Courtney Simek: Candidate Profile
Lombard District 44 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: Lombard District 44 School Board (4-year Terms)
Family: Single parent, 9-year old son Collin
Occupation: Program Manager, Teen Parent Connection
Education: Bachelor's of Science in Business Management, National Louis University, 2008
Civic involvement: Membership Chair of Pleasant Lane PTA Board Secretary of Lombard PTA Council Board Member of West Suburban Philanthropic Network
Elected offices held: None
Have you ever been arrested for or convicted of a crime? If yes, please explain: No
Key Issue 1
Providing a quality school experience and educational opportunities to all children, including school readiness for children entering kindergarten.
Key Issue 2
Connecting the school district with valuable community based resources for parents, teachers, and students.
Key Issue 3
Maintaining a fiscally responsible budget.
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 support the shift to the common core standards. I believe that these standards provide a high quality of education and allow each student the opportunity to master core concepts. The standards allow parents and teachers to clearly communicate and understand grade level expectations. I believe the role of the board is to support our administrators/teachers who are experts in the area of curriculum development and enhancements.
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 District 44 does an effective job of preparing students for the next stage of their lives. By working together to support the entire child's well being, including physical, emotional, social and mental health, we continue to move towards this goal. I support enhancements that focus on goal setting, individual assessments geared towards strengths development, and a general understanding of the impact that education plays on long term earning potential and self sufficiency.
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?
I would support a tax increase if it was to the benefit of our students. I will stay informed with funding updates at the state level as well as work with our advocacy group, LEND. Teacher salaries and improved technology are issues in which I feel we will need to address in the coming years. I do believe that if cuts need to be made, we will manage those cuts looking at the least direct impact to students, teachers and staff. I will understand our district finances and address all internal controls including the oversight of the board in the budget process.
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 a member of the school board, I will actively listen to the various school groups in regards to contracts. It is one of my top priorities to fact find, take all recommendations into consideration and make sure that all information shared is reputable and accurate. I will work with my fellow board members to determine whether or not certain concessions need to be made, or if pay & benefit increases are within our budget and necessary expenditures.
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 would not support a substantial increase in his or her pay to help boost benefits, unless that specified employee had an increase in job responsibilities warranting the pay bump. It would also be important to ensure the general health of the district before considering this type of scenario.
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