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: Carol Stream
Website: Candidate did not respond.
Office sought: Benjamin District 25 School Board (4-year Terms)
Family: Married, 2 children
Occupation: Relocation Appraisal Specialist
Education: BA -Sociology/Criminology-Purdue University,1986 Paralegal Certification, American Institute of Paralegal Studies,1988 Real Estate Sales Person Licence,IL, 1988 Certified Relocation Professional Designation, 1999 Real Estate Appraisal License,IL, 2002
Civic involvement: Vice President, Benjamin-Evergreen PTA - 3 years Catechist, Corpus Christi Catholic Church - 2 years Den Leader, Cub Scout Pack 175 - 4 years
Elected offices held: None
Have you ever been arrested for or convicted of a crime? If yes, please explain: No
Key Issue 1
I want to see our district continue with strong financial health. As our economy and real estate markets continue to struggle for stability and improvement, keeping our district financially sound is first and foremost to me. Strong schools are a vital part of a strong community.
Key Issue 2
Keeping up extra-curricular activities in our district is important to me as well. Learning is more than just a classroom! It's the knowledge within the classroom and the additional experiences that help to excite and mold young minds. Being able to offer additional activities to the students, whether it is athletics, music, theater, art, etc. is important to our children's development.
Key Issue 3
Candidate did not respond.
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 believe the shift to common core standards is part of our continued effort, as parents and community leaders, to ensure all students are getting the same high level of educational opportunities. It's an investment for the future and will hopefully help to bring a "level playing field" for our student body as they move on to higher levels of education. As a board, I believe we need to understand the pros and cons of this new initiative, and identify the challenges in order to give this new curriculum a true chance for 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 Benjamin District 25 schools!! I live here because this is where I want to be, and where I want to raise my children!! My children are enrolled in district schools and I am very pleased with the level of opportunities they have and are currently receiving, both in the classroom and out! Preparing our children for the future is a continuous task, and our district works to make needed improvements and enhancements continuously. The success of this approach can been seen in our increasing test scores, high school graduation rates, college attendance rates, and extra-curricular participation! I feel our district strives to touch each one of their students on a personal level.
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?
Our district has done a good job of preparing for the tough times we are currently in. And we need to continue to do so. As our population appears to be diminishing, we need to keep a close eye on future projections, so continued planning can be made proactively. Being aware of the path we're on can help us to avoid sudden cuts down the road; and will allow the district to work with it's staff to make changes without having to cut jobs. Additionally, based on our district's financials, tax increases are not a factor at this time.
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?
I do not feel it would be appropriate to discuss upcoming contract negotiations, but I do believe our district employs very skilled and tested professionals who deserve to be paid appropriately. As a Board member, I will work to understand all sides of the issue before making any decisions that impact my district's bottom line or the employee groups impacted.
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 do not believe in padding anyone's pension - period. As I've noted above, I believe someone should be paid based on their skills appropriately. Reviewing a superintendent's history, successes, skills, etc. should be the sole basis for any increases considered.