Jeff Hansel: 2023 candidate for Lombard Elementary District 44 board


Town: Lombard

Age on Election Day: 58

Occupation: Purchasing director

Employer: Doorwayz Unlimited

Previous offices held: None


Q: Why are you running for this office, whether for reelection or election the first time? Is there a particular issue that motivates you?

A: I believe that a quality public education is not only important for current students but for students of the future.

I have an interest in preserving and continuously improving the quality of our school system and also having an influence in decisions made on behalf of students, staff, and families of our community. I would be bringing a fresh open mind to the board.

Q: What is the role of the school board in setting and monitoring curriculum?

A: The school board depends greatly on the professionals and administrators of our district that research, make decisions, and adopt curriculum for the current needs of the students in our district.

I believe the board is wise to trust those professionals to make fiscally responsible decisions that serve the needs of current and future students. The board must oversee these decisions to ensure the taxpayers' dollars are well spent.

Q: Are there curriculum issues within the district that you feel need particular attention from the board?

A: At this time I don't see issues with curriculum. There have been recent adoptions of updated curriculum to many areas of study in the elementary level as well as in the middle school. The district is currently working with a new curriculum that addresses Social Emotional Learning.

Q: How do you view your role in confronting policy or curriculum controversies: provide leadership even if unpopular, give a voice to constituents - even ones with whom you disagree, or defer to state authorities?

A: I have an open mind and am willing to listen and spend the time to become more informed about issues brought to the board. I have a non-biased perspective and would weigh both sides of controversies prior to making decisions. I know my role is to make decisions for the greater good of the entire district.

Q: Concerns are growing regarding a new resurgence of the pandemic. If another massive outbreak of infectious disease occurs, what have we learned from the COVID-19 pandemic that will guide your decision making?

A: We must keep in mind that we need to keep everyone safe while at school. The mandates from our state, federal and local government are to be followed regardless of personal beliefs.

Q: Describe your experience working in a group setting to determine policy. What is your style in such a setting to reach agreement and manage school district policy? Explain how you think that will be effective in producing effective actions and decisions of your school board.

A: In the past, I have helped create a program in our community for kids and their parents. We came together to build the program from the ground up. Just as we found when creating that program I feel each member of the school board brings valuable past experiences.

When determining policies it is important that all members of the group feel heard and can come to an agreement that is in the best interest of all.

Q: What makes you the best candidate for the job?

A: I am a patient person with an amicable disposition. I believe this to be an asset when working with people and families that have their own valuable opinions of what is best for our schools; I would be bringing a fresh perspective knowing that others' opinions are important.

My demeanor helps find common ground, ensuring that others have a voice that would sustain and/or gain trust and stability with our school district's administration and school community.

Q: What's one good idea you have to better your district that no one is talking about yet?

A: I feel the public should be encouraged to attend school board meetings. Our community may not be aware that these meetings are open to the public, including taxpayers without students currently attending our schools.

More community engagement would make for a stronger school district.

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