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updated: 2/22/2013 6:38 PM

Susan Crotty: Candidate Profile

Naperville Unit District 203 School Board (4-year Terms)

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  • Susan Crotty, running for Naperville Unit District 203 School Board (4-year Terms)

    Susan Crotty, running for Naperville Unit District 203 School Board (4-year Terms)




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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BioKey IssuesQ&A



City: Naperville


Office sought: Naperville Unit District 203 School Board (4-year Terms)

Age: 46

Family: Married to Ed Crotty for 20 years, three kids - one in college and two in high school. All three kids have spent their entire school careers in #203 as we moved here for the schools and wonderful community 14 years ago.

Occupation: Senior Account Executive at the Naperville Area Chamber of Commerce. My role is to be a connector in our community as I specialize in building relationships in business and in the community through marketing/advertising/sponsorship and Chamber membership

Education: Michigan State University - Bachelor of Arts in Advertising, Minor in Marketing 1988 Master Board of Education/Open Meetings Act Certification Illinois Association of School Boards (IASB)

Civic involvement: ?Scott Elementary Home & School Organization 2000 - 2006National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO)Newsweek Magazine Top 100 Rising Media Stars 1994Naperville Area Chamber of Commerce Leadership Academy Panelist 2006Naperville Park District Trained Swim Team OfficialGreat Books Foundation Facilitator 2003 2006Loretto Convent Fundraising Committee - $200,000/year Gala responsible for soliciting donations, marketing, coordinating day of activities 1996 - 2006Girl Scouts of DuPage Community Volunteer of the Year 2004, 2005, 2007Loaves & Fishes Volunteer (coordinating fresh produce from community groups) 1999 - 2010Chicago Advertising FederationOff the Street Club? TutoringCub Scout Leader/Boy Scout Fundraising VolunteerNaperville Jaycees Holiday Food Basket Volunteer 1998-2004Naper Carriage Hill Swim Team Social Co-Chair 2004-2005Gannett Foundation Corporate Liaison 1988-89

Elected offices held: Elected to Naperville Community Unit School District #203 Board of EducationElected 2005 2009Reelected 2009 - 2013 Serving as Vice President 2007-2009Executive Member of the Business Partnership Executive Council creating sustainable business/ community partnershipsServing actively on Board's Facilities Committee ($114.9 million dollars in upgrades to our schools) LEED Certification on Ann Reid Early Childhood Center$18.9 Million saved over past 5 years over projectionsDedicated member of Representative Darlene Senger's Educational Advisory CommitteeContributor to The DuPage Regional Office Education's Bullying Task ForceDelegate at Illinois Associations of School Boards Convention Naperville Education Foundation Trustee Diversity Committee Intergovernmental forums intentionally created for building mutual understanding?Born to Read? dedicated to early literacy grant writing and facilitated writing long term strategic plans, goals and updated mission statement and expanded program to include SpanishWinner ofThose Who Excel? Jeanine Nicarico Memorial Fund for LiteracyFeed My Starving Children VolunteerFastRide (Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Fundraiser) VolunteerAmerican Heart Association Relay for Life Volunteer

Have you ever been arrested for or convicted of a crime? If yes, please explain: Never

Candidate's Key Issues

Key Issue 1

Adapting to the Common Core by building academic excellence and continued innovation in teaching and learning.

Key Issue 2

Fiscal Responsibility and Stewardship of money and resources.

Key Issue 3

Continued accountability, accountability, accountability with our administrators, teachers, students, community, local businesses and all the other stakeholders.

Questions & Answers

The school board has struggled with major issues such as boundary changes and implementing all-day kindergarten. How can the board improve its process of addressing such major undertakings and how will you specifically help it succeed?

We clearly could have done better on these issues. These are extremely personal and emotional issues that are difficult to our community. The hired consultants didn't understand the dynamics of our community which clouded the issues thus we parted ways with them and ultimately the previous Superintendent. Boundary issues are very emotional and all day kindergarten was delayed due to boundary changes and cannot be fully implemented until there are changes of additional classrooms being built or students are shifted to other buildings. As the mother of three and dedicated volunteer in the district for over a decade, I understand how deeply our communities each feel about their schools so we need to do a better job of giving them a voice and communicating better. We have learned from our past missteps and have already improved our processes.

What in-the-classroom change would you like the district to make?

We have made many of these changes over the past eight years while I have been on the Board and need to continue to be able to adapt to changes such as smaller classes sizes and having the flexibility to adapt the education we deliver in an ever changing world. Through technology, we have seen changes in how teachers teach and students learn and this initiatives allows our students to be better prepared.

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?

The common core will allow students to be fully prepared with relevant knowledge positioned for college and career readiness to compete in the global economy by providing National Standards which will improve our educational system nationally. The best part of the common core is the understanding of what our students are expected to learn, so that our teachers and parents will know what they need to do to help them. The Board should continue to set policy which allows our professional staff to design the most relevant and rigorous curriculum that challenges our students preparing them for the future. I believe that business partnerships allow our students to have authentic learning opportunities and will continue to help build these partnerships though community connections. I have supported more rigorous learning, smaller class sizes, STEM and finding ways to support our teachers to deliver the best curriculum possible.

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?

Curriculum is being tweaked to meet the common core requirements and District #203 has been a leader for many decades. We are constantly improving our delivery and support to meet the changing needs. Personally, I believe junior high expectations need to rise significantly to a much higher level especially with regards to STEM and foreign language to allow our students to be prepared for more rigorous high school classes thus increasing their college and career readiness abilities. For junior high, my biggest frustration is when students are forced to choose between music/art/family and consumer science/technology labs or choose two years of foreign language which equate to only one year of high school credit. You can count on my experience of proven leadership to continue to help move us forward.

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?

We pride ourselves on running a tight ship and believe that our community gets it's money worth out of all of our programs. We need to continue to live within our budget and would not support any tax referendums at this time. We have cut $18+ million dollars over the past 5 years compared to our projections. As a taxpayer, I appreciate the upgrades to our facilities as well as our ability to abate the taxes approved in the referendum.