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.
City: Fox River Grove
Website: Candidate did not respond.
Office sought: Fox River Grove Consolidated District 3 School Board (4-year Terms)
Family: My wife Kirsten, two sons, Braden and Logan.
Education: Bachelor's Degree, Central Michigan University (1998) Juris Doctorate, Thomas M. Cooley Law School, Cum Laude, (2006).
Civic involvement: I am currently a cub-master for Cub Scout Pack 357 in Fox River Grove. I also serve as a member of the Fox River Grove Planning and Economic Development Committee.
Elected offices held: I have not held elective offices since completing my education.
Have you ever been arrested for or convicted of a crime? If yes, please explain: No.
Key Issue 1
Ensuring that School District 3 continues its fiscal solvency.
Key Issue 2
Ensuring that the Board does all we can to prepare our students for the next stage of education, and for their adult life.
Key Issue 3
Ensuring that decisions surrounding consolidation of local school districts are properly evaluated, and all decisions made are in the best short-term and long-term interests of the district and its students.
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?
First, I believe that a Board of Education should provide the foundation for a great district. The Board of Education should be involved, but with heavy input from the teachers and educators. It should a relationship that depends on the strengths of each group. As it relates to common core standards, I agree with the change to a common set of goals. It attempts to provide students with a beginning of a skill set to ensure success in life. I believe our standards should be tied to a global society and we need to ensure the standards are enough to provide for success in the 21st century. Additionally, providing benchmarks to measure student success is just as important. I would like to see more foreign languages taught.
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?
I am satisfied that we are providing an excellent education for our elementary school children. I would favor the introduction of additional foreign languages to ensure our children are prepared for a globally interconnected world. Additionally, ensuring that a wide-ranging amount of "electives" are available at the middle school level. For example, a student achievement class which discuss the basics of operating a business, preparing a budget. Additionally, we could offer additional classes in math and science to ensure that our children can compete in an ever-changing technological world.
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?
I believe we will have to address the ability of the state to provide funding for the students in the district. As has been discussed in the news, the amount of money from the state is expected to decrease significantly in the next 5-10 years. Additionally, the teachers contract is up for renewal. This is an issue which will need to be dealt with. As to the programs and expenses, we should strive to eliminate duplicate positions, and identify areas where cost savings can be obtained from an outside source, and if the budget can be streamlined effectively. As to tax increases, SD3 already has a significant tax base, so I would not support additional tax increases at this time. However, if presented with additional facts, I may support increases, again, if the long-term successes and goals are met.
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?
This question is dependent on many factors, several of which are not disclosed. The answer would depend on whether the district was solvent, and what the long-term viability of the budget would be. I think all concessions should be shared equally, and increases be rewarded for merit. I cannot answer this questions without specific facts. But as a general rule, short-term cuts should only be done if they provide long-term success.
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. I do not favor "artificial" pension sweeteners. I believe that has led Illinois to its pension problems now. However, I would not rule out a proper review of his or her compensation if the employment contract was up for renewal.