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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: Kildeer Countryside District 96 School Board (4-year Terms)
Family: Married to Carrie Thompson Tepper for 29 years. We have a daughter Samantha who is in her second year of Graduate School at Loyola University and a son Daniel who is a sophomore at Illinois State University. Lived in Buffalo Grove for the past 23 years.
Occupation: Director of Finance for Midlane Golf & Banquet Facility in Wadsworth, Illinois. Manufacturer's Representative for Air Pollution Control Equipment on a part-time basis.
Education: Bachelor of Science in Natural Resources Management from Colorado State University, 1979
Civic involvement: Board Member, Executive Board Member and Past President of Congregation B'nai Torah in Highland Park. Past member of the Buffalo Grove Chamber of Commerce. Ex-officio member of the Board for the Foundation for Educational Excellence, District 96.
Elected offices held: District 96 Board of Education 2001 - present (currently Board President)
Have you ever been arrested for or convicted of a crime? If yes, please explain: No
Key Issue 1
Making sure whatever decisions the Board of Education makes, is in the best interest of kids. Our job is to make sure every child gets a quality education and is prepared for what comes next in life. The board should always consider,is this the best I can do for our students??
Key Issue 2
Being a good financial steward for the taxpayers of the District. Provide a great education for our students while not overspending our resources. Over 50% of the District taxpayers do not have kids in our schools, some past - some yet to come, we need to make sure our resources are being spent appropriately to benefit our great communities.
Key Issue 3
Continuing to learn about and support the transition to the common core standards. The District has moved toward the new standards and much of the Administration's time will be spent educating our students & teachers, and the parent community we serve.
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 next couple of years will be challenging to Districts while we matriculate to the common core standards. The Common Core will provide a more global comparison across the country on how students are learning and what they know, it will undoubtedly set-up more competition between districts. The responsibility for curriculum is for our Administrative Team in consultation with our principals and teachers. The Board role is to approve the recommended curriculum, after questions and discussion. The Board sets the: what we want our schools to look like, what we want our kids to know, what are our goals, and how much the above will cost. A good Administrative Team sets the how we are going to accomplish those goals. Curriculum should not be set by our state legislators. Education professionals need to implement the District goals and build curriculum to achieve those goals.
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 does a great job of preparing our elementary school kids for middle school and our middle school students for high school. Data shows that D96 students are the largest percentage of kids in honors and accelerated classes once they get to Stevenson High School. Further data shows that most of our kids report receiving A's & B's once at Stevenson. Satisfaction is extremely high. One of our goals is to provide our kids with the tools needed to succeed. D96 is in the planning stages of a 1:1 technology program to equip all of our middle school students with computers. Putting these tools in our student's hands is now a financially viable option. As important as the devices, teacher professional development and training will be necessary for our students to continue to perform at such high levels.
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?
Currently we are fortunate to offer full programs for all of our students. Budgets are guidelines to be followed in developing overall revenue and cost controls associated in running the district. While our expense side is relatively fixed, the same cannot be said for revenue. State payments, now 1 year late, have a direct effect on students. The idea of a cost shift to pay for pension reform, potential PTELL legislation, change in block grants and reimbursed transportation funding all have effects on the revenue side of the budget. School Districts must be ever vigilant to watch for changes that can effect District funding sources. Our goal is to maintain a steady tax rate so the expected revenue does not fluctuate on a yearly basis.
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?
We value our employees and want to make sure they are paid competitively and in line with surrounding districts. We want District 96 to be a place that teachers, support staff, and administrators want to work, not just only for the compensation, but for what we strive for as a District. Employee compensation should stay consistent with the Consumer Price Index (CPI). When feasible, employee compensation might have a component that can be tied to classroom or school performance.
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 do not agree withboosting? any employee compensation to provide a better pension benefit. We have always followed TRS and State of Illinois guidelines when dealing with retirements of superintendents, administrators and teachers. We do not want D96 to have to pay any financial penalties to TRS due to unregulated increases in compensation.