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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.
Website: Candidate did not respond.
Office sought: Gurnee Elementary D56
Family: Married to Lynn Merkel 2 Children Peter Merkel - Marquette University Greg Merkel - Warren Township HS
Occupation: Senior Pastor Faith Community Church
Education: Doctorate of Ministry, Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena CA 2009
Masters of Divinity, Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena CA 1987
Undergraduate BA in Religion, Point Loma University, San Diego CA 1983
Civic involvement: Breakfast Exchange Club of Gurnee
Gurnee Youth Baseball
Elected offices held: Board of Education 2004-Present
Have you ever been arrested for or convicted of a crime? If yes, please explain: NO
Key Issue 1
The Outstanding Education of the children of District 56.
Key Issue 2
Keeping the District a desirable district for families with children
Key Issue 3
Candidate did not respond.
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 believe that district 56 is doing an excellent job of preparing every child to be successful in all aspects of life.
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 don't see District 56 facing any major budget issues. The District has a done a great job under the leadership of Dr. Hutton, Superintendent, to manage the budget and be responsible with tax payers money. I fully supported the District's recent referendum to build a new school to replace the aging and flood prone Gurnee Grade School.
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 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?
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?