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: Buffalo Grove
Website: Candidate did not respond.
Office sought: Stevenson High School District 125 School Board (4-year Terms)
Family: Married, two children
Education: Bachelor of Science in Marketing, University of Colorado, 1975 Bachelor of Arts in Communication Theory, University of Colorado, 1975 Master of Science in Accountancy, DePaul University, 1977 Juris Doctor, DePaul University, 1983
Civic involvement: Uniform Law Commissioner from Illinois Adjunct Professor, Kent College of Law
Elected offices held: Stevenson School Board, 2000-present
Have you ever been arrested for or convicted of a crime? If yes, please explain: No.
Key Issue 1
Stevenson has improved academically in each recent year, and the most important issue is continued academic performance and improvement for all of our students.
Key Issue 2
As a Board we have to continue our successful stewardship of financial resources. Stevenson compares favorably when measured on any basis against other area schools, and we continue to have one of the lowest cost per student ratios. We have to continue to be diligent in financial matters.
Key Issue 3
We have to continue community outreach and engagement efforts so that the community can continue to participate in the successes of Stevenson.
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?
We are very excited about the common core standards for language arts and mathematics because common core standards will improve learning by students. The key role of the Board is not in setting curriculum, which should be left to the teachers and experts in the field, but in monitoring results and in engaging in effective assessment to make sure changes are made to constantly improve efficacy of education programs.
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?
Very satisfied. We constantly assess effectiveness of all current programs, even seeking input annually of recent graduates, and we make changes to our programs accordingly. Stevenson surveys graduates one year after graduation and five years after graduation, and for many years 98% or more of those surveyed have indicated that they are as prepared if not better prepared for college than their peers from all other high schools.
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?
Stevenson was able to maintain what are essentially level tax extensions for 2009 through 2011 (2009 - $84,319,394, 2010 - $84,109,853, and 2012 - $84,367,089) because of its financial stewardship. We have effectively focused on cutting costs while maintaining programs, and we will strive to continue to do so in the future. In many respects, our biggest budget issues are beyond our control, e.g., state funding of pension obligations as it is anticipated that the state will transfer a significant portion of these costs to local school districts.
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?
The Board, the Administration, the teachers and the support staff at Stevenson share responsibility for maintaining appropriate pay and benefit balances. We have worked well collaboratively and continue to keep open dialogue so that no surprises arise when contracts are negotiated. The key is maintaining a professional learning community in which all participants have a vested interest in success of the students.
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?
No. This practice is not appropriate.