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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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Office sought: Batavia Unit District 101 School Board (4-year Terms)
Family: Married since June 2000 to Amy (Shireman) Stoops. Three Daughters ages 11 (Hayley), 9 (Olivia) and 5 (Lily)
Occupation: Senior Recruiting Manager and Partner at Venator Advantage, LLC in Glen Ellyn, IL. Professional staffing services. Managing Director and Partner with Stoops Enterprises, LLC. Residential rental ownership and management.
Education: Bachelor of Arts in Economics with an emphasis in Political Science from The University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA. 1997.
Civic involvement: Knights of Columbus Council 2191, 4th degree member. St. Charles Moose Lodge 1368 member.
Elected offices held: None
Have you ever been arrested for or convicted of a crime? If yes, please explain: No
Key Issue 1
Providing the highest possible and fair balance of resources to all schools and every student.
Key Issue 2
Maintaining open lines of communication between the Parents, Students, Teachers, Administrators, the Community Stakeholders and the Board.
Key Issue 3
Fiscal responsibility with financial systems and processes in place to provide long and short term funding to 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?
It is imperative that the educators and administrators have quite a bit of input as to the implementation of the Common Core Standards. I believe that this new implementation, which has been accepted by a majority of the states already, will provide national standards and be able to provide a similar education regardless of social class or where they live in the country. Our school system is already set up to be a college prep system for all students. Changes I would suggest are the ability to cater to students who may not choose the college path. We will need to provide a path for those who may choose the skilled trade's field, for example. The way the new CCSS is presented, the curriculum will provide more student readiness towards college level skills that may not be applicable to the career path they want to endeavor. It would be in the best interest to prepare every student for what they want to do in life. The Board should welcome the opportunity to work with educators and parents to be able to differentiate the program to meet the needs of all learners to allow our students the most success possible. I am confident that the teachers of Batavia already teach and prepare students for college. Having a program in place to differentiate instruction to meet the needs of all learners in our district would be a key for success. The Board should be able to partner with teachers, administrators and, most importantly, parents to know what is expected from the student and be able to help them. The Board's ultimate goal for students should be for them to be able to excel in the real world and apply their education to towards what the students will need for success in college, life and career.
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 am comfortable with the efforts and application of methods for the district to prepare students with a realistic understanding of what it talks to be successful in life beyond the student's time at BPS 101. There is always room for refinement, new process implementation and innovation on how various programs are being implemented to meet students? needs.
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?
As with any institution that depends on Local, State, and Federal government funds to be sustainable it is always a priority to see where budget issues can be addressed. Recently the current Board did present a projected 0.7% property tax increase to be levied in 2013. If this measure is adopted then it would result in an average increase of $33 per homeowner. Without having the ability to see the full budget and understand the application of funds, I could not comment on what programs, if any, would be suited for removal or reduction. When it comes to tax increases, it is always difficult to ask our citizens to pay more in their taxes, but I do understand that it is necessary to do so to provide what is best for our children.
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?
As I have noted in attending School Board meetings, the teacher's union and Board communicate very well. It is in our best interest to treat our teaching partners with respect and be forthcoming on any issues , positive or negative, that need to be addressed regarding costs, concessions, pay and benefits.
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 pay boost to translate to increased pension to a retiring administrator or superintendent as they near retirement. Ultimately it's not the duty of the homeowners and tax payers to shoulder the additional pension cost. If it does not benefit our student's learning then it should not be in place.