James Gambaiani: Candidate Profile
Wheaton Warrenville District 200 School Board
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.
Family: Candidate did not respond.
Occupation: President & CEO of Indigo Olive Software, Inc.
Education: Attended School of Law: Indiana University MBA: Butler University BS: St. Joseph College
Civic involvement: Board of Education: CUSD 200 Peoples Resource Center Wheaton Chili Cook Off Wheaton Theater on Hale Street Wine & Arts Cultural Event
Elected offices held: Board of Education: CUSD 200
How satisfied are you that your school district is adequately 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?
As a member of the CUSD 200 Board of Education, a parent with high school students in the district, and a taxpayer I am very satisfied that our students are adequately prepared for the next stage of their lives. The College & Career Readiness strategy and approach to education within CUSD 200 insures that every student is given an opportunity to be better prepared for the next stages of life; both college and career.
What budgetary issues will your district have to confront during the next four years and what measures do you support to address them? If you believe cuts are necessary, be specific about programs and expenses that should be considered for reduction or elimination. On the income side, do you support any tax increases for local schools? Again, be specific.
Many daunting financial challenges lie ahead for CSUD 200. Specifically, 1) pension reform, 2) ACA, 3)facility maintenance, 4) debt service, 5)unfunded state mandates, and 6) state GSA cuts. These issues cannot be dealt with by simply increasing taxes on taxpayers. Rather there must be a balance between securing educational excellence and expense control.
Are you currently employed by or retired from a school district, if so, which one? Is any member of your direct family - spouse, child or child-in-law - employed by the school district where you are seeking a school board seat?
As contract talks come up with various school employee groups -- teachers, support staff, etc. -- what posture should the school board take? 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?
I cannot speak for the other members of the Board. However, it is very clear to me that serious consideration must be given to cost control and containment. Every expense line item must be scrutinized and adjustments made where appropriate.
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. No employee should enjoy a retirement windfall.
What other issues, if any, are important to you as a candidate for this office?
There are 4 other issues that I believe need attention: 1) School calendar 2) School start time 3) Assessment tests 4) Use of technology
Please name one current leader who most inspires you.
Bruce Rauner Governor of Illinois
What's the biggest lesson you learned at home growing up?
You are never better than the next person
If life gave you one do-over, what would you spend it on?
Pursing my professional baseball career
What was your favorite subject in school and how did it help you in later life?
Math. It has helped me think through each and every issue analytically
If you could give your children only one piece of advice, what would it be?
Never give up!