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: Glen Ellyn
Website: Candidate did not respond.
Office sought: Glen Ellyn District 41 School Board (4-year Terms)
Family: Married to Suzanne E. Elger, Daughters Sarah age 24, graduate of Augustana College, and Hannah age 22, graduate of Bradley University and son Joe age 15 Freshman at Glenbard West.
Occupation: Sales Manager at Kronos Incorporated. Responsible for managing a team of sales people providing workforce management software, hardware and services to the Life Sciences (Pharma,Biotech and Medical Device manufactures)industry on a national basis.
Education: BBA in Public Accounting from Loyola University, Chicago 1982 Registered Certified Public Accountant
Civic involvement: Coach of the Elmhurst Chief's Hockey Team (HS level). Former Cub Scout Den Leader at Abraham Lincoln, Pack 52 (2004-2009)
Elected offices held: None.
Have you ever been arrested for or convicted of a crime? If yes, please explain: No.
Key Issue 1
The importance of being a member of the D41 School Board, and the work that will be required over the next four years, is not lessened due to this being an uncontested election. While this is a local election it addresses a serious national issue concerning our readiness to compete on a global basis. This position affects two of the most important concerns for many people, their children and their money. District 41 has maintained high standards and driven very good results. We need to continue to challenge our selves and continuously improve our results in light of the new common core standards. As a nation we are falling behind on the world stage with respect to Education and particularly Science and Math. This is our most important challenge over the next four years.
Key Issue 2
The District has space constraints that limit our ability to consider changes like all day kindergarten or dedicated STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) labs. We need to develop creative affordable changes to our facilities to enable the growth of these and other types of programs.
Key Issue 3
In 2011-2012 District 41 abated $2.7 million to taxpayers demonstrating strong fiscal stewardship to taxpayers while maintaining sound educational programs. Even with the challenges discussed above we need to continue to be responsible in our budgeting and planning to maintain the financial stability of the District.
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 Standards were established to ensure that our students are prepared for success in college and careers that can compete on a global basis. I support the rigor of the standards and believe they will provide a high quality education for our students. A curriculum needs to be in place to achieve the standards. The Board's responsibility is to review and set policy that supports the curriculum. I fully support the recent recommendation to add a Spanish dual language option at one of the schools and FLES (Foreign Language at the Elementary School) district wide.
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?
My wife and I have lived in the District for 16 years and our son attended K-8 grade at D41 schools. I have been very impressed with the Teachers, Administrators, Students and Parents in the District. While the results that D41 has achieved have been impressive there is always room for growth and improvement. Our challenge will be to continue that progress with an eye towards developing students who can compete on the global stage.
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 District is in sound financial footing, which allowed them to provide a tax abatement last year. The Board has been utilizing shared services and bundled costs agreements that have saved substantial amounts of money. There is an annual process each year to determine the levy required to keep up with cost increases largely out of the control of the district, such as materials and energy.
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 provides an above average salary and working conditions that make it a desirable place to attract high quality Teachers and Administrators. All parties should work together to manage costs to keep D41 an attractive workplace.
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 pay increase to boost anyone's pension. Pension costs in Illinois are seriously underfunded and no one should be allowed to use procedures with the sole purpose of increasing retirement pensions. Increases in administrative contracts should be solely based on performance.