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updated: 2/23/2011 4:11 PM

Melonnie L Hartl: Candidate Profile

Emmons Elementary D33

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  • Melonnie L Hartl, running for Emmons Elementary D33

    Melonnie L Hartl, running for Emmons Elementary D33




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: Antioch

Website: Candidate did not respond.

Office sought: Emmons Elementary D33

Age: 52

Family: Married to my husband John for 28 years. We have three daughters: Katie Hutchison, Kelsie Hartl and Brittany Hartl.

Occupation: Science teacher, Fishing Resort owner/operator

Education: Bachelor of Arts in Biology, Augustana College, 1980

Master of Arts in Teaching, Dominican University, 2006

Civic involvement: Environmental Commission - Village of Antioch

Friends of Volo Bog

Chicago Botanic Garden

Lake County Farm Bureau

Council of Catholic Women - St. Peter Church

Elected offices held: Candidate did not respond.

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

Candidate's Key Issues

Key Issue 1

Increase communication so that ALL residents of the district are informed of school activities and issues. To truly be an effective school board, there must be open communication between members of the community, parents, students, staff and administration.

Key Issue 2

Fiscal Responsibility is essential. Projecting long term goals and providing the resources needed to all those involved in programs that will meet those goals will help ensure success for all students. Insight into how public funds are allocated and distributed is critical for community accountability.

Key Issue 3

Student Motivation through interesting, relevant programs that will inspire all students to learn and achieve to their greatest potential. All students deserve the right to experience learning in a safe and stimulating environment.

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?

Our students do very well on standardized tests which is truly a credit to the committed teachers we have in our district. However, there is still much that can be done to prepare our students to be more successful in high school and beyond. Attention needs to be devoted to improving necessary skills and focusing on all content area for a well-balanced education. The special needs of students must continue to be met, but can be improved with more innovative ideas and resources that are available in Lake County.

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?

Currently, our district is financially sound. However, if district enrollment continues to decline, the cost for educating a student in the district will increase. There may be a need to reduce staff as class sizes diminish. The solution may be to incorporate the staff into additional programs such as STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math), PBIS (Positive Behavior Intervention and Support), or Service Learning that would be an asset to student learning and therefore better prepare them for the future. Budget projections of long term costs must be considered to ensure continued financial stability.

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 believe teacher experience and union support are both beneficial. I believe that teachers, union, school boards, administration and the community can all work together to meet the needs of the students while addressing concerns of the community. It may not be easy, but it can be done. I do have experience as a teacher. I feel that this experience is extremely beneficial in helping to decipher and interpret educational jargon, trends, and best practices into better understanding for the Emmons School community. It will also aid in decision making and adjusting board policies as mandates change.

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 feel that the board should critically listen to all proposals and concerns, address each issue openly and honestly, consider all options available and then act on them in a fiscally responsible manner.

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?

Absolutely Not! That would be a gross misuse of taxpayer money. We are a small district and must be fiscally responsible to the community that we serve at all times.