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updated: 2/23/2011 4:15 PM

Steven Lefar: Candidate Profile

Aptakisic-Tripp Elementary D102

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  • Steven Lefar, running for Aptakisic-Tripp Elementary D102

      Steven Lefar, running for Aptakisic-Tripp Elementary D102

 

 

 

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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: Buffalo Grove

Website: http://www.linkedin.com/pub/steve-lefar/0/294/211

Office sought: Aptakisic-Tripp Elementary D102

Age: 44

Family: Married with one child

Occupation: Healthcare and technology executive. General Manager-Healthcare, Wolters Kluwer Law and Business. Prior to this, I was a partner and founder of MediRegs, a compliance software and content provider now part of Wolters Kluwer.

Education: University of Michigan, BA- Economics

Civic involvement: Board Member, Aptakisic-Tripp Elementary D102. Committees include: 21st Century Technology, Long Range Planning,and Finance. Stevenson ""feeder"" district liaison.

Special Education District of Lake County(SEDOL)Board representing District 102.

Board Member, Juvenile Diabetes Foundation of Illinois (term expired June 2010 due to term limits)

Marketing Committee USA Triathlon, the U.S. Olympic Committee governing body for Triathlon

Elected offices held: School Board Member, D102

Juvenile Diabetes Foundation, Illinois (term expired June 2010 due to exceeding term limits)

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

Candidate's Key Issues

Key Issue 1

Implementing the Long Term Plan the board, community and educators are currently finishing. This Long Term Plan extends on our track record of being a visionary district with results to prove it. This includes continuing our rigorous and disciplined approaches to academic programming, implementation of technology, and fiscal management.

Key Issue 2

Working to maintain the ""it is all about what is best for the kids"" culture we have built in District 102. Many parts of the state and country are in bitter fights about how to get where our district is already. We need to serve as a model for how to deal with the realities of our times while helping all students achieve their personal best.

Key Issue 3

Leveraging the incredibly valuable diversity in our district to prepare our students for the global communities they are and will be living in.

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?

Extremely satisfied, based on regular surveys we do of our students during their freshman year at Stevenson. We continue to work on all areas as we can always do better. We also work hard to ensure proper placement so they can maximize and excel in their high school years.

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?

We are financially strong with excellent and appropriate fund balances. We are one of only a handful of districts to receive AAA bond ratings. To ensure this continued success, we do zero based budgets and review our five year plans each year. We carefully monitor our funding to live within our means.

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.

It is neither valuable nor detrimental. The reason there are 7 members of the board is to bring expertise, insight and good questioning skills from a variety of perspectives. My expertise is in several areas: Technology, compliance and governance, managing and building organizations, and financial oversight. As a general manager of a business this also involves training, motivating and leading teams of professionals.

I will accept support from people or groups that share our vision and committment to excellence.

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?

We have had and expect to continue excellent relationships with all our employees and employee groups because our focus has been, as we committed to the community, to attract, develop and retain the best team of educators and professionals possible. We and the staff always work within the financial reality of our district but our starting point is our vision, the specific goals the board sets, and the resultant expectations for performance of our leaders and staff. Our staff believe in our vision and own it just as much as the board and community do and that is why it works so well.

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?

A school district should not artificially bump up the pay of a superintendent or administrator beyond what is in the realm of the usual and customary practice of the district for raises in normal years. It is inappropriate to place more burden on the state pension system as it cannot afford it.

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