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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.
City: Buffalo Grove
Website: Candidate did not respond.
Office sought: Kildeer-Countryside Elementary D96
Family: I am married to David Gordon, pension actuary for Christian Brothers Retirement Services. We have two children, Ethan, 15, a sophomore at the Illinois Math and Science Academy and Gabe, 12, a 6th grader at Twin Groves Middle School.
Occupation: Currently I am a wife, mother and community volunteer. Previously I worked for the Jewish Community Centers of Chicago for twelve years, which included four years as the Executive Director of the Northwest Suburban JCC in Buffalo Grove.
Education: B.S. Biology University of Illinois, Champaign/Urbana, 1981
B.A. Psychology University of Illinois, Champaign/Urbana 1982
M.A. in Jewish Communal Service, Brandeis University 1984
Civic involvement: Illinois Math and Science Academy Parent Association Council Regional Representative, 2010-11
Ivy Hall School PTO Co-President, 2008-2010
PTO Committee Chairperson, Twin Groves Middle School, 2007-2008, 2010-2011
PTO Committee Chairperson, Ivy Hall School, 2002-2008
PTO Committee Chairperson, Willow Grove School 2001-2002, 2004-2005
Member of the Board of Directors of Congregation Beth Judea, Long Grove, Il from 1996-2000. Vice-President of Education, 1998-2000
Elected offices held: Co-President Ivy Hall PTO, 2008-2010
Have you ever been arrested for or convicted of a crime? If yes, please explain: no
Key Issue 1
To improve communication between the various groups that the Board of Education governs or has an impact on.
Key Issue 2
To ensure high quality and an appropriate level of education for students over the entire range of the bell-curve.
Key Issue 3
To make people aware of the excellent school system that we have in place in District 96.
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?
For the majority of students, the education system works very well in preparing elementary for middle school and middle for high school. While much progress has been made for students who have struggled with academics, there is still room for improvement in the preparation of students who consistently exceed district standards.
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?
If education funding from the State of Illinois is not restored, every school district will feel the impact, including District 96. A contingency plan needs to be developed that maximizes funding and minimizes expenses with the goal to maintain classroom integrity. The 66% tax increase just passed by the Illinois legislature came with a promise to increase funding for education. I hope that promise comes to fruition so we do not have to put forth a local tax increase.
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.
Understanding and listening to the opinions and expertise from all stakeholders in the district is an important role of the Board of Education. Teachers have valuable insight necessary to make decisions on the creation and implementation of curriculum. I will strive to make decisions that always have best interest of the student in mind, not a particular special interest group.
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?
Economic conditions will dictate the course of any discussion on benefits, salary and entitlements. Each situation needs to be evaluated on its own merits based on its timing and within the context of the best interests of the district.
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?
No, because that approach has contributed to the massive deficits of the state pension programs. The pension benefit has been funded based on a projected level. If that level is substantially increased at the last minute, a major problem is created for the pension programs because not enough money has been set aside.