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updated: 2/23/2011 4:11 PM

Frank R. Fiarito: Candidate Profile

River Trails Elementary D26

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  • Frank R. Fiarito, running for River Trails Elementary D26

      Frank R. Fiarito, running for River Trails Elementary D26

 

 

 

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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.

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BioKey IssuesQ&A

 

Bio

City: Mount Prospect

Website: Candidate did not respond.

Office sought: River Trails Elementary D26

Age: Candidate did not respond.

Family: Married with three children.

Occupation: Accounting Manager for Allstate 30 years

Education: Bachelor of Science in Finance, Elmhurst College, 1990

Civic involvement: Treasurer of the Northern Illinois Men's Amateur Golf Association.

Mentor at Euclid School

Junior Achievement Instructor 10 years

2011 Inductee into the Sixteen-Inch Softball Hall of Fame

Tournament Director of the Annual Terry Moran Softball Tournament in Rolling Meadows

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

Financial responsibility - making sure sound decisions are made regarding spending. Developing a strong financial plan for the future without devaluing the quality of our children's education. I will leverage my 30 years of financial experience by working on a real-time forecast/picture of the school district.

Key Issue 2

Improve the four-sided partnership that was heavily damaged during the GLC debate. The four-sided partnership includes the Community, Teachers, Administration and School Board. We need to have more open dialogue to keep our educational system strong. I am committed to my involvement in 26 through sponsoring, recruiting and participating the mentoring program at Euclid. I also volunteer at many Indian Grove PTC events. I promise that if elected I will make myself available to discuss all issues and remain heavily involved in the schools.

Key Issue 3

Transparency - Communicating Board positions in easier to understand terms. In addition, sharing data and findings with the community that are relevant to the Board's decision making process thereby allowing parents to form an educated opinion. Finally, creating a better dialogue between the Board and the community.

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 do see the success in neighbors children and those of friends in the high schools. I think 26 does a good job with preparing our kids for the next steps but sometimes we get caught up in comparisons to other districts without solid empirical evidence. I think the best policy is to continue with doing the best for our kids.

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?

Like every other district in the state we are awaiting funding due from the state. I think if we encounter financial hardship we need to prioritize our spending and work with the other three partners to identify a path to keep the school district strong.

I'm concerned about the current depletion of reserves but view a tax increase as the last possible alternative. That option would require the board to spell out to the public why and the benefits to all not just those with children in the schools. I don't have access to actual program cost so I could not be more specific as to which ones I would consider reducing or eliminating.

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 no experience as a union member or a teacher other than my 10 years of teaching junior achievement at local schools. I think it is imperative that we listen to our teachers when they have issues or ideas but I don't think this creates any bias just effective board.

Regarding the teachers I would accept the union support if they deemed me a worthy candidate. I have witnessed first hand through my children's education at Indian Grove and my volunteering at Euclid how great our teachers are as well as the administration. They work very hard to provide our children a quality educational experience. I support having the best teachers in the school system and I think our administration demonstrates that strategy in turn I think the local teacher's association is a strong partner with the other three partners.

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 just signed a five-year contract with our teacher's association which I'm not privy to the negotiation details so I don't know to the extent what concessions were made or cuts suggested. The school board, teachers and administration were all happy with the final result based on comments made so I don't see this being a concern in the immediate future.

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 would not based on the pension problems many local villages and the state currently face and the impact it will eventually have on the taxpayers. I believe superintendents and administrators pay like that of teachers should be awarded on merit not longevity or a life change situation such as retirement.

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