Kevin Glowacz: 2023 Candidate for Northbrook/Glenview District 30 school board


Town: Northbrook

Age on Election Day: 37

Occupation: Software Engineer

Employer: GitHub

Previous offices held: Former Co-Division Consultant of the HPP Division of the Magic Foundation


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: My son is physically disabled and makes use of mobility aids like his wheelchair to help him get around. Experiencing the school district through the lens of a physically disabled child gives me a unique perspective not currently represented on the board. He has already faced some hurdles in his kindergarten year that the administration has partnered with me to address. Building upon the relationships that I've formed with the administration as well as the district's existing commitment to equity, my added experience will push the district even further in its mission to provide the best possible education to all students and be the best place to work for all staff.

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

A: The school board is responsible for setting the goals and mission of the school district and ensuring that the curriculum meets those goals as well as all state and federal standards to ensure that all students have their needs met with access to a quality education catered to the community served by the district. The board works closely with the administrators and teachers to continuously evaluate and provide feedback to the schools' implementation so that adjustments can be made as new teaching techniques and technologies are explored.

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

A: Having received a number of blue ribbons across the schools over the years, it is clear that the schools are already doing a great job providing a quality education. Seeing the curriculum presentations given by the teachers and administrator to the board this year, I've witnessed their passion and skill while they continue pushing the envelope including bringing in the latest technologies to the math program to create dynamic individualized learning and implementing new ways to make writing more fun and engaging for the students.

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: In the face of a controversy, it is the job of the school board to listen to both the community and the experts and then use all the information available to make a decision that will lead to the best educational, health, and safety outcomes of all the students and staff while also complying with all legal requirements that might be relevant.

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: During the pandemic, we have learned that the district has the technical infrastructure, knowledge, and amazing teachers to support both in person and remote learning. Considering that every student and family has different educational, emotional, and health safety needs, we can use this knowledge to strengthen the tools we have in place so that if needed, we can provide flexible options to allow every family to ensure their child receives their education in the best and safest way possible for them. We can also take some of the learnings such as the improvements to ventilation and air quality, and apply those every cold and flu season so that we can have improved health every year.

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 my role a software engineer, I'm often part of groups making product or software architectural decisions. In a group setting, I tend to keep my focus on the big picture. It's possible sometimes to get stuck in the weeds discussing differences over a minor detail, but when the entire group takes a step back and looks at the big picture, we usually find we are actually in agreement about most things and are able to reframe the discussion to work out a solution that best meets the goals we're trying to achieve. On the school board it is important that we always take a step back to ensure we are making the decisions that lead to the best outcomes for all our students.

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

A: I have a deep curiosity for a wide variety of topics and the ability to learn about new domains quickly. As the child of two educators, I have a life long passion and respect for education. I also value continuous self reflection and improvement both in myself and in my teams. With teaching tools becoming more and more digital every year, my experience in the software-as-a-service industry will increase our ability to evaluate and select the right solutions for our district and make sure our district policies take into account the rapidly changing landscape.

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

A: I don't see anyone talking about how we evaluate and monitor district wide digital security. Technology is constantly progressing and our district should stay at the forefront while also making sure our students stay safe. Any tool that gives kids individual logins require some level of data sharing. We should be regularly reevaluating district policies around how we evaluate vendors regarding what level of student data sharing is required, how personally identifiable the information is, and what security practices are used to keep the data safe.

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