Peggy Babcock: Candidate Profile
Palatine District 15 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.
Office sought: Palatine District 15 School Board (4-year Terms)
Family: Married; Husband, John; Son, Jake
Education: Elmira College Fellow, Life Management Institute, Specialization in Personnel Administration, 1984
Civic involvement: Facilitator for Make Today Count Cancer Support Group, Northwest Community Hospital (21 years); Awarded Excellence in Patient Services designation for the American Cancer Society (ACS); volunteer in the ACS Wig Boutique fitting wigs for cancer patients; Trustee/Secretary District 15 Educational Foundation; Trustee/Secretary/Master Board Member Palatine CCSD15 Board of Education
Elected offices held: Trustee/Secretary/Master Board Member Palatine CCSD15 Board of Education
Have you ever been arrested for or convicted of a crime? If yes, please explain: No
Key Issue 1
Facilities Study and its ramifications on future decisions (i.e.; redistricting/mapping).
Key Issue 2
Continue to work on bottom line in light of possibility of receiving less expecting more.
Key Issue 3
Work on equity-based decision making.
In recent years, Dist. 15 has had contentious relationships between the board and teachers, teachers and the administration, and on the board itself. What is the root cause of this, what problems has it caused, and what must be done to improve it?
There are four stages every board goes through following an election: Forming, Storming, Norming and Performing. Respect and trust are key to working through problems and becoming a highly functioning board. For the last two years the D15 Board of Education has worked through the process and become a highly performing board. In prior years there was an underlying hostility and unwillingness to compromise which rendered the board unable to function properly. We have learned from those mistakes. I continue to believe that each board member brings value to each discussion. Working towards consensus has allowed us to compromise and emerge with one board decision. No decision in this district, or any other district, is black and white. Respecting different opinions and trusting that all board members are there to do the best job they can for the entire D15 community, is crucial to being a board member. It is difficult and unproductive to be part of a team with seven individual agendas. This election will once again take us through the four stages of board development. Open minds and continued trust and respect will be key in moving District 15 forward.
Should District 15 continue to hold onto the 40 acres in Inverness that was originally intended for a new middle school, or look to sell it?
In today's market, I am opposed to selling this property. We have no crystal ball to predict our future needs. This property remains an asset with no pressing financial need to sell.
How do you think District 15 has handled budgetary pressures in recent years? Amid the uncertainties of outside funding sources, are there ways the district could be more in control of its own destiny?
Unfortunately we are reliant on property taxes. I don't see this changing. I am a taxpayer and like everyone, I feel the burden. Reductions in federal funding, unfunded mandates and unreliable state aid have made school finance a guessing game at best. I support balanced budgets and am proud of the strides made to reduce deficits.
How would you define the ideal working relationship between a school board and its administrators and teachers? To what degree does your school district represent this relationship now?
The Board of Education is responsible for one employee ... the Superintendent. The board established annual goals for our employee and through him, approve goals for the administration, teachers and support personnel. That being said, I believe that there must be a mutual respect for each other; a willingness to listen, to learn and to grow together for the better of the district.
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 last common core standards for Illinois were adopted in 1997. The aim of the new standards, scheduled to be in place by 2014-2015, is to "provide clear, consistent benchmarks with 'fewer, clearer and higher' academic standards for essential learning and skills." Our students and parents will all understand the knowledge their children are expected to attain each year. The Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and her staff have kept the board informed of curriculum changes and goals since 2010 and their recommendations for full implementation. The Board of Education sets annual goals as part of the district's strategic plan. It is important to continue to include annual goals regarding curricular alignment to the Common Core. For the future, board members need to support the administrators' Common Core State Standards implementation plan and stay informed. I don't feel I should be setting the curriculum, however, it is the board's role to ensure that resources are in place to keep pace with the curricular needs of the district (financial, physical and human resources).
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