Katherine David: Candidate Profile
Palatine-Schaumburg High School District 211 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.
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Family: Married with three children.
Occupation: Marketing Director
Education: Bachelors of Science in Business Administration from University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
Civic involvement: Candidate did not respond.
Elected offices held: Candidate did not respond.
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?
As a D211 parent and a taxpayer in the community, I want to ensure that policies and decisions made by the school board are communicated openly to district residents, especially parents. Parents have the greatest responsibility for raising their kids and should be the primary advocates for their children. Before board members implement new policies that affect all children in our schools, they should first consult district parents. There should be advocates on our school board who will ensure transparency and parental engagement in the decision-making process.
What do you think about the process for measuring student success in your district? Is it adequate? What changes, if any, do you propose?
Of course we need the standard metrics of grades, standardized test scores, and college entrance results to help gauge how our schools are preparing our children for higher education. But just as private companies assess performance in multiple areas (employee retention, customer satisfaction, market share, etc.), our schools should also look at a wide array of areas to measure their success. As a large school district, we have many children with diverse gifts that go beyond traditional academics. Rather than primarily focusing on the number of students going to college or analyzing standardized test scores, perhaps we need to survey our students six to ten years from high school graduation to see if they have obtained employment and are contributing to the community.
District 211 became nationally recognized for both its disagreement with the federal government and its subsequent written agreement over the handling of transgender students' locker room access. How would you characterize your own agreement or disagreement with the board's action? What would be your position on the board's future handling of such issues?
The board needs to put a policy in place that protects the privacy rights of all children, including those requesting special accommodations. The school board's policy should take into account each and every child's right to privacy whether in the bathroom or locker rooms.
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?
District 211 is in a strong fiscal position with recent news of being debt-free in late 2017 and having excess cash reserves. Rather than changing any current programs offered, my focus would be to reduce any expenses which do not affect the quality of education. Steps should be taken to implement the best strategies for maximizing the two unused parcels of land, both from an economic standpoint and a community viewpoint.
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?
In some ways, having school choice brings the benefits of free market economics to the educational realm. However in our own district, we have high-quality high schools which are ranked among Illinois' best and our schools attract families to live in this area. My job as a school board member would be to work at providing an excellent public high school education for the children in this community.
What other issues, if any, are important to you as a candidate for this office?
District 211 is the largest high school district in Illinois and has an increasingly diverse population. As a Korean-American who moved to the U.S. during preschool, I experienced first-hand the various challenges of immigrant families. At D211 Community Engagement discussions and presentations, many parents said they wanted to see more diversity in the staff, but why not have diversity on the board? Using technology and other avenues, the school can improve how they communicate with these families.
Furthermore, D211 does have access to strong technology resources"â€they just passed the vote to purchase more iPads for their One-to-One Program. The schools could improve the process for disseminating information more effectively, more consistently, and with greater frequency. From a parent's perspective, the schools should be required to communicate any wide-range policy decisions that affect all students. With the vast number of activities, athletics and academic communications disseminated by the schools, the various resources and communication channels seem inconsistent and, at times, confusing on how/where to get the information/resources that a parent needs.
Please name one current leader who most inspires you.
Nikki Haley--Ambassador to the U.N. Like me, she is female from an ethnic minority, raised by immigrants. I am inspired by her political achievements.
What is the biggest lesson you learned at home growing up?
How to navigate through life's lessons (reading forms, applications, etc.) at an earlier stage than most because my immigrant parents didn't know English well.
If life gave you one do-over, what would you spend it on?
I don't believe in do-overs. Mistakes provide an opportunity for us to learn and grow.
What was your favorite subject in school and how did it help you in later life?
Struggled in Honors English and considered moving down a level. Worked hard, had a great teacher and improved my writing"â€skills I use every day.
If you could give your children only one piece of advice, what would it be?
You have a special purpose in this world and God created a unique person (only one of you in this world) to achieve that plan.