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updated: 2/22/2013 6:25 PM

Jennifer Crick: Candidate Profile

Cary District 26 School Board (4-year Terms)

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  • Jennifer Crick, running for Cary District 26 School Board (4-year Terms)

      Jennifer Crick, running for Cary District 26 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.

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BioKey IssuesQ&A

 

Bio

City: Cary

Website: Candidate did not respond.

Office sought: Cary District 26 School Board (4-year Terms)

Age: 36

Family: Husband of 12 years: John Crick Son: Jack age 9 Son: Nathan age 7 daughter: Madilynn age 6

Occupation: Developmental Therapist

Education: BA in Elementary Education State of IL credentialed Early Intervention Specialist (Developmental Therapist) State of IL credentialed Early Intervention Evaluator

Civic involvement: Member of the Community Engagement Committee for D26 Co-Leader Daisy Troop 1240 Various church committees: including head meal coordinator for Angels in Aprons

Elected offices held: Candidate did not respond.

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

Candidate's Key Issues

Key Issue 1

As I am the ONLY candidate on the ballot who is a mom with young children in the district, my number one priority with this election is the children in the district, and what affects them the most. This makes my absolute number one issue reduction in class size. Projected for 2013-2014 school year, there are still classes in D26 which have over 30 students. If we reduce the class sizes by as few as 6 students (so 24 kids per class), there is a potential 25% increase in direct teacher/student one on one contact time. Quantitatively, this potential increase in one on one can only enhance student performance on the newly implemented core standards.

Key Issue 2

My number two issue is the restoration of "specials", or art, phys. education, and music programs. There should absolutely be a tiered and balanced approach, which allows class size reduction with reintroduction of programs.

Key Issue 3

It has become apparent that the current board has had issues laying out clear and detailed facts on decisions rendered. One of my main goals would be to ensure the accuracy of the supporting details behind each decision, and to make sure each stakeholder in the district has access to information regarding and understanding of key decisions. There needs to be clearly laid out action plans and accountability with said action plans. These are areas in which our district has been lacking for a long time now.

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?

The common core is a mandate from the state of IL. I think the board should play the role of very closely monitoring the implementation of the mandate; by making sure that the administration is following a clearly laid out and specifically detailed plan. Should the plan and timeline of curriculum adoption/materials adoption/technology improvements NOT be detailed, the board should question why not? Should the plan not be followed as proposed, the board absolutely should again question, why not?

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?

Although I feel that my children have had excellent teachers and role models on their educational paths so far, I feel that the district hasn't done a very good job of "forward thinking" and realizing what we need to do to ensure a solid educational foundation for years to come. The administration has been very busy putting bandaids on all of our problems, instead of actioning detailed plans which would allow for growth, and well rounded development. This lack of visionary thinking will only keep us in a continual loop of playing catch-up, and in the long run, it is not our pocketbooks, but our children who will suffer the consequences.

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?

The budget issues the district will be facing are enormous. Teacher contracts, technology upgrades, and curriculum adoption to be in compliance with the core standards are just a few (in addition to the priority of re-implementation of specials). I am absolutely for looking at reductions in any area we can feasibly do it: whether it is outsourcing administrative jobs (we have already outsourced custodial services), or rethinking our technology plan to include further research into funding it mindfully.

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?

During our last round of teacher contract negotiations in the district, the Teachers gave a significant amount of concessions as it was declared the district just "didn't have the money". Administrators had a pay freeze for a few years, but did not make true concessions. Truly, in the equation, teachers have given, the community has given, and the children are the ones to bear the brunt of the consequences. And yet there is money for us to blindly gift our superintendent with a 5 year contract complete with pay raises and benefits? Every group needs to sit down at the negotiations table, compromise with some give and take, and proceed on the path which has the fewest amount of consequences for our children.

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?

During the last round of teacher contract negotiations, the district removed a similar payout benefit for retiring teachers due to inability to fund it. I believe that until the district is financially stable, we shouldn't even consider this for anyone, including our superintendent or other administrators.

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