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: Round Lake Beach
Website: Candidate did not respond.
Office sought: Round Lake Area Unit D116, 4-year term
Family: Single. No children.
Occupation: Executive Sales
Education: Bachelor of Science in Business Operations, DeVry University 1995
Master of Science in International Business, Roosevelt University 2002
Civic involvement: Omni Youth Services, Buffalo Grove (General Volunteer, Youth Mentor, Board of Ambassadors)
National Exchange Club - Round Lake Area
Elected offices held: Round Lake Area Schools District #116 Board Member (2007-present)
Have you ever been arrested for or convicted of a crime? If yes, please explain: No.
Key Issue 1
Financial Health of District #116
Everyone in the district has worked very hard and made great sacrifices in order to put the district back into a positive financial position. The hard work and sacrifices need to continue, however, in order to remain stable while the State of Illinois manages its' financial challenges. The Board of Education is going above and beyond to further educate themselves in the area of school finance. This will allow us to continue to make solid decisions long after the State Finance Authority goes away.
Key Issue 2
Improving the curriculum at District #116
The efforts are already underway; however the district still needs the support of the board and the community to make this happen. The plan is to align the RLAS-116 curriculum within and among all buildings for PreK-12. In addition, there will be academic interventions to address the needs of all students and implementation of a behavioral plan for PreK-12 to reduce referrals.
In order to support these efforts within RLAS-116, it's important that kids have a focus on homework and academic success at home.
Key Issue 3
Community and Parental Involvement
District 116 needs the ongoing support of the community and parents to be successful. Recently, community members and parents were included along with Dist 116 representatives to formulate the new district wide Strategic Plan. Community and parents are needed for these large district wide projects but are also needed to participate in activities that are held at each individual school. Community and parents are strongly urged to get involved whenever and wherever possible. District 116 continues to strive to be an outstanding community partner with all local agencies.
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?
Improving the curriculum will help better prepare students for future success. However, right now, the opportunity for the children to succeed is there. We have outstanding administrators, staff and teachers that go above and beyond on a daily basis to help each child in the district succeed. We have a large number of students that are college bound and many of them already accepted to Ivy League schools. The district is using grant dollars to support the 'One to One' initiative which provides laptops for all students at the high school level. Therefore, if a graduate chooses not to move on to college they are prepared to enter the workforce with current computer skills and knowledge of the latest business software tools.
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?
RLAS-116 is operating under a balanced budget. The biggest threat to that are the timely payments from the State of Illinois. Our local area state representatives are helping to ensure payments are being made timely. Program and staff cuts are the very last areas of consideration when cutbacks are needed. We work very hard and spend many hours looking for any way to cut back without eliminating head count or programs. Many programs were cut in years past out of necessity, however, most of those programs have now been reinstated. Kids at RLAS-116 now have many options with regard to accelerated and AP courses, clubs and athletics.
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 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?
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?