Keri DeWaele: Candidate Profile
Lake Park High School District 108 School Board (4-year Terms)
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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: Lake Park High School District 108 School Board (4-year Terms)
Family: Married, two children 11 and 13 years old.
Occupation: Substitute teacher, Lunchroom supervisor
Education: Master in Social work. I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (L.C.S.W.)
Civic involvement: School District 12 PTO Board member since 2008.
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
Ensuring that every student is receiving the most effective education possible. This includes assurance that each student has his/her individual educational needs addressed and met. I believe that students, parents, teachers and administrators must work collaboratively to achieve this goal. I am very excited about the Illinois 5 Essential Survey being conducted this February. Results of this survey will show if and where schools need to improve in many areas including effective leaders, collaborative teachers and involved families.
Key Issue 2
With my background as a social worker, I have a special interest in social emotional learning. I have been researching this topic for a few years. Research has shown that students who master skills like self-control, working well with others and problem solving earn higher grades, have rewarding relationships and fare well in school, work and life. Educators at the high school level can promote these skills which I believe leads to a positive school environment. I think that creating and maintaining this type of environment also has an impact on school safety.
Key Issue 3
My third issue is ensuring that our taxes are being spent in an appropriate manner which allows the most students to benefit.
What do you think about the shift to the common core standards? How big a role do you think the board of education should play in setting the curriculum for students and what ideas do you have for changes to the current curriculum?
There is much debate about the shift to common core standards. In researching this subject, I can see both pros and cons to having standardized curriculum goals in this country. However, I think that a school board needs to allow the professional educators to set the curriculum. The assumption is that quality teachers and administrators have been hired, so I believe that a school board needs to respect their expertise in creating the curriculum. The board ensures that the curriculum meets legal standards and that the resources needed for the curriculum are provided. Overall,I think that LPHS has a well-rounded curriculum that includes an AP track for college bound students along with vocational programs that are focused on preparing students for employment or further technical instruction.
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?
District 108 has an 88.21% college attendance rate after high school graduation. The rate for 4 year college is 70.23% and for 2 year college is 29.77%. The graduate rate of employment is 4.55%, the rate for Armed Forces is 2.02% (From Lake Park High School 2012 - 2013 College Admissions Profile). There are many students who are accepted into Big 10 Universities. I am satisfied with this result, but improvement is always possible.
What budget issues will your district have to confront and what measures do you support to address them? If you believe cuts are necessary, what programs and expenses should be reduced or eliminated? On the income side, do you support any tax increases?
The budget for District 108 is in the black and will remain so for several years. Audit report for the fiscal year ended June 2012 was commendable. The voters will have the say whether taxes are increased if the pool referendum is passed.
As contract talks come up with various school employee groups, do you believe the district should ask for concessions from its employees, expect employee costs to stay about the same as they are now or provide increases in pay or benefits?
On this topic, I need specific information before I can make informed decisions. Overall, I believe that school employees should be paid fairly based on their experience, education and quality of work.
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 believe in fair compensation for all employees.
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