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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.
Website: Candidate did not respond.
Office sought: Huntley Unit District 158 School Board (4-year Terms)
Family: Married 17 years to Karen, 2 children (17 and 14) and 2 step-children (adults).
Education: B.S. Chemistry; 1987; University of Illinois - Urbana J.D. (High Honors); 1995; IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law
Civic involvement: Centegra Foundation Board of Governors (1996-2003); Donor Development Council (2008-present) McHenry County Bar Association Past President
Elected offices held: Huntley Area Library District (1995-2000; President 1998-2000)
Have you ever been arrested for or convicted of a crime? If yes, please explain: Candidate did not respond.
Key Issue 1
Providing the best education for the District by smartly spending the district's funds.
Key Issue 2
Ensuring a positive educational environment for faculty, staff and students.
Key Issue 3
Candidate did not respond.
How would you use the $39 million state capital development award that the district finally received last year, after being notified of the grant in 2002?
I would pursue the projects that the District is currently looking at, being how to best use these funds to provide facilities for the projected student population over the next 20 years. As the growth is not as it was projected in 2002, it makes sense to revisit the capital projects, such as expanding the current high school rather than building a second school. I would also make sure that the current facilities are equipped with the proper technologies for the faculty and students to ensure that the students remain on the leading edge of education and are prepared for their future.
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?
Although this shift makes sense from the standpoint that it should provide a better indication of a student's abilities, the change will be difficult, as teachers have had to adjust their curriculum toward testing achievement, rather than teaching how to learn as well as what to learn. One positive is that it should help the faculty re-focus to the way I believe that teachers want to teach - so the students truly learn - rather than teaching for a test score. My position is that the Board's role is to be receptive to what the professional educators want and need to make this happen, to help them be equipped for the changes, and to then find the best way to make that happen within the reality of budget constraints.
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?
Having had step children in the District since the early 90s, I have seen many changes in the District. Even so, I have been amazed at how well these students are indeed prepared for the real world, based on the successes that I have seen from the graduates of the 90s to today. I believe that the District has been and will continue to be responsive to the advances in education and the full educational experience (academics, sports and the arts) to give the students of District 158 the best opportunity to succeed. I also have seen efforts to make this a destination district for educators, rather than a spring board and I would continue to support ways to keep quality teachers here.
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?
Like all governmental entities, revenue from all sources is of concern. Assessed values are down and state funding is lagging. Add the potential that the pension fix may borne on the backs of the property tax payer, and the problem is compounded. That being said, the budget issues will be revenue being behind current expenditures. I would not want to start cutting existing programs, but if necessary, there would be no preference of one over another, as I believe that all programs (academic, sports and the arts and clubs) all have value to the development of the students. I would consider placing certain future projects on hold first. I would only look to taxes as a last resort.
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 would not support a substantial increase in his or her pay to boos pension benefits. This answer would be the same with or without the current pension crisis. To allow otherwise would be to defeat the purpose and spirit of the pension calculation by artificially inflating the income number used to determine the benefit.