Kenneth Dewitt, 4 years: Candidate Profile
Antioch-Lake Villa Area H.S. D117, 4-year term
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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: http://Facebook Page - Dewitt for District 117
Office sought: Antioch-Lake Villa Area H.S. D117, 4-year term
Family: Married, three Children (all in College), one grandchild
Occupation: Information Technology Service and Support Manager for Lake County Government since June 1994
Education: Associate degree in Data Processing Technology from Illinois Central College in 1980.
30+ years in the computer field receiving various certifications
Currently attending North Park University, Bachelors in Management Information Systems. (MIS) - May 2012
Civic involvement: Involved with Boy Scout troop, team and crew 174 out of Lake Villa. I have been Cub Scout Pack Master, Scout Master, Varsity Team Coach, Venture Crew Advisor and committee member over the last 17 years.
BSA Wood Badge trained in 2008 and on staff in 2010.
Member of the BAS Venture program training team for the Northeast Illinois Council of the Boy Scouts.
I will receive the BSA Northeast Illinois Council's Silver Beaver award on March 4th, 2011.
United States Soccer Federation (USSF) referee since 2000. Refereed soccer mostly in the Lindenhurst, Lake Villa and Antioch area. Travel games from Under 8 to Under 16 USSF games. Lindenhurst recreational Park District games from kindergarten to 8th grade.
Illinois High School Association (IHSA) certified referee since 2008. Refereed High School games throughout Lake County.
Soccer Referee for Middle Schools since 2006.
Chaperone/Security for a week of Church Girls camp for about 200 young women, 12 to 18 years old, for the past seven years.
Elected offices held: Current School Board member of Millburn District 24. Will complete my 12th year when I leave Millburn District school board this April.
Millburn District 24 representative to the Special Education District of Lake County (SEDOL) governing board.
Chairman of the Lake County Division of the Illinois Association of School Board. (IASB)
Have you ever been arrested for or convicted of a crime? If yes, please explain: No
Key Issue 1
All decisions should be Student centered
Key Issue 2
Must be the caretaker of the Taxpayers dollars
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 have had one graduate from Antioch High School and two graduates from Lakes High School. Each of my children had different experiences in school and they were ready for college. I would just make sure that all decisions are made with the best interest of the students in mind considering the financial difficulties that all schools are experiencing at this time.
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?
Everyone, including the schools, is having budget issues. There will have to be some tough decision that will have to be made in the coming years. With 12 years of school board experience I believe that I have a good understanding of school funding and what the responsibilities a school boards holds. Creating policies and then listening to the professional educators will allow solid student centered budget decisions to be made.
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 High School teacher.
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?
In previous school board negotiations that I have been involved with, a posture of openness and a willingness to listen to the employee groups concerns is the best approach. Putting all the information on the table including: financial, class load, benefits, teaching time, preparation time and other economic factors will help move all party's to an understanding and successful contract.
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?
This practice should not be supported unless it is already written into a contract. If it is in a contract then every effort should be made to remove it from the contracts in question. There are laws in place now that could make the district liable for pension benefits that exceed a certain percentage. This also adds an unnecessary strain on the pension fund.
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