Jonathan Gaspar: Candidate Profile
Batavia Unit District 101 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.
Website: Candidate did not respond.
Office sought: Batavia Unit District 101 School Board (4-year Terms)
Family: Married Wife - Virginia (Ginny) one daughter
Occupation: Teacher - will be retiring at the end of this school year with 33 years of service
Education: Associat in Applied Science in General Printing Ferris State College, 1978 Bachelor of Science in Trade-Technical Education Ferris State College, 1980
Civic involvement: Usher at Holy Cross Catholic Church, Batavia, IL
Elected offices held: First time running for an elected office
Have you ever been arrested for or convicted of a crime? If yes, please explain: No
Key Issue 1
Be financially responsible for the citizens of the district. Have a strong curriculum that aligns with the common core standards.
Key Issue 2
Have a safe learning environment for all. Have quality educators and administrators to prepare our young people for their future.
Key Issue 3
I want to give back to the community.
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 believe the common core standards will make a level playing field for all students and educators. I think it is in the best interest of students and staff to have a rigorous curriculum for preparing our young children for the future and to create productive citizens. I believe the board should let the teachers and administrators work collaboratively to create the curriculum. Teachers are in the classes daily, they have the best knowledge about what should be taught to keep in line with the common core standards. The administrators would assist the teachers then the curriculum can be given to the board for approval.
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 satisfied at this time with what I have personally experienced from the district during the last 11 years of my daughter's education. I would ask about study skills and life skills at the lower and middle levels to make sure students get prepared for high school and beyond. We might need to take a closer look at the applied science/technology options for students who want to work with their hands.
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?
I would like for the district to be financially prudent on issues that have been floating around Springfield that could affect the district's spending in the future. We need to be held accountable to the citizens, so we need to try to make sure that we can run programs we have without major cuts or raising taxes. If the state puts the focus on school districts for pension costs that could cost a lot of money and that could cause major concerns about offering a quality education. The district should be looking at scenarios just in case the legislators pass bills along those lines which I hope doesn't happen. I can't say one way or the other about cuts or taxes at this time without knowing all the scenarios. That would be follish on my part.
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?
This is another tough question just as the previous question. With the state's current financial situation, you need to make sure that you keep a balanced budget, but need to keep the resources coming in and the curriculum to help prepare our students for the future. Again, I can't say one way or the other about cuts or taxes without knowing all the scenarios. That would be foolish on my part.
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 think their normal pay raise that is in the contract should be enough.
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