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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.
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Office sought: Bloomingdale District 13 School Board (4-year Terms)
Family: Married with two children
Occupation: Vice President & General Manager - Illinois Tool Works (ITW)
Education: Graduate - Lake Forest School of Management, 1986
Civic involvement: Board Chair - Junior Achievement of Du Page County, Elected to Bloomingdale SD13 Board of Education
Elected offices held: School Board Member 2008 (filled vacant seat)- current
Have you ever been arrested for or convicted of a crime? If yes, please explain: No
Key Issue 1
Providing the students of Bloomingdale SD13 with a 21st Century learning environment that expands their collaborative, project based learning skills so they can become more involved in our community, further explore their personal interests/skills in order to best prepare them for the globally competitive future.
Key Issue 2
SD13 has long prided itself on maintaining a balanced budget. Costs to Bloomingdale SD13 are expected to rise as pension costs shift to the local school districts, health care costs increase and state funding for transportation and other general line items continues to decline. Difficult financial decisions will need to be made by our board to protect the learning environment we have for our students and staff while minimizing any cost impact on local taxpayers as these property owners provide approximately 90% (and growing) of our schools funding.
Key Issue 3
I believe it is imperative that we develop a comprehensive strategic plan for Bloomingdale SD13 with input from all stakeholder groups. This plan will identify the views and priorities of the community as a whole, so the board can give thoughtful consideration to this input while setting district policy and reporting on progress.
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 will be a challenge to implement. The intent is good - raise student achievement to levels of other countries which will allow the US to remain competitive in a global market place. The board needs to support the efforts of the administration but must rely on their abilities to implement the changes needed to comply effectively with the new standards. We need to have continued focus on encouraging collaboration amongst students in our curriculum.
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?
As a parent of high school students, I recognize the need to effectively bridge the transition from middle school to high school. This is a major change for students both academically as well as socially. Teaching students how to effectively collaborate with one another, how to problem solve and mange projects in middle school will greatly aid in the transition to high school and ultimately, the workplace.
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?
Maintaining a balanced budget will be increasingly difficult with increasing healthcare costs, continued reduction of general state aid and the likely shift of pension costs to local school districts. I do not support tax increases so we will need to identify cost reductions to offset these increases in areas outside of the classroom. The need for meaningful pension reform is very real and if the state can't accomplish this, we will need to work with our union leadership and administration to identify a fair and balanced manner to address the issue locally.
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 teaching core in SD13 is strong and we will agree to contracts that reward them for their work in a fair and competitive way. Our board will offer a contract to teachers that is competitive in pay, brings enhanced learning to our students and is fiscally responsible for all our constituents, among which, approximately 80% do not have students within the public school system.
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 believe teachers and administrators should be fairly compensated while they are actively supporting the teaching of SD13 students. Efforts to enhance pay at the end of career become a legacy cost to taxpayers with no return to them.