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: Des Plaines
Twitter: Candidate did not respond.
Facebook: Ronald Burton
Family: I have been married for 25 years to Denise and have 18 year old Twins, Ashley and Brad.
Occupation: Director- Document Processing Centers - CME Group
Education: Bachelor of Arts - Loyola University
Civic involvement: Commissioner - Des Plaines Youth Commission
President - Maine West Athletic Boosters
Board Member - CCSD62
Elected offices held: Board Member - CCSD62
Commissioner - Des Plaines Youth Commission
President- Maine West Athletic Boosters
Former Vice President - Algonquin Middle School PTO
Former President - Forest School PTC
former Cub Master - Pack 14 Boy Scouts of America
Why are you running for this office, whether for re-election or election the first time? Is there a particular issue that motivates you, and if so, what is it?
I have served on the Board for about 6 years now and during that time I have become passionate about making sure that every child is given the opportunity to get a high quality education. I truly believe that preparing the next generation is key to maintaining a vibrant community and want to do my part in making sure the children of Des Plaines are ready.
What do you think about the process for measuring student success in your district? Is it adequate? What changes, if any, do you propose?
I think that the measuring is adequate but that being said, I am not always happy with the results of those measurements. The world is becoming a more challenging place each and every day and it is our job to make sure the next generation is equipped to face those challenges.
If you were on the board during the hiring of Superintendent Floyd Williams, did you fully support the hiring of Williams, despite past misconduct allegations leveled against him at his last job? If you were not on the board, what is your view of the board's decision?
During the hiring process the board fully investigated Dr. Williams work history, background and successes in previous districts. His references were checked and verified including recommendations from his previous Superintendent, his previous Board President and all information that was available to us was reviewed thoroughly. That being said, after his hiring additional allegations were brought to light which we have since reviewed. In my opinion Dr. Williams was the best candidate at that time and has proven himself to be an excellent choice in his time with our district.
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 or fee increases?
Budget issues will largely depend on what happens at the state level. We are in a good place right now in the district but will continue to monitor the situations as they arise. As far as tax or fee increases, I don't really think that is the answer to the current problems. The solution to me lies in concentrating on the current programs, making necessary adjustments in spending and looking for alternative financing where available. Cuts if necessary, would need to be made keeping the impact to the students as minimal as possible.
What role can and should school choice play in your district? If Congress or the state approves a voucher system or other means giving students broader choices among public and private schools, how will that affect your district? What is the appropriate response for the board of education of a public school system?
Our schools are performing well and there is not a huge difference between the ones in the district with the exception of one being a year round school. We offer a lot of services that some of the private schools don't and I think that will continue to make us a desirable option. I am sure that if a voucher system became available it might result in some short term changes in enrollment but in the long run, I would not anticipate a huge shift. Both of my children are products of the district and continue to have academic success, As a board we are here to serve the community, if members of that community want more choices then so be it, I myself had the opportunity to attend both public and private schools and chose to send my kids to District 62 schools and am happy I did. We as a district are doing much better than many districts around us, I think we will continue to be a very viable option.
What other issues, if any, are important to you as a candidate for this office?
Preparing the students for High School and College success is a huge issue for me. In my profession I get to meet some incredibly well educated young people and it is very important to me that kids in my community are taught in such a way to give them every chance to not only succeed in life but to excel in it.
Please name one current leader who most inspires you.
The Pope, he has not forgotten where he came from and works at maintaining contact with his people.
What is the biggest lesson you learned at home growing up?
With hard work and determination you can do anything
If life gave you one do-over, what would you spend it on?
I would probably have pursued additional degrees right after college
What was your favorite subject in school and how did it help you in later life?
Interpersonal Communication, it taught me how to listen.
If you could give your children only one piece of advice, what would it be?
Happiness does not come from money, do what you love and then figure out how to make a living at it.