Anne Blaeske: Candidate Profile
Lisle Unit D202
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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: Candidate did not respond.
Office sought: Lisle Unit D202
Family: Married with two children.
Occupation: Stay-At-Home Mom
Education: Candidate did not respond.
Civic involvement: Boy Scout Leader, Girl Scout Leader, Volunteer with the HSO and Faith United Methodist Church
Elected offices held: Candidate did not respond.
Have you ever been arrested for or convicted of a crime? If yes, please explain: No
Key Issue 1
Our elementary schools are amongst in the best in the county, however, there is a significant drop in our scores between the Junior High and Senior High schools. With new administrators and a critical look at where we stand, we have begun the shift to turn around the high school. We have to closely monitor the situation and make sure that we continue the excellence that is a bedrock of our school district.
Key Issue 2
As a small school district, our kids are losing out on expanded elective choices, such as more choices in foreign language. We need to explore ways to offer our high schoolers more choices to prepare them for the competition in the global marketplace.
Key Issue 3
Currently, our district has maintained excellence in education while maintaining fiscal stability. We need to continue to make smart financial choices and manage resources wisely so that we can contiue our excellence.
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 feel that our district is one of the best districts in Dupage county and is doing a wonderful job preparing our children for their next stage in life. I do feel that, being small district, that there aren't as many opportunities for extracurricular activities as well as elective courses as they would get in a larger 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?
At this time, our district is in a financially enviable position, in that we are able to maintain fiscal health without significant cuts to any programs. However, as costs rise and the possible loss of support from the state, we have to look closely at all aspects of the budget. Currently, I do not support a tax increase for our local schools, however, there is likely to come a time when it becomes a choice of a tax increase or a cut in programs. I would then have to take a critical look at whether or not we have done all we can without an increase to determine whether or not to support a tax increase.
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 think that experience as a teacher is a definite boon for any school district in that it gives us an insight into the system from an educator's view. The School Board is not made up of one person, but is a group of individuals from all walks of life and educational level.
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?
No one will dispute that as a board, we are charged with overseeing the district and providing our children with the best education possible and to prepare them to be the future. As a parent, I juggle finances on a daily basis to keep food on the table, clothes on my children's backs, and save for college and my children's teachers are trying to to the same in the same dire economic environment. Our first priority is the children, if we are able to provide increases in benefits and pay without cutting prgrams from our school,then I certainly will not stand in the way. However, if providing a 3% increase will cut the music program, I will hope that there is room for negotiation on both sides.
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?
No. Our district should not have to bear the financial burden for long term pension benefits in an environment where we ar struggling to provide our children with the best education possible without cutting programs. As with many other non-union professions, it is up to them to have prepared for their own retirement.
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