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updated: 3/18/2013 2:58 PM

John Shaw: Candidate Profile

Lake Zurich Unit District 95 School Board (4-year Terms)

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  • John Shaw, running for Lake Zurich Unit District 95 School Board (4-year Terms)

    John Shaw, running for Lake Zurich Unit District 95 School Board (4-year Terms)




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: Lake Zurich

Website: Candidate did not respond.

Office sought: Lake Zurich Unit District 95 School Board (4-year Terms)

Age: 51

Family: Moved to Lake Zurich in 1986. Married my wife Mia in 1992. We have one child, Emily who is now 16 years old. She attended Seth Paine grade school and Middle School North and is now a sophomore at Lake Zurich High School.

Occupation: Facilities and Property Management Professional. Employed with METRA Rail Road as a Building Manager managing a high rise office building in downtown Chicago.

Education: Candidate did not respond.

Civic involvement: Since moving to Lake Zurich from Palatine in 1986 I have been involved with the following:

Member of the Lake Zurich Lions Club

05/93 to present - Serve as a Commissioner on the Lake Zurich Zoning Board of Appeals

05/08 to 12/10 - Member of Advisory Committee for Ela Township looking at existing Facilities, Parks and Open Space

2002/2003 and 2008/2009 - Served on the past two Re-Districting Committee's for School District 95

11/07 to 06/09 - Member of the Lake Zurich School District 95 Facilities Advisory Committee

05/06 to 06/09 - Girls Softball coach for the Lake Zurich Youth Baseball/Softball Association

05/05 to 07/05 - Served on Advisory Committee to select the School Principal at Seth Paine Elementry, Lake Zurich School District 95

07/03 to 01/04 - Served on Advisory Committee to select the Superintendent of Lake Zurich School District 95

01/87 to 03/96 - Served on Board of Directors for the Lake Zurich Fire Department Association

01/87 to 04/93 - Served as a volunteer Fire Fighter on the Lake Zurich Fire Department

Elected offices held: Was elected to the Ela Area Public Library District Board of Trustee's in the 2009 general election and was then selected by my peer's on the Board to serve as Board President starting in April of 2011.

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

Candidate's Key Issues

Key Issue 1

If I am elected I would make it my mission to challange the Board and the Administration to be even stronger advocate's in the vocational training arena. I do believe its the districts responsiblity to prepare each student for higher learning after high school BUT in my definition of higher learning I would also include trade and vocational training. I have toured the Lake County Tech Campus of which District 95 is a participant and does have District students attending and found it to be a very professional and nurturing program. In talking to District 95 parents who have a student attending they also had nothing but positive things to say. Additionally, the students I talked with as well were all equally energized about being able to attend the programs they were enrolled in. I would like to explore having the district further promote the success of the students and the program to the community.

Key Issue 2

Laying out the foundation for the future of the district. This includes the financial, technological, building & operations aspects of the district along with earning, nuturing and keeping the trust of the community as a whole.

Key Issue 3

On a more global perspective I would like to leverage my current community ties along with my past committee experiences and associations to bring together those bodies along with all other local taxing bodies to discuss what they purchase and explore ways to leverage off each other to give all of the taxing bodies better purchasing power which in the end would bring budget savings not only to District 95 but to the other taxing bodies as well.

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?

The common core standards are a reality that the district must work with. It would be my hope that the district can take this program and institute it so that the district will be able to drill down and identify areas of improvement earlier than how the district currently utilizes the existing testing standards. Regarding the boards role in setting the curriculum it is my belief that the boards actions relating to the implementation of the common core standards should be at a more high level overview working from staffs overviews along with our stake holders (community at large) input as well.

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?

As I've stated in my answer to Campaign Issue #1 I feel the district could improve in preparing the students who are choosing full-time employment or Tech Training during High School and after graduation. Also, expanded communication with students at the Middle School level regarding Tech Training opportunities that will be available to them could be enhanced. I believe this would help keep some of the fringe (less motivated) students connected to stay active in there academic's.

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?

After salaries and benefits which must stay in check with the values of the community the age of the districts facilities is the most pressing budget issue at hand. Does the district continue to maintain the aging info structure with the current allocations of funding being used or go to the public with the question of an operating referendum to remidy the issue's with a more cost controled manner and at a faster pace. This process would need to be studied but I do believe that it would be more cost efficient for the district to bundle more of the projects together to get a better return on our investment with the capital dollars allocated. Ultimately, however with the current financial climate no referendum would pass so the current process of completing smaller or partial replacement or repairs is how the district will need to operate at least in the near term.

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?

In good times or bad I believe the district has an obligation to control costs. With salary costs being the largest budget item the district has to continually evaluate its entire payroll/benefits programs to ensure the district is operating within its current revenue funding along with its projected revenue for years going forward. With that said I would support the districts efforts to hire and retain staff but also control the employee costs as well.

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 support a substantial increase in pay to boost the districts exposure to pension benefits. I would want the district to live in real time and not kick the can down the road by loading up pension benefits and religating future boards and the future tax roles to deal with it.