Wendy Litwitz, 2 years: Candidate Profile

Rondout Elementary D72, 2-year term

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. Jump to:BioKey IssuesQA Bio City: Lake ForestWebsite: Candidate did not respond.Office sought: Rondout Elementary D72, 2-year termAge: 45Family: Married, two childrenOccupation: CPAEducation: BS in AccountingCivic involvement: Forest Haven Property Owners Assn.Girl ScoutsRondout School PTSAElected offices held: Candidate did not respond.Have you ever been arrested for or convicted of a crime? If yes, please explain: NoCandidate's Key Issues Key Issue 1 One of my favorite things about Rondout School is the small school feeling. It is a place where you know everyone's name. Likewise, the School Board is not made up of strangers, but dedicated community members who all respect each other's opinions. It is comprised of different individuals who bring their unique experiences together to make collective, well-informed decisions; each member bringing a different point of view, raising different questions and providing intelligent substantiated answers and ideas. I look forward to continuing my participation on this team.Key Issue 2 I am proud to be a part of Rondout School and as a Board Member I will be committed to keeping it on track to provide the best educational experience that it can for the children of the district while keeping the small school feeling and family atmosphere alive.Key Issue 3 Candidate did not respond.Questions Answers 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?The world is an ever changing place and the way that children learn must coincide with these changes. I believe it is also the responsibility of the school district to provide the students a strong educational foundation as well as the tools that they need to successfully transition into high school. Being involved in the school over the years, I can see the positive direction that the school is taking to constantly improve the educational experience for the children of the district. Differentiating the way kids learn is one way the district is taking a new approach towards education. My desire as a board member is to keep that momentum going.What budget issues will the district have to confront? What measures do you support to address them? If cuts are needed, be specific about programs and expenses that should be reduced or eliminated. Do you support any tax increases for local schools?Fortunately, the district has done an excellent job in managing their finances and has been able to stay within their budgeted amounts, so no tax increase is necessary at this time. Using their resources wisely is key to maintaining good fiscal responsibility.Is experience as a teacher or support from a union valuable because it suggests educational insights or detrimental because it creates pro-teacher bias? Please clarify whether you have such experience or would accept union support.While teaching experience can be helpful, it is not necessary to be a good board member. I believe a well rounded member can understand all view points of a situation and make decisions that are in the best interest of the entire district. Many years of volunteering at the school and active involvement in the community have provided me with the tools to represent not only families with students at Rondout, but residents of all ages and family dynamics. My profession as a CPA also gives me a wide range of experience that allows me to bring insight to the School Board discussions. I would like the support of all residents and organizations that have a relationship with the school.As contract talks come up with various employee groups, what posture should the board take? Do you believe the district should ask for concessions, expect employee costs to stay about the same as they are now or provide increases in pay or benefits?With the current economic conditions, it seems that everyone needs to make some concessions. As much as we all would like to see continual increases in our pay and benefits, sometimes it is just not realistic. At a time when many people are losing their jobs or asked to work at a reduced salary, it is a fair expectation for school employees to be satisfied with their current arrangements and to understand the financial challenges of the district.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?Compensation should be based on merit. Increases should be given for hard work, dedication and successful results, not as a way to boost pension payouts.