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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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Office sought: Antioch-Lake Villa Area H.S. D117, 4-year term
Family: Jessica--daughter--28 Christopher--son--25 Alesio--grandson--3 2 children/1 grandchild
Occupation: Teacher at Millburn Central School
Education: Bachelor of Science in Education, Northern Illinois University, 1973
Masters in Gifted Education, Northeastern University, 2006
Civic involvement: Current member of District #117 School Board
Elected offices held: School Board Member 1995-2003/School Board member 2007-present
Have you ever been arrested for or convicted of a crime? If yes, please explain: No
Key Issue 1
Meeting the needs of the students in difficult economic times is crucial. Cuts need to be made, so where can that happen so the impact on students learning is minimal?
Also crucial is maintaing a ""balanced budget.""
Key Issue 2
Along with student learning, scores on EXPLORE, PLAN, and ACT tests help to judge if the schools are providing a good education for the students. They are the way that our schools are ""measured"" along with other schools in our area and the state. District #117 students need to be well prepared for these measures.
Key Issue 3
Another important issue is continuing to keep open the lines of communication with the public so they know what is happening in the schools.
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?
My district continues to move in a positive direction by preparing students for the next step in their lives. Continued efforts are being made to improve in this area. An example is a recent visit from some alumni who met with seniors to talk about what college was like from their perspective.
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?
The budget issues are those that face all districts--the stae is not providing the money they promised, so the schools need to make cuts. I would prefer to see programs ""trimmed"" rather than cut if it is at all possible.
As for tax increases, first we need to see if there are some things that can be eliminated--extra programs--things that not many students are involved in. This would be the first steps--people are already stretched financially.
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 am a teacher and find that it makes me a good person to have on the board because I see how a district works from inside the classroom. As for support from a union, it would be welcomed if the support was for the right reasons--if the union as a whole felt I made wise decisions.
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?
The board needs to be honest with the teachers. We are experiencing hard economic times, and if the district is to make it through with as few cuts as possible, then everyone has to do their share in tightening their belts. I do not believe in pay cuts, but concessions in increases would mean we can could keep more teachers in the classrooms.
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 because it would cost the district money if the increase is over 6%. This practice is no longer acceptable as far as the state is concerned, and as far as most school districts are concerned.