Dennis Peterson: Candidate Profile
Benjamin District 25 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
Office sought: Benjamin District 25 School Board (4-year Terms)
Family: Married to Lurana Peterson, Daughter Jonna, Son Sean, Daughter-in-Law Andi, Grand Daughter Delaney
Occupation: Medical Sales Representative for Endocare Inc. out of Minnetoka, Minnesota
Education: B.S. Degree in Biology and Chemistry from Elmhurst College.
Civic involvement: School Board Member for 30 years.
Elected offices held: Republican Committeeman for the Wayne Township Republican Organization
Have you ever been arrested for or convicted of a crime? If yes, please explain: No
Key Issue 1
To continue to raise the academic standards that our students are held to before graduating.
Key Issue 2
To operate our school district on a financially sound basis without deficit spending.
Key Issue 3
To make sure the schools are ready and equipped for each new class entering the district. That includes having the best staff we can gather to educate our children.
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?
Having common core standards that each child will embrace during his/her education will guarantee that each child has been appropriately taught those standards that will give that child the best opportunity to succeed in the future. It gives us a target that each child can be measured against for his or her success.
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 am very satisfied with the manner our district prepares our students to move onto high school. Our school has been recognized as one of the top 5 schools in DuPage County in reading and math. This does not mean we should discontinue to strive for even better scores. All this while keeping expenses reasonable for our tax payers.
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?
We are extremely fortunate that we do not have to cut or reduce any of our programs as we have endorsed many cost saving measures that have reduced our operating costs by more than $500,000. We have resources that will take us out to 2018 with little concern for cutting staff or programs. We do not need to be concerned for passing any referendums.
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?
Because we have been very cautious with our spending, it is not necessary for us to ask our teachers for concessions. We can negotiate with them and provide reasonable salaries and benefits while maintaining the best and safest of working conditions.
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?
Yes! I would support an increase anytime when you have a superintendent like Dr. Phil Ehrhardt. He has done so much leading our district to be academically excellent and operating the district on a financially sound basis. Every day he goes above and beyond what we expect. Every district should have someone like Dr Ehrhardt.
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