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updated: 2/22/2013 6:21 PM

Diane McMahon: Candidate Profile

Antioch District 34 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.

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BioKey IssuesQ&A

 

Bio

City: Antioch

Website: Candidate did not respond.

Office sought: Antioch District 34 School Board (4-year Terms)

Age: Candidate did not respond.

Family: 4 children, 1 grandson

Occupation: Substitute Teacher

Education: BA in Biology, Southern Illinois University

Civic involvement: Presently serving on Antioch district 34 school board

Elected offices held: Antioch district 34 School Board

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

Candidate's Key Issues

Key Issue 1

To eliminate the portable classrooms in the district. We continually look to provide a safe, secure environment for our students and staff.

Key Issue 2

To continue our commitment to provide all students with the technology and environment needed for 21st century learning, as well as, providing every staff member the training and professional development to implement these 21st century advancements.

Key Issue 3

To continue teaching students to be responsible, safe and respectful to themselves, others and their school/community.

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?

Our district is already working on those changes. Change is always difficult in the transition. We, as board members, look at our role in this process seriously. The board does not set the curriculum. We listen to those leaders who have the knowledge, education, and experience. Classroom teachers are working hard and giving input about those decisions and continue to be a part of this process.

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 goal to keep improving. I don't believe any district should be "satisfied". Our goal is to be better. The world is changing rapidly, now more than ever before. We are adding classes, and changing classroom learning environment, based on our collaboration with the High Schools. Our community is fortunate that district 34 and district 117 work together diligently to prepare students. Technology is constantly being updated to keep our students competitive.

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?

We are very fortunate in district 34 to be able to meet out budget goals. A lot of surrounding districts are not. We have been exploring many options over the past year to address our overcrowding and eliminating portable classrooms. I think the community will be very happy when that is accomplished, especially in these economic times. We have been able to trim expenses and continue meeting expenses. As to tax increases, we are looking at many options to work with our current budget, and accomplish our goals. No one likes a tax increase.

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 were able to increase our staff benefits by a substantial amount in our contract negotiations this year. Staff did receive a slight pay increase. I am aware many districts did ask members for concessions, and many froze salaries.

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?

We have looked at teacher and paraprofessional employee requests on this very issue, not just administrators. Each case is evaluated on an individual basis. We look very thoroughly at all options. Every possibility is discussed in each case.

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