Taso Triantafillos: Candidate Profile
College Of DuPage School Board
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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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Family: My wife Nicole, son Anthony, daughter Alexa, daughter Gia, son Athan
Occupation: Cyber Security
Education: Bachelors in Network Communications Management & MBA w Finance
Civic involvement: Elected to the Addison School Board District 4 in 2013
Elected offices held: District 4 Board of Education Member
What steps, if any, does the college still need to take to restore trust with the community?
Trust is earned, so the COD Board of Trustees, Administration, and staff has a lot of work ahead to restore the community's trust in the direction we need to take the college. It will be a lot of work, but I feel confident in the patience and expectations of the community.
Do you believe COD is on the right track when it comes to maintaining its accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission?
The current COD Board of Trustees and Administration team has remained committed on restoring and maintaining its accreditation with the Higher Learning Commission. They have begun reviewing all policies and procedures to ensure they measure to higher standards in compliance, transparency, and accountability. We have a lot of work ahead, but I am confident we are heading in the right direction.
From the college's point of view, 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 or fee increases?
I believe that education at a local community college should be affordable, and evolve to include the delivery of courses and class content using the latest online technology made available. These improvements could help increase student enrollment and make COD more competitive in higher education. Raising taxes or fees does not solve the underlying challenge which is to continue to build and refine the experience for each student. I rather focus and evaluate which programs are or could be successful for COD, and continue to support those.
Community colleges provide many services to a diverse population. Is there a service your college should be providing that it is not, or reaching a segment of the population that it is not?
There are many communities within District 502 that could benefit from several programs, such as continuing to promote classes or certifications for individuals who have a passion working in machinery, electrical, or HVAC systems. My background is in Technology, and I would personally like to see more programs developed to help train and develop individuals who could immediately enter the workforce shortage in Information Technology & Cyber Security. I bring a unique perspective that several higher education institutions leverage today.
If you are a newcomer, what prompted you to run for the community college board? If you're an incumbent, list your accomplishments or key initiatives in which you played a leadership role.
I have always had to learn my career path through my own experiences, and believe I could add value by giving back to our community. I passionately feel that individuals who are in college or exploring options in returning could be guided through the appropriate programs while ensuring they are more marketable because of the education or training they received during that experience. I want to contribute to our future by preparing ourselves with the right skill sets and education.
My track record in building successful and high performing organizations, teams, and initiatives has been clearly demonstrated many times in my past. However, my focus has been in applying it moving forward by contributing and leading in our community with my knowledge and experience.
What other issues, if any, are important to you as a candidate for this office?
As College of DuPage Board of Trustee, my experiences and drive will help contribute in evaluating current or creating new policies, programs, and help ensure our college accreditation is maintained to the highest standards through transparency and accountability. I want to increase the use of technology, and how it's delivered to our students, making it more affordable and effective.
Please name one current leader who most inspires you.
What is the biggest lesson you learned at home growing up?
Being raised by a single mother with 3 sisters, the respect, trust, and loyalty required in life
If life gave you one do-over, what would you spend it on?
More time in school and international travel
What was your favorite subject in school and how did it help you in later life?
Science class helped me build my critical thinking skills required in my professional career
If you could give your children only one piece of advice, what would it be?
Your values and character defines you