obtain from credible news reports with regard to the economy reflects the local climate as it exists today. I think there are plenty of intelligent, reasonable people on all sides and with trust, good faith and open communication, a mutually acceptable agreement can be reached that is in the best interests of the students and the community.

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?

I am not interested in nor do I believe this practice to be ethical.

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