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: Wife, Jackie, married almost 9 years. We have two children Hanna (7) and Cody (4)
Occupation: Commercial Real Estate Developer Chief Financial Officer
Education: University of Chicago, B.A. Economics 1988 University of Chicago, Booth School of Business, M.B.A. Finance and Accounting 1993
Civic involvement: Think Tank Parent Advisory Group 2012 For the past 25 years, I have been a volunteer assistant wrestling coach at the University of Chicago.
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
As a new member of the Board, my number one focus will be our facilities. I hope that my real estate and finance backgrounds will provide appropriate perspective and useful insight. My real estate expertise is getting the best price for high quality on-time real estate projects and doing so on an optimal financial schedule. District 41 has almost 500 students in 32 portable classrooms. Simply put, District 41 has a school's worth of students in portable classrooms. Furthermore, District 41's type of space is not a good match for the type of space needed. In 2009, a Master Facility Plan was submitted to the Board. This plan includes the elimination of all portable classrooms and the addition of Integrated Resource space, which is more appropriate for the needs of today's students. Excellent performance in this area, with a sound conservative approach regarding all associated financial matters, is critical to District 41.
Key Issue 2
District 41 needs to remain focused on a fiscally conservative approach to its capital and annual expenditures that are in-line with its Long Range Plan a Sustainable Organization, 21st Century Learning and a Strong Positive Core.
Key Issue 3
As a new Board Member, I will work diligently to monitor the implementation of any current board approved Think Tank initiative whether a full-scale program or pilot program. I will request detailed feedback on a quarterly basis from the administration, teachers, parents and students. I believe that clear communication of any progress or setbacks will be essential. Further, any new program requires continuous collaboration and input from all involved parties.
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?
In June 2010, the U.S. Department of Education released the new Common Core State Standards and the State of Illinois opted to follow these standards. Given the U.S. Department of Education's new standards, District 41 needs to access and develop new programs, which will provide the opportunity for our students to meet and exceed these standards. The Board of Education should be involved with all budget matters concerning changes to the district's curriculum. Further, the Board should work closely with the district's educators with all new large scale programs.
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?
District 41 has prepared its students very well and must continue to meet the challenges in all aspects of education. I have lived in Glen Ellyn for 7 years, and I have consistently heard praise of our educators. My daughter is in first grade and our experience for the past two years has been confirmation of this.
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?
From my research thus far, District 41 appears to be fiscally sound. Further, an independent audit found the district to be healthy and well managed. Given the district's needs from a facility perspective, District 41 must properly prepare and fund necessary capital improvements to meet these needs. The district should stay within the Tax Cap in the 1991 Property Tax Limitation Act for DuPage County. The Board should consider additional tax increases or referendums, only as a last resort - after prudent due diligence and applying a fiscally sound and conservative approach.
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 representative of all District 41 taxpayers, the Board has an obligation to approach all contract matters with fiscal responsibility. Compensation should be based on merit and should be commensurate with the competitive market.
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 such a manipulation of anyone's pension benefits. All compensation (annual salary and pension and other benefits) should be negotiated transparently, at the time of one's contract, based on merit, and in line with the market place.