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updated: 3/3/2011 9:47 AM

Barb Conway: Candidate Profile

Warren Twp. H.S. D121

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  • Barb Conway

      Barb Conway

 

 

 

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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: Candidate did not respond

Website: Candidate did not respond

Office sought: Warren Twp. High School District 121

Age: Candidate did not respond

Family: Candidate did not respond

Occupation: Candidate did not respond

Education:Candidate did not respond

Civic involvement: Booster Club Member WTHS (2009 to present); Non-Athlete Member USA Swimming (2004 to present); Deputy Registrar (2008 - 2010); Board Member Blue Devil Swim Club (2005 - 2010); President, Blue Devil Swim Club (2005 -- 2007); District Finance Committee Member WTHS (2006); WTHS Citizen Referendum Committee Member (2007 - 2008)

Elected offices held: Candidate did not respond

Have you ever been arrested for or convicted of a crime? If yes, please explain: Candidate did not respond

Candidate's Key Issues

Key Issue 1

Fiscal Responsibility WTHS has set a great example for other schools in making the most of every dollar. Warren was ranked by the Chicago Tribune (October 31, 2010) as having the lowest operating cost per pupil among Illinois high school districts. Warren's tax rate is also the lowest of the county's high school districts. The district has tightened its belt to maximize efficiency and cut waste without jeopardizing the quality of education for its students. It will be important for the board to continue this approach in the coming years given the fiscal issues the state of Illinois faces and the importance of graduating students that can be productive members of society in whatever endeavors they seek.

Key Issue 2

Focus on the Students. As a parent, I know that I want my children to have a good high school education. In my role in the medical industry I also know how important high school is as a baseline for college and career opportunities in the future. I feel that as a board member, one of the primary responsibilities you've been entrusted with is to be an advocate of the students and their parents and to continually strive to improve the quality of education and learning environment for each and every student given the available resources. That, in a nutshell, is what it should be all about. If you don't have the passion for supporting the students, you're not involved for the right reasons.

Key Issue 3

Supporting the Administration. I have been regularly attending WTHS board meetings for close to four years and have seen Warren steadily improving the quality of education and expanding to meet their increasing enrollment. Warren has been named one of America's Best High Schools in 2010 (top 6%) by Newsweek magazine and has done this while achieving its third consecutive year of Financial Recognition from the state. It takes a team to make this happen. I would like to be a part of that team and see this forward progress continue.

Questions & Answers

Would you be willing to pursue salary cuts or freezes when the next teachers union contract is negotiated? Explain your answer.

It is my understanding that the next teachers contract is in the process of being negotiated. From someone on the outside looking in, it appears that there is a great relationship between the teachers union and administation as both sides are working together as a team to make this happen. Yes, in these economic times there have to be considerations made to freezes, combining positions and salary cuts. As a government employee my salary has been frozen this year as well.

Should rebates on interest paid from Build America Bonds be used to pay down a $24 million loan for construction projects as intended? Explain your answer.

This question has come up in board meeting that I have attended. It is my understanding that until all the construction related projects are completed this should not be done but that it is the intention of the board to make that decision to return this to the tax payers. Consideration also has to be made to the financial condition of the State of Illinois and that millions are owed to the school from the State. We need to be prepared and have some reserves until these payments are made to the school.

What are your ideas for the district's future in the way of campuses? For example, should there be one large complex for all students on land the district purchased off Stearns School Road northwest of Gurnee Mills?

I believe that the answer to this question will depend on the growth of the district and what the community as a whole wants. If homes are built as originally planned some decision will need to be made as current school space is not adequate. Community outreach and focus groups would need to be set up to get the pulse of what the taxpayers would like. No option stands out as better than another right now.

Should the district move forward with a plan to use part or all of its Stearns School Road land for athletic fields, possibly for the public at large, even though an estimated $1 million would be needed in roadwork for access to the property? Explain.

I do not know specifics of why this could not have been possible to do when the land was shared by the township and the HS. I don't know if monies are available to do this at this time.

Districts 121 and 56 combined bus service to save money. What other similar mergers or partnerships should be pursued?

I don't have an answer to this question at this time but feel that I would always be looking for ways to maximize the efficiency of the district while keeping the best interest of the student and taxpayer in mind. We cannot stop looking for ways to save.

My desire is for the voters to put their faith in me to do what is best for the students and make sound financial decisions.

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