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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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Office sought: Antioch-Lake Villa High School District 117 Board Member (4-year Terms)
Family: Divorced but engaged with three boys of my own and two additional boys of hers. Ages Taylor - 15, Chase - 13, Walker - 10, Gavin - 15, Riley - 14
Occupation: National Sales Manager for Associate Hospital Sales with Hospira Worldwide, Inc
Education: Associates Degree in Nursing from The University of Mobile Bachelor of Science in Nursing from The University of South Alabama Currently enrolled with Northcentral University working on my MBA in Marketing
Civic involvement: Assistant Scoutmaster with Troop 188 Boy Scouts of America Assistant Coach Boys Iceless Hockey Member of the Board for Sequoit Pride at Antioch Community High School
Elected offices held: Board for Sequoit Pride at Antioch Community High School
Have you ever been arrested for or convicted of a crime? If yes, please explain: NO
Key Issue 1
We are challenged with improving our student's achievement on standardized tests. We have a dedicated staff of teachers and administrators, and I will strive to provide them needed support to strengthen our curriculum and instructional activities. I will work with our Information Technology specialists to assure that we are utilizing all of the available technology to enhance our students? ability to learn. Our District has done a great job in this area but needs to continue looking forward for new ideas and opportunities.
Key Issue 2
Everyone is challenged with finances and operating within a budget; this is a very uncertain time with regards to the economic environment, and our District is no different. We need to act with fiscal responsibility; as a member of the board, I will work with our communities and their leaders to maximize shared services to ensure that we are not duplicating offerings. I will work to develop these relationships to not only benefit our students but our communities in general. I will work with all of the board to ensure that we are acting with fiscal responsibility while striving to maximize activities. I believe that we should support as many co-curricular activities as possible and be forward looking at new emerging activities to continue to provide our students and community with as many opportunities as possible. As we are looking to the future, a great educational system helps drive community and economic growth and prosperity. So, by supporting our students, we not only support their future success we also support the future success of our communities.
Key Issue 3
While looking at the world around us, safety is always a main concern with regards to our students. Our strength lies in our students, families and communities that we serve. It is our responsibility to continue to provide our students with the best educational experience available. We need to ensure that we are providing a safe and academically challenging environment for our students and continue to promote tolerance and diversity as they become adults and successful members of society.
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 reason for the move to common core standards is to provide a more challenging and rigorous curriculum and instruction while creating a consistent, objective level of expectation for our students. By providing clear expectations; the standards provide teachers and parents a tool to help prepare them for the future. These standards are designed to provide our students with all of the tools necessary to succeed in the world today and in the future. It is our responsibility as a board to provide the necessary support to our teachers and administers to ensure the success of our students.
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?
Overall, I believe that the District is doing well with regard to preparing our students with the ability to succeed in the future. We have a good mix of programs for both career development and college preparation; although there is always room for improvement. Our achievement on standardized test needs to be addressed; we need to look at ways to provide additional support to our students and teachers through technology in the classroom. This technology can help administrators evaluate and improve the curriculum and instruction in an effective time frame.
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?
Every business and organization is facing challenges in dealing with an uncertain economic environment; our district is not exempt from this challenge. As a member of the board, I will work with our communities and their leaders to maximize shared services to ensure that we are not duplicating offerings. I will work to develop these relationships to not only benefit our students but our communities in general. I will work with all of the board to ensure that we are acting with fiscal responsibility while striving to maximize activities. I would hope that through shared services with the communities that we support that we could eliminate the need to cut activities. I don't believe that cutting services will support growth in the future. We need to look at alternative ways to support our students? growth and development. With regards to tax increases, I think we need to ensure that we are acting with fiscal responsibility before looking for more money from the taxpayer.
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?
I believe that this is a very touchy subject and think that we need to work through this with a very thoughtful approach, managing what is best for the District with what is needed by our employees. I understand that our employees want and may need an increase in pay and benefits; however, this must be balanced with the ability of the District to provide this to our employees.
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, if an employee has agreed to a contract then that is what he or she should receive. Renewing a contract to put additional stress on an already stressed pension fund is not fiscally responsible for anyone.