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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: Cary District 26 School Board (4-year Terms)
Age: Candidate did not respond.
Family: Married, two daughters, four grandchildren
Occupation: Retired as executive in the rubber and tire industry.
Education: B.S. Engineering; PhD. Materials Science; Northwestern University
Civic involvement: Iowa Business Roundtable Board of Directors, Unity Health System, Muscatine, IA School District Technology Committee, Muscatine, IA
Elected offices held: Board Member, Cary School District 26
Have you ever been arrested for or convicted of a crime? If yes, please explain: No
Key Issue 1
The Five Year Financial Plan and the Priority List of Potential Expenditures must be formalized and used to provide standards against which all expenditures are made. We must guard against unplanned spending.
Key Issue 2
The introduction and expansion of technology into District 26 must be planned. The possible actions from that plan must be put in priority order based on the current status of the District's technology, the benefits of an action (for example, capability to take the PARCC assessments), and, most importantly, the availability of funding based on the five year financial plan. All of this must be transparent to the D26 Community.
Key Issue 3
Staffing cannot be a simple annual event dependent onrolling up the numbers.? There must be a longer term plan addressing the professional requirements of the incoming staff, the pay scales for incoming staff, and how and when dedicated art, music, and physical education teachers will be returned. Associated with this there must be a staff development plan that addresses the needs of the new teachers and the whole staff as the District moves forward with Common Core State Standards implementation and the general updating of the curriculum. The current staffing proposal addresses the return of art, music, and PE teachers. This must be evaluated against the Five Year Plan and the Priority List.
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 think the concept of common core standards is excellent. I worry about the implementation nationally, because of the enormous expense for school districts in today's economic environment. The responsibility for setting the curriculum for students lies mainly with the professional staff--our administrators and teachers. The board oversees the process as representatives of the community, but does not lead it.
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?
Our students have always done well when they leave eighth grade and enter high school. The actions we have taken to balance the budget have reduced some opportunities for them. That is why it is so important to spend our resources wisely as we seek to rebuild programs.
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?
We did battle with the budget a few years ago, which forced drastic cuts in staff and programs. Now our budget is balanced and we strive constantly to keep it that way. That is why we must adhere to spending priorities as we bring back teachers and programs, because we do not ever wish to return to deficit spending. If a tax increase were to be considered by the D26 Community, citizens would have to have clear confidence that the district has been a good steward of its financial resources,
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?
Those are issues to be negotiated between employee groups and the district. I prefer not to comment.
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 oppose these kinds of increases. They are a contributor to our current pension crisis.