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: Wheaton Warrenville District 200 School Board (4-year Terms)
Family: Married, four daughters (all attend CUSD 200 schools)
Occupation: Lawyer and a financial advisor to firms in the energy sector
Education: B.S.in History, Arizona State University, 1989 J.D. Villanova University School of Law, 1992 (Editor, Law Review) M.B.A. University of Chicago (concentration in finance), 1997
Civic involvement: Candidate did not respond.
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
The Board of Education needs to emphasize transparency and trust with the public regardless of the issue. It is important that people feel they are being provided with honest information. I didn't think this would be an issue when I started campaigning, unfortunately I've discovered it is something that needs to be addressed.
Key Issue 2
Technology in the classrooms. The teachers in CUSD 200 should have the appropriate tools to teach our children in a 21st century manner. I have not been impressed with either the District's commitment to, nor implementation of, technology. Let's make sure our students are prepared to succeed when they graduate from our schools.
Key Issue 3
Empowering the principals in our schools to develop innovative teaching strategies. This includes encouraging Professional Learning Communities for our teachers and the resources to maximize their effectiveness. I am continually amazed by the dedication of the teachers. They want to make our kids great, I would like to do all I can to give them the opportunity and resources to make that happen.
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?
My 5th grade daughter piloted common core math this year. While it was challenging I feel it was an improvement. Her teacher's time and effort in the implementation and rolling-out of the common core pilot program, including the communication with the parents, was outstanding. An item that requires additional monitoring is how assessment testing will be structured and administered. However I much prefer a program like this that the State voluntarily elects to opt-into rather than programs which are Federally mandated.
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 have nothing but the highest praise for CUSD 200 teachers who have taught my children. Their dedication and passion for teaching the students in our District is unparalleled. Teachers in the District, and their students, deserve to have 21st century resources. Equipping our teachers with suitable technology allows them to maximize their ability to instruct our children.
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?
My biggest concern with the District regarding financial matters is transparency. The unnecessary manipulation of the the numbers relating to the Jefferson referendum is an example of the type of actions which cause residents to question the credibility of our BOE.
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?
The DIstrict is in the first year of a three year contract. It would be pure speculation to hazard a guess as to which of the three approaches listed, if any, would be the right approach that far into the future. I do believe that the teachers in CUSD 200 are as good as any in the state
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?
Illinois' pension system is broken. Within the last few days S&P has reduced the state's credit rating in large part because of our unfunded liability. Another credit rating agency (Fitch) has threatened similar action. The Illinois legislature has identified pension reform as a high priority item. Part of the anticipated impact will be shifting more pension costs to the local school districts. We need to encourage a move to a defined benefit plan to a defined contribution plan.