Julia Mazur: Candidate Profile
Big Hollow District 38 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 two children
Education: Bachelor of Arts in International Business from Illinois State University 1993; Minors in Spanish and Business Administration. Graduate Studies/Teacher Certification at DePaul University, Chicago 1995.
Civic involvement: Illinois Youth Dance Theatre.
Elected offices held: Big Hollow School Board District 38
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 because I would like to continue with the process of improving our school district. When I began serving on the Board almost eight years ago, Big Hollow was experiencing quite a bit of growing pains and recovering from cuts in staff and programming. We have made a lot of progress in the past few years by balancing the budget, bringing more technology to the students, and adding programs for our students.
The safety of our students and the culture and community of our schools are important to me. I see so much good happening at Big Hollow and I would like to continue to be part of the evolution of a district that believes in higher standards.
What do you think about the process for measuring student success in your district? Is it adequate? What changes, if any, do you propose?
The district uses a variety of tools to measure student success such as standardized tests and academic progress assessments. I would like to explore the possibility and feasibility of including authentic assessments, reflections, and teacher recommendations to also measure the success of the student and for placement.
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 Board should play the part of communicating with the stakeholders as to what they envision for the students to gain from their education. The Board directs the administration, the educational professionals, to develop the best way to achieve that vision for the District. We need to support an engaging curriculum with adequate, appropriate and timely resources.
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?
Like many school districts in the state, we have to contend with the delay in state aid payments from the State of Illinois. We need to continue to evaluate our expenditures and explore other opportunities to bring in revenue. Bringing our food service and transportation in-house has been positive and key components in balancing the budget. I would like the district to continue to research shared services with other local districts as a means to further reduce expenditures. As a tax payer myself, I would like to see no tax increases and explore other possibilities to generate revenue.
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?
Should a voucher system be implemented, we may have more students who would like to attend our schools because we provide an excellent education. Many area schools also provide outstanding educational opportunities, so I would not expect there to be many vouchers from our nearby communities. School Boards must advocate for their districts so that they may stay financially stable in response to how Congress or the state would fund the vouchers.
What other issues, if any, are important to you as a candidate for this office?
Candidate did not respond.
Please name one current leader who most inspires you.
Candidate did not respond.
What is the biggest lesson you learned at home growing up?
Be honest and treat everyone with respect.
If life gave you one do-over, what would you spend it on?
Spend more time with loved-ones that are now gone.
What was your favorite subject in school and how did it help you in later life?
Spanish and French were my favorite subjects and they have helped me communicate better and appreciate people of different backgrounds.
If you could give your children only one piece of advice, what would it be?
Be open to any opportunity that comes your way. You never know what you may gain from it, whether it be small or profound.