Lenny Ostach: Candidate Profile
Aptakisic-Tripp District 102 School Board (4-year Terms)
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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.
City: Buffalo Grove
Website: Candidate did not respond.
Office sought: Aptakisic-Tripp District 102 School Board (4-year Terms)
Family: Twin boys in 4th Grade at Tripp, Divorced
Occupation: Management Consultant at Deloitte Consulting
Education: MBA, Indiana University BA, University of Illinois
Civic involvement: Current D102 Board Member BJBE Religious School Teacher
Elected offices held: D102 School Board 2009-2013
Have you ever been arrested for or convicted of a crime? If yes, please explain: N/A
Key Issue 1
First and foremost, I am a parent who is committed to ensuring our district continues to provide the best education available to each individual child in the community, ranging from academic education to social emotional learning.
Key Issue 2
Second, I bring a background of helping achieve long-term financial stability for the district, which is a true feat in today's economy. Our district has maintained stability while retaining the best teachers and providing unmatched opportunities for each student.
Key Issue 3
Since being in office, the school has increased its external communications, and has been working to refine its goal setting process to better communicate with the community. I look forward to further establishing clear, actionable metrics for success for the district.
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 shift to common core has many merits, as the curriculum is well researched, and should, in theory, be tied to the future performance evaluation criteria. However, it is only the basic level of education that is required, and the board is responsible for setting the direction to expand beyond the core with individualized learning programs that meet advanced and special education students alike. I believe in partnering with our Teaching and Learning department to expand educational initiatives, including focus on Language Arts, integrating personal technology, and ensuring students achieve a well-rounded education, beyond solely academics.
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 heavily involved with Stevenson High School and the other feeder schools to stay in touch with performance post-D102. Placement testing/performance studies show that D102 students are academically successful at Stevenson. Furthermore, there is a constant push to refine our programs to ensure we manage social emotional learning, capitalize on our diversity, and encourage extracurricular activities.
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?
The next four years are going to have key decisions that will impact the financial direction of our district, ranging from a new teacher's contract, a new superintendent contract, capital investments (furniture, building improvement, etc.) and ramifications from state pension reform. We have a long history of financial stability in D102, and I am committed to use my financial background to ensure we are properly managing decisions in tough economic climate. I do not support incremental tax increases to fund district spending.
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?
Our district has a history of excellent relations with the teacher's union and administration. This relationship has helped create an environment where we can employ the best staff and support them with the tools to be successful with our children. I am committed to support our staff to the fullest extent that is financially reasonable based on economic times. That said, I have been willing to help make the tough decisions that include cutting excess waste and reorganizing staffing positions to ensure that the overall financial picture is fiscally sound.
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. Our state pension system is already in a state of crisis, and we have an civic duty to protect its future to the best of our ability.
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