Amy Finnegan: 2023 candidate for DuPage High School District 88 board, 4-year term


Town: Lombard

Age on Election Day: 53

Occupation: Realtor

Previous offices held: DuPage High School District 88 board since 2019


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: Public education is very important to me, and I want to ensure that the children in our community have access to the best education possible.

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

A: Ultimately, the school board has the final say in the curriculum offered. It's vital that it is assessed on regular basis to ensure that is meeting the needs of students and offering different pathways for a successful post-high school career.

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

A: Not that aren't already being addressed. We have focused on adding additional classes offering dual credit so that students entering college start with completed credits, as well as making coursework through the Technology Center of DuPage more accessible. The district is continually working to increase opportunities for various credentialing so that students graduate high school with the ability to start jobs in different fields and connect with local businesses that offer on the job training.

There is also a focus on supporting the needs of a growing population of English language leaners so they can realize their full potential. But I do believe there is always room for improvement, which is why it is important to monitor success and challenges on an ongoing basis.

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 believe that is important to listen to the opinions of all our stakeholders, even if unpopular or if their ideas are not in line with my own. When appropriate, it is good to find common ground, since I believe most people really want what is in the best interests of the kids.

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: I have learned that if we follow the science and work together for the common goal of educating our students (as well as meeting their more basic needs) we can accomplish anything. Closing schools would be a last resort for me, but any new challenge would have to be met understanding the circumstances of the new outbreak.

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: I believe that it is essential to involve all stakeholders, including students, when developing new policy. Being open to new ideas can provide solutions that are not only effective but more easily adopted by those that they affect.

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

A: I am dedicated to always putting the needs of the children first, and I make decisions that are fiscally responsible.

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

A: I'm not really sure what people are talking about, but I am a big proponent of making sure that the district is doing all we can to meet the social and psychological needs of our students, too. I advocated for adding additional counselors, and the district has worked to help students connect with additional support services outside of school as well.

District 88 continually strives to make each student feel involved and connected, so we have expanded funding for additional coaching staff and clubs so there is a place for everyone to belong. We want all students to be the best version of themselves, and that means addressing mental health as well as curriculum.

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