Karina Villa: Candidate Profile
West Chicago District 33 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.
City: West Chicago
Website: Candidate did not respond.
Office sought: West Chicago District 33 School Board (4-year Terms)
Family: Candidate did not respond.
Occupation: Behavioral and Instructional Analyst
Education: Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Human Services, National Louis University Masters in Social work, George Williams College at Aurora University
Civic involvement: District 33 Education Foundation
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
For our Children Our kids come first, and we as educators, parents and community members must make this our main focus. In my tenure as a school social worker in District 33, I worked with hundreds of students and families focusing on the well-being of our children. My passion for student success has always been my main driving force to go above and beyond in my career. As a social worker for District 33 I always had an open-door policy for the families I worked with and will continue this philosophy to promote success and progress as a member of your Board of Education. I promise you my door will serve as youropen floor? for any thoughts or opinions you find important to our students future. By us working together we will ensure the very best education for our children and enable them to reach their full potential.
Key Issue 2
For our Teachers The teachers that I was honored to work with during my time in District 33 are some of the best, most dedicated and highly educated individuals in DuPage County. My strong background and reputation with our teachers comes from my understanding of their individual concerns and taking action by following through with interventions and initiatives designed to promote positive change. Listening to all of the voices involved and collaborating with teams to make researched based decisions is another reason I am well respected amongst my peers. As a member fo the Board of Education I will bring this crucial skill to the table.
Key Issue 3
For our Future West Chicago is the best community in DuPage County. As a lifelong resident and new homeowner in town I believe we can continue to help our We-Go grow and prosper; it all starts in our schools and with our children. As a member of the Board of Education I will help ensure that this happens.
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 shift is one that as been mandated from a National level. In theory I believe that establishing common core standards is a good thing. As a member of the Board of Education it is crucial to have an understanding of the standards however, it is up to the administration and teachers to unpack the standards in a way that would be most beneficial to students. According to the Illinois Association of School Boards "the School Board must discipline themselves to trust the Superintendent and staffand not involve themselves in day-to-day operations" and I will strive to follow that mandate.
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?
The staff at District 33 educates students daily on how the impact of academic and social decisions that they make today will impact them tomorrow. These lessons are taught through Social Emotional Learning curriculums that the district selected. The district also has academic programming to ensure that students who are struggling will have specialized programming to close the gap in order to prepare them for Middle School and then High School. The students who receive special education services have transition meetings so that the new school may select appropriate programming according to the student's individual needs. Overal, I believe that District 33 is doing a fine job of preparing our students to for the next stage in their lives. One area in which I think that the schools are always trying to work on is parent involvement. This area is one I believe is crucial when looking at getting students prepared for transitions and higher education. It was an area that I focused on as a school social worker and one I will focus on as a member of the Board of Education.
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?
It is unfortunate that the state is in such financial hardship. However, the best education for our children is a priority. All opportunities for budgeting and increasing revenue should be explored as needed.
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?
It is my firm belief that during contract negotiations the Board of Education needs to offer the teacher's a fair and reasonable contract.
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?
No, I would not be in support of this type of boost. Given the financial state of the state and our district, this type of practice is not one I would support.
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