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: Villa Park
Website: Candidate did not respond.
Office sought: DuPage District 45 School Board (4-year Terms)
Family: Married, two children
Education: Bachelor of Arts, Augustana College, 1995
Civic involvement: Villa Park Junior Women's Club National PTA Member - Classroom Volunteer, Health and Wellness Committee, Destination Imagination Team Manager since 2008/09 school year, District 45 and Westmore School Reflections Chairperson 2012/13, District 45 Meal Advisory Committe member Animal Rescue Foundation volunteer
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
I am running for D45 school board to represent other elementary and middle school parents and taxpayers in our community. I believe that a member should be visible and available for any concerns or comments regarding our schools. Clear communication to everyone in the community with the utmost integrity is vital.
Key Issue 2
Creative problem solving to maximize dollars available. Just like I have taught my Destination Imagination teams over the years, I believe that you have to look at everyday things in different ways for great, successful solutions.
Key Issue 3
The most important learning tool in the classroom is a fully engaged teacher who instills a love of learning. I believe that the district should strive to retain only the best teachers to give our kids the best advantage for the future.
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?
I think that the shift to one set of common expectations nationwide is a great step towards improving our country's education system. The board should know the goals of the new standards, understand what needs to be done to reach or surpass them, and be aware of expected challenges and plans to address. The board is responsible for hiring excellent administration personnel who can execute the adoption of any new standards change. Board members should also clearly understand the curriculum so that they are able to ask intelligent questions to ensure it addresses all students' needs. Before making any suggestions to curriculum, I would listen to the customers - the teachers and parents - as they have the best handle on how successful it is in creating great citizens of tomorrow.
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 believe that the district does a good job of preparing students but that we miss the opportunity to go further. An example is how far we have to reach to meet the common core standards. My husband and I encourage our children to strive to exceed expectations so why shouldn't the institution that is charged with educating them not be held to the same standard? All children should be challenged at their own level, given the support necessary to soar as high as possible. I would like to see more differentiation of material in all subject areas. Close coordination with the area high schools is key to ensure that our students are at or above expectations.
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 State of Illinois financial issues continue to be a challenge for our district. Just like in everyone's personal household, there is a limited amount of money to spend. When this amount gets stressed further, we are responsible to take the opportunity to step back and assess what is really important. I believe we must be just as financially responsible with the school district funds as we are with our own personal checkbook. If cuts are necessary, we should look at everything (programs and expenses) based on how each item meets the goal of helping each child realize their fullest potential. Tax increases should not be an option unless there is a large necessary project that can not be funded through other means.
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?
As I have stated above, I believe that the school funds should be managed as responsibly as my own checkbook. Given the constant of the monies available, all expenses across the board must be assessed. I can't say exactly what I would recommend at this time, but I would use due diligence and ensure that the district retains the best team possible.
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?
Absolutely not. This is an immoral practice that cheats the taxpayers who are struggling themselves to meet daily living expenses, savings for the unexpected, tuition for future education of their children, let alone retirement savings. Salaries should reflect current position and performance, just as a grade on a child's report card reflects effort and performance in the classroom.