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.
City: Round Lake Beach
Website: Candidate did not respond.
Office sought: Round Lake Area Unit D116, 4-year term
Age: Candidate did not respond.
Family: I've been married 40 years and have raised 4 children (1 boy, 3 girls) and have 4 wonderful grandchildren (3 boys, 1 girl). I've lived in the Round Lake Area for 13 years.
Occupation: Coordinator of Prevention Services for Nicasa/Director of the 21st Century Community Learning Center After School Program. This program helps students achieve academic success, develop healthy life skills and provides pro social enrichment programming.
Education: In addition to majoring in Business I've continued professional development in the areas of Brief Strategic Family Therapy,Addictions Counseling,Gang Awareness,Adolescent Risk Taking,Washington Aggression Interruption Training,&Family Involvement Training
Civic involvement: I've been an active member of the Round Lake Area BEST Coalition, CHARACTER COUNTS, Lake County After School Coalition, Say Yes to Youth Success, Underage Drinking Prevention, Kermes Planning Committee, 3x Chair of the Chili Supper Festival, Youth Violence Prevention Strategic Planning, and Feasibility Study Committee for School Based Health Center.
Elected offices held: RLAS-116 Board of Education
Have you ever been arrested for or convicted of a crime? If yes, please explain: No
Key Issue 1
#1 must be fiscal responsibility. As this district moves forward and the State Finance Authority steps away, it is imperative that we stay fiscally healthy by continuing to closely monitor district spending. We must insist that all expenditures are tied to the District Strategic Plan and that they will positively impact student learning and academic achievement.
Key Issue 2
In order to succeed, our students need to be prepared for an ever changing, diverse, challenging and global world. So #2 is to meet the needs of our students for the 21st Century. This includes raising academic standards, designing facilities that support 21st century learning by moving towards smaller class size, cleaner air, natural lighting and safer school buildings and development of 21st Century technology throughout the district according to the District Strategic Plan; and all this needs to be done using sound financial guidelines.
Key Issue 3
Finally, #3 is community involvement at all levels. This includes administration, teachers, support staff, students, parents, businesses, law enforcement, police, village officials, park district, fire protection, and all community members. Today, more than ever, we need to partner together to help our students become the very best they can be and create an educational environment that invites families to want to be part of our district.
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?
As the district moves forward with its new Strategic Plan we need to continue from where we are towards where we want to be, by addressing the needs of our students at each level (pre-school, elementary school, middle and high school). We must align a curriculum within each building and across the district, that uses best practices, to prepare all students, including ESL, ELL, special education and gifted students, for 21st Century higher education and/or the job market.
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?
As with all districts, we will have to face the lack of state funding for education which is critical to a district like 116. When one adds the slow economy, the lack of jobs and increasing student population, continued use of sound business management to govern our spending is imperative. This board has projected budgeting over the next ten years, using both worst and best case scenario's to guide our planning. This BOE has done all it can to prepare for future budget issues with the hope of eliminating the need for staff reductions and/or program cuts.
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 think it's important to listen to everyone associated with the district and that all input is valuable in some way. A lot can be said for experience and knowledge but ultimately the board is responsible for making the tough decisions. Cooperation and understanding from everyone makes our job a lot easier.
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?
As with any communication within the district, it's imperative that we listen, seek to understand and ask questions when we don't. Our decisions need to be based on what is fiscally responsible, what aligns with our strategic plan and how those decisions will impact student learning.
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 believe administrative increases should be based on the successes within the district. As a Board of Education we have spent long hours creating a mission, vision and strategic plan. All administrators should be working towards that end and we should be able to measure performance by student accomplishment and academic achievement. It is important that all administrators are evaluated on a consistent basis and held accountable for achieving their goals.