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updated: 2/23/2011 4:13 PM

Maria E. Colunga: Candidate Profile

Gurnee Elementary D56

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  • Maria E. Colunga, running for Gurnee Elementary D56

    Maria E. Colunga, running for Gurnee Elementary D56




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



City: Gurnee

Website: Candidate did not respond.

Office sought: Gurnee Elementary D56

Age: 47

Family: Married, husband, two daughters

Occupation: Parent Outreach in Round Lake School District 116

Education: Bachelor of Arts in Computer Information Systems and Management, National Louis University, 1989

Civic involvement: Girl Scouts Club

Elected offices held: None

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

Candidate's Key Issues

Key Issue 1

Promoting education in the Gurnee community.

Key Issue 2

To listen to parents' concerns in regards to education and community issues.

Key Issue 3

Having a voice for the Latino community in Gurnee which represents 30% of student population.

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?

I am satisfied. However, there is always room for improvement in preparing our youth into a very competitive global market. I would like to see the implementation of innovative programs in the areas of science, math and technology.

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?

I believe some of the current budget issues in Gurnee are State funding, salary increases, transportation. I will support the following measures: Grants and Corporate Funding as well as bids on transportation services. I do not support any tax increases for local schools.

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 have experience as a teacher aide in Waukegan and Zion. I also have experience as a Parent Outreach employee in Gurnee and Round Lake. However, I strongly believe my experience won't influenced my judgement or decisions in any area, on the contrary, I have developed an skill to listen to all parties involved and then make a fair decision. I will not pursue or accept any monetary contributions from any union.

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?

I believe any employee should be receive a fair salary increase and benefits based upon individual's performance and the cost of living.

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 do not support a substantial increase to help boost any employee's pension benefits because it would take from other educational needs.