Terry Svoboda: Candidate Profile
Carol Stream Elementary District 93 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.
City: Carol Stream
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Family: Wife of 16 years, Two middle school aged sons
Occupation: Sales Manager
Education: B.A. Organizational Communications
Civic involvement: Coaching youth sport teams, voulenteering time at various charities and community events
Elected offices held: CCSD School District 93 Trustee
Why are you running for this office, whether for re-election or election the first time? Is there a particular issue that motivates you, and if so, what is it?
I am running for re-election to the District 93 Board of Education because I feel that in any community the foundation starts with the schools and the education/programs the students receive. School districts affect everything from local business development to property values. As a member of the Board of Education you have the ability to help build the future of youth and the community. Dreams often begin or end in school. The enviornment of school must foster them. They must offer the best education posible, they must facilitate growth and development. I am running for re-election to make this happen.
What do you think about the process for measuring student success in your district? Is it adequate? What changes, if any, do you propose?
Our process includes both mandated standards as well as additional measures. With that being said, we frequently question our methods for measuring success. We study and adjust when appropriate. I do think the process is effective, but am always looking at new methods and advances.
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?
It is part of our responsability to monitor and approve recommended curiculum and adjust it if needed. Our district dedicates a lot of time to researching, anlyzing and plannig of our curriculum. As a board member, it is my responsability to review the findings. To ensure that they represent educational programs that have input from teachers, parents and other community members. They must represent ideas and concepts that are proven effective. They must offer the best teaching and learning opportunity. The plan must demonstrate a measurable impact. We as board members will then oversee the implemention.
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?
As an incumbant of the District 93 school board I have served the past two years as a member of the finance commitee. With that I have seen our process and have become very familiar with our budget. I am proud to say that through responsible planning and appropriation of funds we are on very solid ground. However, external factors such as state isssues or legislation can certainly change this. If such situations were to arise, I would challenge our administration to present data as it relates to the situation. My goal would be to have the least possible impact on students, programs, teachers and the overall learnnig experience. The level of education must be the last thing to suffer through challenges.
What role can and should school choice play in your district? If Congress or the state approves a voucher system or other means giving students broader choices among public and private schools, how will that affect your district? What is the appropriate response for the board of education of a public school system?
Choice is healthy, however there are many factors to consider. Any state program that designates choice would need to be evaluated and many questions would have to be answered. Would Charter schools have to abide by the same standards as public schools? Would vouchures have a financial impact on district funds? How would schools with desireable records handle increased student intake?
The last question is what I believe to be the most important for District 93. I believe we would not lose many students to choice or vouchers. The District 93 record and programs would attract more students.
As a board we would need to evaluate these topics as well as many others. To do so, we would need the actual details of the program.
What other issues, if any, are important to you as a candidate for this office?
Any organization that relies on state funding has to be concerned with budgets and economy related cuts. As a member of this board it is very important to be financial responsable. The education process must not suffer from decisions that are made in haste.
Technology will continue to grow and offer new opportunities to our students. We need to continue to grow and keep our students and facilities on the leading edge.
We need to offer programs that enrich our students. We need to continue the development and growth of our teachers.
We need to listen to all parties that are impacted by decisions and offer solutions that maintain the highest level of success for our students.
Please name one current leader who most inspires you.
What is the biggest lesson you learned at home growing up?
Working hard and respect
If life gave you one do-over, what would you spend it on?
Increasing my knowledge base and using my knowledge to improve all aspects of life.
What was your favorite subject in school and how did it help you in later life?
History or Math. Both of which have helped me to understand life from different logical perspectives.
If you could give your children only one piece of advice, what would it be?
Whether you think you can or think you can not, you are probably right.