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updated: 2/22/2013 6:28 PM

Kelly Beerheide: Candidate Profile

Wheeling District 21 School Board (4-year Terms)

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  • Kelly Beerheide, running for Wheeling District 21 School Board (4-year Terms)

    Kelly Beerheide, running for Wheeling District 21 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: Arlington Heights

Website: Candidate did not respond.

Office sought: Wheeling District 21 School Board (4-year Terms)

Age: 39

Family: Married, three children (ages 8, 6, and 4). Two are currently in School District 21; third child entering kindergarten in the fall of 2013

Occupation: Finance Professional

Education: Bachelor of Science in Accounting, Purdue University, 1995 MBA in Finance, Kellstadt Graduate School of Business, DePaul University, 2004

Civic involvement: Volunteer at PADS

Elected offices held: None

Have you ever been arrested for or convicted of a crime? If yes, please explain: No

Candidate's Key Issues

Key Issue 1

School Funding

Key Issue 2

Technology in the classroom

Key Issue 3

School Class Size

Questions & Answers

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 am supportive of the shift to the common core standards. The standards will not only enhance our existing curriculum by placing a greater emphasis on higher-level comprehension skills, but will also provide for a consistent set of skills that each grade level should achieve, regardless of the state they live in or school they attend. I believe the board of education's role as it relates to setting the curriculum is supervisory in nature. The board should ensure the district is in compliance with state mandates and monitor any financial implications due to transitioning to new curriculum standards.

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?

District 21 is comprised of great schools supported by excellent teachers, staff, administrators, parents, students and residents. Our dedicated teachers work to challenge our children in the classrooms today and I believe we could help enhance those learning experiences by improving the technology that is currently available in our schools. As our society continues to evolve, working hands on with technology on a daily basis is commonplace. We need to ensure we are providing the best instructional technology tools possible to ensure our children are prepared for the next stages in their lives.

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?

School districts continue to face uncertain financial conditions such as pension reform, state and federal funding, property tax refunds and future Consumer Price Indices which all could have a significant impact on a school's budget. District 21 is not immune to these challenges. These uncertainties will create a greater need for the board to carefully manage the district's finances to strive to maintain a balanced budget each year. If a balanced budget is not attainable, I would work to ensure that the board evaluates all options available to effectively manage the long range financial plans of the district.

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 acknowledge that our teachers are operating in unprecedented times. Implementation of new state laws regarding the common core standards, increased classroom sizes, and more rigorous performance evaluations all present new challenges for teachers. I also recognize the importance of employee costs aligning with current market conditions and the district's projected revenue growth. As a board member, I support offering contract costs that would allow the district to continue to operate with a balanced budget over the long term.

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?

Under current law, those employees declaring for retirement are eligible to receive an increase not greater than 6% in their final four years prior to retirement. While a 6% increase per year is the maximum, as a board member, I would encourage the evaluation of the individual's performance against stated goals prior to making a final recommendation on merit increases.