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: Vernon Hills
Website: Candidate did not respond.
Office sought: Diamond Lake Elementary D76, 2-year term
Family: married, 2 sons, 4 grandchildren
Occupation: retired High School Theatre teacher and director. Currently taking care of my grandchildren full-time
Education: Bachelor of Arts in Theatre and English Education, Knox College, 1973
Master of Arts in English, Purdue University Calumet, 1995
Civic involvement: Temple Beth Israel Sisterhood and Ritual Committee
District 76 Board of Education
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
Providing the best possible educational opportunities for the students in District 76 despite the economic downturn
Key Issue 2
Developing new sources of revenue to continue funding current programs.
Key Issue 3
Developing new programs for staff and students to help us to ""grow"" the 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?
I am extremely satisfied with how we are preparing our students because I have had the opportunity to review statistics regarding how our students perform when they move on to high school. Our students are winning academic and extracurricular awards as they progress through our schools and are supported by an outstanding staff.
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 district is facing a loss of income due to a decline in property taxes. While this shortfall will inevitably lead to budget cuts, there are always ways to improve what we have without sacrificing quality education for our students. I would prefer to see some activities restructured rather than eliminated, and take advantage of community support such as parent volunteers to allow programs to continue that might otherwise be reduced or eliminated. The community needs to stand behind its schools and if a tax increase will give us a better financial future and lead to continuing our current programs, then this may be a good course of action to pursue. Also, this is an excellent time to pursue shared services with other districts with a goal of reducing spending.
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.
As a teacher with more than 30 years of experience, I have worked in both public and private schools, some with teachers' unions and some without. I feel that my teaching experience does give me some unique insights as a member of the School Board.
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 all need to be realistic about the current economic crisis. Most areas of society have been affected by the rise in unemployment, downturn in the real estate market, and general economic woes. Therefore, we all must consider what we can do to maintain a high level of education for our students, while recognizing that this is not the time for budget increases, new benefits and large pay increases.
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 that the practice of providing a pay jump to boost pension benefits for retiring administrators is something we need to take a pass on during this time of budget cuts. If we are going to add additional funds into our budget, I would prefer to see this money allocated to something which provides a direct benefit to our students.