Cary D. Lewis: 2023 candidate for Fenton High School District 100 board


Town: Wood Dale

Age on Election Day: 49

Occupation: Civil engineer

Employer: Illinois Department of Transportation

Previous offices held: Appointed to Fenton District 100 board in December 2021


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 have always been passionate about investing in young people, even during my early years of coaching 14 & under baseball, basketball, and softball.

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

A: The school board should support the superintendent by making sure they have what they need to do their job but also ensuring that the curriculum is flexible, collaborative and is reflective the district's academic goals.

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

A: The board's responsibility is to adopt a solid and sound curriculum that is evidenced based. Ensuring that the school environment is inclusive, supportive, safe, and most of all challenging in helping students grow, learn, and develop.

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: This depends on the issue, but certainly confronting historical inaccuracies is critical.

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 am extremely happy with how Fenton staff and board handled the pandemic. Safety and wellness of the students, parents, and staff is the first priority. Continued learning and communication is key as learning loss during pandemic times can be challenging as students return to class. Fenton was the first school in Illinois to offer COVID vaccines to its staff and older adults. It was the first school in DuPage to offer pediatric vaccines.

As a recent addition to this board of education, I am confident that this board and superintendent will act proactively in the face of another pandemic,

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: My everyday profession requires me to work in a group to identify and evaluate issues with state roadways and guide solutions that address needs and are cost effective. In this role, I coordinate with the public and many agencies including federal, state and local municipalities, to determine the impacts of any proposed improvement to their environment.

In all of these interactions, it is my style to listen carefully so that I can have thoughtful interactions and make informed decisions.

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

A: Being a longtime community member, volunteer and, most importantly, a dad to two high school students, I want all of our kids to have the best that our communities can offer. I am ready to roll up my sleeves and get to work.

This board requires a real commitment and I am here for it! I welcome the challenges that this district faces, because my entire life I have had to overcome challenges and go the extra mile. I stand ready to do just that for our kids.

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

A: Unlike most high schools, Fenton has had the benefit of a solid teaching staff who have been consistent.

Now is the time to invest in new teacher programs that will allow our experienced and highly qualified staff to mentor new teachers in a real way to begin early recruitment that, down the line, will fill some teaching positions that will inevitably become vacant as our staff begins to retire and move on.

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