Merry Quinn-Krajniak, 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.
City: Lake Villa
Website: Candidate did not respond.
Office sought: Antioch-Lake Villa Area H.S. D117, 4-year term
Family: Married to Scott a retired police officer and I have three dogs
Occupation: High School Administrator- Director of Student Services, Lake Forest High School, Lake Forest, IL
Education: Ed.D. (Doctor of Education), National-Louis University, 2004; M.A. Educational Administration, Rosary College, 1994; M.S. Educational Psychology, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, 1988; B.A. History-Secondary Education Teaching, 1985
Civic involvement: President of First Christian Church Congregation, Gurnee, IL (2009-current; Board Member Lake Villa District Library (2002-2007); Sierra Club; Audubon Society
Elected offices held: Lake Villa District Library (2002-2007)
Have you ever been arrested for or convicted of a crime? If yes, please explain: No
Key Issue 1
Cost Effective measures for the district. It is vital in today's economy to be cost effective with educational initiatives. Brainstorming, budgetary meetings are necessary to review the district's finances. Being fiscally responsible is key in any school district to the taxpayers.
Key Issue 2
Curriculum- are we teaching to the standards? What does the statistical data tell us about the performance levels of the students in the district? Is the curriculum aligned to the Social Emotional Learning Standards? Are our students making AYP? Are teachers qualified and certified to be teaching subject areas they are teaching? How are students within District 117 performing compared to their neighboring school districts?
Key Issue 3
Communication is a vital piece in any organization. Individuals must effectively communicate throughtout the organization. Communication to the public via newsletters, the webpage or email blasts are key to keeping the community aware of the goings on within the district.
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 would need to gather some more statistical data on this topic but it is important that opportunities regarding post-secondary options of all kinds be available to parents and students. I would want to know how technology is playing a role in this objective. I would also like to know how professional development for faculty and staff is playing a role in the education process and progress of the district.
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?
I'm hoping that the Superintendents' Forum on February 23 will answer some of these questions.
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.
As a former teacher and current administrator I feel it is important for the BOE to support the district and not micro-manage. I feel that I have obtained valuable insights into the workings of education. The BOE must also listen to the community's concerns regarding specific school related issues. The union plays an important role in supporting the faculty and staff so yes, I would accept their support.
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 BOE should provide support to the district. Healthy discussions should occur between the BOE, the administration, the faculty and the union representation. The BOE should adhere to recommendations from the district representatives but continue to question and keep an open ear the community's concerns.
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 would be taken on a case by case basis and I would take under advisement what has been past practice along with the state of the current budget within the district.
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