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: Lake Bluff
Website: Candidate did not respond.
Office sought: Rondout District 72 School Board (4-year Terms)
Family: Married, two children
Occupation: Former sales management executive and a 23 year sales & marketing professional
Education: Bachelor of Science in Business, Miami University, 1982 Masters of Marketing, Finance, and Entrepreneurship, Northwestern Kellogg Graduate School of Management 1996
Civic involvement: Rondout District #72 Board Member since 2009 Rondout PTSA Organization GLSA Soccer Coach Girl Scouts of America Lake Forest Swim Club St Mary's Religious Education Program Libertyville High School Parent Cats
Elected offices held: Rondout District School Board, Vice President (2010 - 2013 Rondout District School Board, President (current) Rondout PTSA, President (2008 - 2009) Rondout PTSA, Vice President (2009 - 2011)
Have you ever been arrested for or convicted of a crime? If yes, please explain: No
Key Issue 1
School Safety - To continue to insure that our students and staff are protected in a safe learning environment that fosters their physical, social, emotional, and intellectual well-being.
Key Issue 2
Academic Excellence To continue to seek new and innovative ways of promoting academic excellence and fostering the importance of the home/school partnership.
Key Issue 3
Communication In order to promote continuous improvement and district excellence, the district should continue its efforts to openly communicate with and seek feedback from the community regarding the following: strategic plan; curriculum framework, needs, and plan; social emotional learning; assessment analysis and individualized student growth, high school readiness, and legislative issues.
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?
I support the shift to common core standards. It provides a means of getting our nation's schools on the same page and speaking the same language. It also provides children, parents, teachers, and administrators a clear education blueprint that can strengthen home/school communication and collaboration and, set clear expectations to facilitate academic success. I believe that the board of education should support the adoption of common core standards and insure that its administrators and curriculum architects have clear goals, tools, and measures of success to facilitate curriculum changes. To augment common core adoption, I believe that our district should continue to collaborate with our high school to insure curriculum compatibility and to provide headlights to new skills that will be valuable in the future.
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?
I believe our district is doing a good job of preparing our students for the next step (high school). My oldest daughter is currently a sophomore in high school and she was both academically and socially prepared for the transition as were her classmates. The district academically differentiates math and language arts and is moving to include science and social studies. This will continue to support all students? academic needs while challenging our students who aspire to high levels of academic achievement. Finally, last year the district initiated a student/parent alumni survey to assist in pinpointing areas of strengths and weaknesses as our students transition from middle school to high school. This information will continue to serve as a valuable tool.
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?
Our district is fortunate in that over 60% of its tax base is supported by local industry and business. Our income has been stable through the years and we have not had to seek additional money through tax increases nor would I support any at this time. As with most school districts however, our largest expense line item is teacher/staff/administrator salaries and benefits. The district has done a good job of managing its expenses in this area through collaborative negotiations with its teachers. In the future, the district will need to continue to be mindful of the needs of its teachers and balancing those needs with the fiscal responsibility it has to the community. The biggest financial risk the district faces is the threat of the State shifting pension costs to local school districts as the State negotiates pension reform. This will be watched closely over the next several months.
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 think that school administrators, teachers, and staff should be paid with more of an emphasis on their performance though it can be difficult to objectively measure performance in education. That being said, we should continue to collaborate with our teachers to look for better ways to recognize and compensate them for the overall value they bring to the table and our 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 I would not support a substantial increase to boost pension benefits. The State of Illinois already has a financial crisis on its hands with its $100 billion dollar unfunded pension liability due in part to practices such as these.