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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.
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Office sought: Glenbard Township High School District 87 School Board (4-year Terms)
Family: Married 18 years. 3 Children. 2 in the Glenbard School District, 1 future attendee.
Occupation: Occupational Safety and Health Specialist/Instructor U.S. Department of Labor; OSHA
Education: Bachelors Degree Environmental Health and Safety, Illinois State University 1990 Masters Degree Public Health, Benedictine University 1999
Civic involvement: 10 Years Village of Lombard Environmental Concerns Committee Past PTA President, Glenn Westlake Middle School, Lombard Current Member, Glenbard East Athletic Boosters. Girls Cross Country Athletic Booster Team Parent Current Member, Lombard Town Center Current Member, Lombard Historical Society
Elected offices held: None
Have you ever been arrested for or convicted of a crime? If yes, please explain: No
Key Issue 1
To provide all students with the best possible programs and educational opportunities that meet their individual needs, while being cognizant of the fact taxpayer resources are reaching, if not at, a breaking point.
Key Issue 2
Ensuring the district continues its status as being fiscally solvent and encourage state government to adhere to adequate and timely funding.
Key Issue 3
Ensuring that the public voice, expressed in letters and at public meetings, are heavily weighted in the decision making process. The taxpayers, after all, are the main financial contributors to this school district.
Do you support the current district policy allowing physical education waivers for some seniors? Why? Would you support such a policy for juniors, as has been proposed by one board member?
I not only support allowing physical education waivers for seniors, but other students as well, as the legislature in Illinois allows after conducting many studies on the subject. By the time a child is in high school, many know their plans for their future. Others are unsure what they want to do and have a desire to take classes that might lead them into a career. Unless a student desires a career in PE there is no need to require this course for all four years, especially for athletes or students taking classes in the arts. Students need to be able to better decide what classes may help their future. Maybe its more math, science, or music. These students are nearing adulthood and should have more choice regarding their future. I understand the concern about obesity, but it's not a 40 minute PE class that is going to solve this. You cannot out exercise bad eating. Aside from this, student athletes, already spend three hours daily doing a sport. They can actually further injure themselves and their scholarship opportunities in a general PE class. Currently Glenbard students are at a disadvantage on this opportunity, as almost all other Illinois schools offer full use of this waiver, inlcuding New Trier, York, Lake Park, Downers Grove and the Naperville Schools, just to name a few. With nationwide students so behind in areas such as (STEM) math, technology, science and engineering, it seems poor practice that PE is required their entire elementary and high school careers and these subjects are not.
What are your views on where commencement exercises should take place?
At a location that is not effected by the elements, that is not at an cost that far exceeds what can be provided at the school, and allows for a greater number of family members to attend. This very important milestone in a child's life.
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?
While I agree students need to take courses in order to prepare them for college acceptance, requiring too many courses does not allow a student to take classes that may be better for their academic future. For a student that might desire to be a surgeon, they will be better prepared by taking an extra science or math class, than a social science class. Regardless of this fact, there needs to be more flexibility for the student and their parents to make these choices. It is, after all, their future.
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?
Education wise, I feel the district is doing a good job in providing the opportunity for students to be prepared for the next stage in their life. I would like to see a short course available that explores different career areas available in the working world and their pro's and cons. For example, what educational requirements are needed, how grades impact a student's ability to obtain those jobs, the salaries of those jobs, the projected growth in those fields, the demand and education needed to succeed in the trades. I think many students have no idea of the range of jobs that are available today, and what it takes to get there. Right now they take a career test that shows, based how they answered, what field they might have the most interest in, but that is where it stops. Students have little idea what to do with this information, and often the results do not seem relevant to them. When you are a suburban student and your career test informs you the occupation that best suits you is a rancher, that is not very helpful.
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?
There are so many budget issues that are going to impact school districts it's overwhelming. It's hard for me to support tax increases at this point because I think taxpayers are at their breaking point with property taxes. However, the district has to remain able to hire top talent and offer excellent courses to remain a desirable school district. The Glenbard District has one distinct advantage over other school districts in that it has 4 high schools. This brings a tremendous opportunity to save costs using shared services. Another up and coming trend for top students in courses that do not require hands on learning is the opportunity for on line learning. With a severe pension and spending crisis in Illinois, and talks of passing the pension problems along to suburban school districts, taxpayers have to be prepared for a large funding shortfall. If cuts are necessary, the district has to remain steadfast in areas that are truly academic in nature, with cuts that may have to come from outside this area.