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updated: 2/22/2013 6:28 PM

Jin Lee: Candidate Profile

Maine Township High School District 207 School Board (4-year Terms)

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  • Jin Lee, running for Maine Township High School District 207 School Board (4-year Terms)

    Jin Lee, running for Maine Township High School District 207 School Board (4-year Terms)




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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BioKey IssuesQ&A



City: Des Plaines


Office sought: Maine Township High School District 207 School Board (4-year Terms)

Age: 7/7/62

Family: Married, with two children, Jenna and Andrew. Jenna graduated from Maine East and now serves as a CPS middle school teacher. Andrew graduated from Maine West and now attends in UIUC-Chemical Engineering. My wife Anna works for American Airlines.

Occupation: Director-Government Relations and Business Planning & Development at Albany park Community Center, a nonprofit social service agency for 16 years+.

Education: Bachelor of Arts in LAS, University of Illinois at Urbana- Champaign (UIUC), 1984 Executive Education School of Business Administration, Loyola University Chicago, 2004

Civic involvement: *Board of Trustees (Vice-Chair) at Northeastern Illinois University (Chicago, IL), 2005-Present * Commissioner of Economic Development Commission (city of Des Plaines), 2010-Present * President's Life Time Call to Service Award (4,000 hours or more of volunteer service recognized) from the President of United States. (2008) *Asian Advisory Council for Illinois Secretary of State, 2002-Present *City of Chicago-BACP Retail Industry Advisory Group, 2009 *Member of Village of Skokie's Immigration Advisory Task Force, 2001-Present *Asian Advisory Council for Illinois Comptroller, Judy Baar Topinka. 2013-Present *Illinois State Treasurer Community Affairs, 2003-2010 *Member of Human Relations council North side Task Force, City of Chicago, 2004-Present *Illinois Minority Business Development Task Force, 1996-2001 *Member of Skokie Festival of Cultures, 1996-Present *New York State Junior Chamber of Commerce Region 1 District Director, 1991 *Changing Worlds Immigrant & Refugee Contributions Awards & Education Series Nominee (2005, 2007, 2008)

Elected offices held: None

Have you ever been arrested for or convicted of a crime? If yes, please explain: None

Candidate's Key Issues

Key Issue 1

#1 We need to create a global educational environment. A global education has become an integral part of the strategic planning for enhancing the state's economic development and competitiveness. Our school structure needs to reflect this global society. International knowledge and skills are imperative for the future security and competitiveness of our students. I believe developing and promoting cross-cultural education and intercultural exchanges will ensure our students are at the forefront of cross-cultural education and will prepare our students to compete in today's global economy.

Key Issue 2

#2 Every student deserves equal access to every opportunity for a quality education. A quality education begins with building up the infrastructure. In order to do this we need to first invest in and develop quality teachers. We also need to build a curriculum that helps students develop into community leaders with a strong sense of ethics, virtue, and morality.

Key Issue 3

#3 I will bring stability, predictability, and transparency to the Board's budgeting process. The voters will get the most return for their tax dollars when the Board's budget promotes student development and not administrative demands. As a trustee at Northeastern University I have experience in making disciplined financial decisions in order to promote student development.

Questions & Answers

What, specifically, can the school board do to prevent hazing at its schools?

The board should require mandatory anti-hazing programs to educate the faculty, staff, and students on the harmful outcomes hazing has on the victim, the offender, and the community. A no tolerance policy needs to be practiced amongst students, reflected by teachers, and enforced by administrators.

Would you ever support deficit spending in a District 207 budget? How can the district keep its finances healthy going forward?

As a parent of two kids who were educated in our district, just like many of you, I have had to make difficult financial decisions that required responsible budgeting, reduced spending, and calculated decisions. Deficit spending is not the first, second, or third option I would persue in making financial decisions. Deficit spending is a sacrifice carried by the tax payers and the state. The key to any healthy budget is stability, predictability, and transparency in the budgeting process.

Should the district tie teacher salary increases to CPI?

The Board's first financial responsibility is to the students. Any increase to teacher's salary should be a calculated decision factoring in student performance, teacher performance, as well as CPI

Discuss the health clinic at Maine East. Are you satisfied with how it is working? Should the idea be expanded to West or South?

A school based health clinic is exactly what I mean when talking about givingequal access to every opportunity?. There are families in need in our district, and the health clinic at Maine East is meeting those needs. Currently the center says it has been more than happy to extend their services to the students from Maine South and West. If necessary, we can research and consider the option of expanding the program.

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?

While I recognize the significance of these two standards and the shift to Common Core is inevitable, I also think it's important for school districts to adequately fund other essential programs such as fine arts, science, vocational, industrial & tech education that would provide a well-rounded education for each student and practice whole-child approach.I believe a committee of teachers, administrators, parents, and Board members should join to set the core curriculum. As a member of the Board I will continually involve members of the community in the decision making process.