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: Glen Ellyn
Website: Candidate did not respond.
Office sought: Glen Ellyn Elementary D89
Family: My wife and I have lived in the Valley View neighborhood for 25 years. I have a daughter in 7th grade at Glen Crest and a son in 4th grade at Arbor View. Having two kids in the district is one of the reasons for wanting to be a member of the school board.
Occupation: Engineer - Telecommunications
Education: Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering
Civic involvement: * Represented Arbor View school on the District 89 Community Advisory Committee 2008-2010
* Have attended and occasionally provided input at the District 89 School Board meetings since 2008.
* Former advocate for Secure89 - citizens for the District 89 capital improvement bond.
* Current member (Past-President) of Photogenesis Photography Club.
Elected offices held: Candidate did not respond.
Have you ever been arrested for or convicted of a crime? If yes, please explain: No.
Key Issue 1
Academic growth for every student is a critical issue for our schools today. I think measuring individual student growth is a very powerful indicator in the quality of education. All of us can relate to the experience of doing well in one subject area but struggling in an other. Rather than setting a statistically impossible goal that 100% of students meet a State standard, we must instead assure that each student is learning and growing. Our district is moving in this direction, and I intend to continue to push the effort as fast as possible. We need to focus on helping every single student, from the struggling student to the high achiever, grow and learn.
Key Issue 2
As equally important as educational growth is the district's financial situation. Through no real fault of our own the district has recently started to deficit spend. Balancing the budget with minimal impact to our students will be a very difficult challenge. I will evaluate each cut with respect to how it impacts the education of all our students.
Key Issue 3
Many have asked me why I decided to run for the school board. I have a 7th grader and a 4th grader in the district. I've been very happy with our schools and want to see that quality continue. Ever since my oldest child was in Kindergarten I have been very involved with the schools. I try to keep current on the latest educational ideas both locally and internationally. As an engineer I'm used to making data driven decisions. I feel I can contribute to our community by serving on the school board.
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?
In general the district has done an excellent job in preparing our students for high school. Our students feed into Glenbard South which had the highest ACT scores of the four Glenbard high schools. However there is always room for improvement. Recent survey's have indicated that not all our students feel challenged by their school work. We need to give the teachers the tools they need to assure that each student excels to the best of their abilities. Assuring rigor and challenge will be an important priority in preparing our students for high school.
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?
Due to the economy our on-going expenditures have outpaced our on-going revenues. It is important to note that this deficit is NOT due to out of control spending, but rather due to the state of the economy. Since 82% of our revenue is from local property taxes as property values have decreased so has our revenue. Our district has been financially responsible over the years. Schools are such a critical part of our community that as our costs continue to rise I think a tax increase every 20 years or so is reasonable and necessary.
The district has already made cuts and outsourced many services to save money. The specifics of what programs to cut is an exercise for the whole board based on data such as the program costs, the future direction of the district, our existing fund balance, and several other factors.
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'm seeking support from teachers, parents, students, and tax payers - all of the District's constituents. I have seen that the teachers are just as interested in having successful schools as the rest of us. I would hope everyone is pro-teacher. Not because it sets up a bias, but because it is an important part of being pro-student, pro-community, and ultimately pro-school.
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?
Employee costs in the form of health care are already on the rise. The district has a very good relationship with the teachers so the question isn't so much what posture the board should take, but rather how, together, we can live within our budget. I will do what is in the best interest of the schools.
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. The pension benefits should be based on a realistic salary and not artificially inflated for future gain.