Deborah Fogel: Candidate Profile

Grass Lake District 36 School Board

  • Deborah Fogel, running for Grass Lake District 36 School Board

    Deborah Fogel, running for Grass Lake District 36 School Board

Updated 3/20/2017 3:31 PM

Back to Grass Lake District 36 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.

Jump to:




City: Antioch

Website: Candidate did not respond.

Twitter: Candidate did not respond.

Facebook: Candidate did not respond.

Office sought:

Grass Lake District 36 School Board

Age: 44

by signing up you agree to our terms of service

Family: Married with 3 children, ages 13, 10, and 5, our dog Truman and cat Tiki.

Occupation: Chosen to stay home with my kids.

Education: Associate of Science from CLC.

Graduate of Phoenix Therapeutic Massage College in 1995.

Graduate of Conservatory of Esthetics in 2003.

Civic involvement: Grass Lake School Board Member

Grass Lake School PTO

Voting in elections

Elected offices held: Grass Lake School Board Vice President.

Grass Lake School PTO Treasurer

Questions & Answers

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 reelection because I have the time and enthusiasm necessary to dedicate to this position. Grass Lake School is moving into the bidding/construction phase of an addition which addresses several issues with our aging facility. Please refer to for detailed information on the addition. I have been part of the project from the beginning and would love to see it through. During my time on the Board we have also made several changes to improve student outcomes. With the adoption of a strategic plan this past November; I believe we are on a path to greater success. I have daytime availability I am and have been willing to give to the school. As a parent of three active students and being an involved parent, I spend a great deal of time at the school. I know every staff member. I am familiar with every room in the building. I see and hear about current issues from other parents. I have a day to day connection with the school which gives me crucial firsthand knowledge.


What do you think about the process for measuring student success in your district? Is it adequate? What changes, if any, do you propose?

I do not believe the process for measuring student success is adequate. We run a PreK-8 program; our job is to get students ready for high school. Therefore, I would love to know how our past graduates actually did. Did they get in the honors track? GPA? How many students in the National Honor Society? Was the transition to high school smooth? Were they able to participate in extracurricular activities at the high school level? Did Grass Lake School prepare them for that next step in their lives. I think having that information would help a School Board make better decisions in figuring out what gaps need to be filled.

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?

I do believe School Board members should play an active role in curriculum decisions if for no other reason than money is being spent to purchase curriculums. I am on our curriculum committee and there is much to consider when choosing a new curriculum. Grass Lake School is unique in its small size. Having one teacher per grade/subject makes it a huge task for one person to create a curriculum map. Without that map at the end of the year it is hard to know if all the standards have been met. Therefore, we are looking at curriculums that include a curriculum map. We want to make sure that the curriculum allows for differentiation within the classroom. A teacher needs to be able to easily create individualized lessons to supplement classroom activity. Extra review on a concept a student is struggling with and more in depth work for the student that is ready to push forward. The online portion has to be student friendly and engaging. It is also crucial that the students are exposed to a common language. They need to see the same types of questions that they would see on standardized tests. Being part of the research process makes me a more informed Board Member and a more confident decision maker.

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?

The biggest budget issues Grass Lake School faces are with the costs that are nearly impossible to control. Transportation is incredibly expensive and there is almost no choice. Food Service is another one with very few options and a ton of rules that make it next to impossible for a small school to run its own kitchen. I believe both of these issues could be worked out with better intergovernmental relations. Working with other districts, going out to bid together as a larger unit would give us a better deal. On the income side is the talk of school funding reform at the state level. It seems the North Suburban schools, end up being on the losing end of that deal. If school funding reform does pass I could foresee Grass Lake School losing state monies. I certainly wouldn't want to count on it.

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?

I am unsure of how a School Choice/Voucher system would affect Grass Lake School since we are funded 96% by local dollars. From what I understand the dollar follows the child. For year 2015/16 that would mean $837.47 for each low income student and $316.96 per child for non-poverty students from the State of Illinois. Those dollars would hardly make a dent in either private or public school tuition. So, for our students I don't believe there would be real "School Choice." As for an appropriate response to the "School Choice" proposal; I believe if the real goal is to get rid of underperforming schools or underperforming teachers then the obstacles that make it nearly impossible to do so should be removed. That would be a real change.

What other issues, if any, are important to you as a candidate for this office?

Another issue important to me would be promoting family engagement. There is a lot of research out there showing that the more involved the student and parents are in the school the more successful the student tends to be. As a former PTO Board Member it was a constant challenge to try and get more people involved. At every event you tend to see the same families participating and the same kids involved in after school activities. The challenge is how to reach out and get more families engaged. Our schools should be the hub of our communities.

Please name one current leader who most inspires you.

Candidate did not respond.

What is the biggest lesson you learned at home growing up?

Candidate did not respond.

If life gave you one do-over, what would you spend it on?

Candidate did not respond.

What was your favorite subject in school and how did it help you in later life?

Candidate did not respond.

If you could give your children only one piece of advice, what would it be?

Candidate did not respond.