Steve Nelms: Candidate Profile

Addison District 4 School Board (4-year Terms)

Updated 3/19/2013 6:06 PM
  • Steve Nelms, running for Addison District 4 School Board (4-year Terms)

    Steve Nelms, running for Addison District 4 School Board (4-year Terms)



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.

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BioKey IssuesQ&A



City: Addison


Office sought: Addison District 4 School Board (4-year Terms)

Age: 45

Family: Married 20 Years to Carrie, 2 Children Xena 16 and Kannon 15 (Both High School Honors Students and products of District #4)

Occupation: Organizing Director, International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers

Education: College of DuPage / Northern Illinois University / Washburn Technical School

Civic involvement: Member, Village of Addison Citizens Advisory Committee. Past Vice President Addison Recreation Club. Community Volunteer for 25 years Coaching Baseball, Football and Basketball in Addison and Bensenville. Active participant in the Addison Trail Booster Club.

Elected offices held: Addison School District #4 Board Member

Have you ever been arrested for or convicted of a crime? If yes, please explain: No

Candidate's Key Issues

Key Issue 1

Fiscal responsibility. We must continue to work with a sensible budget providing the best overall educational environment for our students while taking into account the very unpredictable future of State and Federal funding.

Key Issue 2

Community interaction and involvement. One of our most productive exercises in the past term has been our "Strategic Planning" process. This brought hundreds of folks from all aspects of our Community together to develop a strategic plan that best resembles our Community working towards short and long term goals for our District. Continuing initiatives like these will help form a long term plan for success in our district.

Key Issue 3

Continuity, Our Board has evolved through some personnel changes and I think it is important to continue the good work we have initiated through these tough economic times.

Questions & Answers

What do you think about the shift to the common core standards? How big a role do you think the board of education should play in setting the curriculum for students and what ideas do you have for changes to the current curriculum?

The common core standards shift provides for a more relevant curriculum which will enable students to excel with practical skills in their future education or career path. We have worked closely with our Curriculum folks as well as their peers at Addison Trail as well as the surrounding Districts to transition most effectively to the Common Core Standards.

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?

I am pleased but will never be completely content with our preparation of Students from the Elementary Schools to Middle School as well as Middle School to High School. I am most pleased when I hear that from year to year we are improving on our Students moving into High Schools' ability to test into Honors and AP programs. This is largely due to our engagement with Addison Trail in regards to best practices in curriculum development in the preparation our students.

What budget issues will your district have to confront and what measures do you support to address them? If you believe cuts are necessary, what programs and expenses should be reduced or eliminated? On the income side, do you support any tax increases?

I am encouraged that even as tough as the economy has been in my tenure on the Board we have been able to balance our budget with smart policies without adversely impacting the learning environment. I would expect that track record to continue.

As contract talks come up with various school employee groups, do you believe the district should ask for concessions from its employees, expect employee costs to stay about the same as they are now or provide increases in pay or benefits?

Our Teachers as well as our Administration have been very realistic about our financial situation often settling with pay freezes that reflect the status of the economy. Going forward, I would expect common sense solutions to our future path that best direct the Taxpayers dollars to education and the kids.

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?

No. This type of "Golden Parachute" policy is not reflective of the best use of Taxpayer dollars.