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updated: 2/22/2013 6:22 PM

Patrick Groody: Candidate Profile

Libertyville-Vernon Hills High School District 128 School Board (4-year Terms) (Independent)

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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



City: vernon hills

Website: Candidate did not respond.

Office sought: Libertyville-Vernon Hills High School District 128 School Board (4-year Terms)

Age: 54

Family: married, 3 children Bob(24), Kirsten (21), Lauren (19)

Occupation: Divisional Vice President Research nad Development Abbott Molecular Des Plaines IL

Education: Ph.D. Chemistry Northwestern University MS Chemistry Northwestern University BS Chemistry University of Connecticut

Civic involvement: D128 School Board Former member of Des Palines Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors Active member St. Mary of Vernon Catholic church

Elected offices held: D128 Board of Education Member

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

Candidate's Key Issues

Key Issue 1

Continuing to ensure we provide D128 students with a challenging and rewarding high school experience that focuses on developing the total person and ensures they are well prepared for college and other future endeavors

Key Issue 2

Fiscal responsibility, making sure D128 taxpayers believe they are getting the educational programs they desire at a responsible cost

Key Issue 3

Continuing to ensure we attract, develop and retain the high quality of talent we need to ensure success in our academic and extracurricular programs

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?

I think establishing common core standards is a good concept, however, it's important to realize that our work and our efforts are constantly focused on exceeding any and all standards with which we are expected to comply. Our goal is to provide a superior educational experience for our students in order to make sure they are well preapred for their future endeavors. We currently do a very good job of this and we will contiue to make it the priority. A Board's role should be to establish guidleines and provide support for curriculum not to set it. The responsibility for defining, setting and implementing curriculum should rest with highly trained professional educators who have with speciic expertise in this area. The material that needs to be taught and the best approaches for delivering this material continues to evolve rapidly. It's vitally important to have strong curriculum focused resources within a district to make sure we are constantly looking forward and implementing the programs we need in order for our children to be angaged and well prepared for the future challenges they will face.

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 district is doing an outstanding job. I've had 3 kids go through the D128 system. All 3 went to competitive colleges in demanding programs and they've all be very well prepared. We need to continue to look for emerging needs both from a curriculum stanpoint as well as to continue to meet the cross cultural needs of our increasingly diverse student population. We also need to continue to evaluate changes in technology and continue to make appropriate investments in our technology infrastructure in order to ensure we provide the learning environment that best engages our students and encourages them to reach for their true potential.

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're fortunate that we have had the resources that are needed to support the level of educational services we strive to provide in our district. We've worked hard to balance the needs of our schools with the increasingly difficult burdens imposed on taxpayers. We rigorously evaluate our programs every year to make sure we continue to be dilegent in managing our spending. Going forward, as less and less new property becomes available, I expect our challenges in this area will continue. We've worked hard to minimize any tax increases over the last few years and have not raised taxes to the maximum allowable as many districts do. I'm confident that our adminsitrators, our building staff, and our teachers will continue to work with us, as they have in the past, to ensure we are good stewards of our taxpayers 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?

Out teachers and administrative staff are amongst our most valuable resources. Without what they do we couldn't deliver the kind of educational experience we do. It's important that we provide a level of support and compensation that attracts the kind of talent we need in order to ensure our schools are among the best in the state and nation. Last year we negotiated a new contract with our teachers and they were very supportive of the new economic reality that many schools, including ours face and our latest contract incorporated a number of changes that reflect the current economic environment. Going forward, we will continue to face the same kind of difficult economic pressures and we will continue to work to respond to them in manner that ensures a proper balance between the needs of our taxpayers and what is necessary to ensure we deliver the educational opportunities our outstanding groups of students deserves.

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?

Once again we must achieve a balance between the need to attract and retain the best possible people with the realities of our current economic environment. Going forward, there will be significant focus on many diffent aspects of our public pension system and it is all but certain that there will be signifcant change to some current practices.