Lisa Page: Candidate profile
Name: Lisa Page
City: Park Ridge, IL
Office sought: D64 School Board, 4-year position
Family: son attending 4th grade in district
Occupation: Consultant in Clinical and Organizational Psychology
Education: Master of Arts, Counseling and Organizational Psychology and Doctor of Psychology
Civic involvement: PTO volunteer, volunteer for class activities and field trips
Previous elected offices held: 6 years experience on Association Board of the Illinois Psychological Association
Incumbent? If yes, when were you first elected? n/a
What are the most important issues facing your district and how do you intend to address them?
Some of the greatest challenges currently facing District 64 is a significant disconnect between parents in the district and the current school board and the current school board runs meetings extremely inefficiently. To address the first part, I believe there needs to be a communication plan set in place and followed, including setting expectations for the public of what the board's roles and responsibilities are and the limitations of these roles. Whether publicly or individually, it is important for all parents concerns to be heard and responded to. It is also imperative to include all the stakeholders in decision-making from the teaching assistants and teachers to parents and tax-payers as all these people have a stake in the success of our students, as our students are the reason for the school board and why we are all here.
I believe my six years serving on the Illinois Psychological Association's Council and history and experience as an organizational consultant has prepared me to serve on the school board and help guide it in an efficient and effective manner. The school board is supposed to follow Robert's Rules of Order which if followed would be a solid foundation in running more efficient meetings.
How satisfied are you that your school district is adequately preparing students for the next stage in their lives, whether it be from elementary into high school or high school into college or full-time employment? What changes, if any, do you think need to be made?
From what I have learned from many parents who have had students transition from grade school to middle school and middle school to high school, this is an area of strength for this district. My understanding also from teachers and administrators in the grade schools, there is a lot of support put in place to help our students make smooth transitions up the ladder of their academic careers. Therefore, changes to this area would not be a top priority to me as a school board member.
What budgetary issues will your district have to confront during the next four years and what measures do you support to address them? If you believe cuts are necessary, be specific about programs and expenses that should be considered for reduction or elimination. On the income side, do you support any tax increases? Be specific.
The greatest budgetary issue facing the school board over the next four years is implementing all-day kindergarten. Many families move to Park Ridge for our school system. We are also one of the few districts in the state who do not currently offer full-day kindergarten. Many parents for a number of years have been requesting this, and they want it at their home-schools so that their children kindergarten-aged children are not being bussed back and forth to another school and parents will not have to drive across town to drop off and pick up their kindergarten children.
I also realize this has been a topic of concern to current board leaders over the past several years. We have schools that are at capacity. This is an area where I believe some creative solutions will have to be identified, such as offering options for full or half day kindergarten, returning (at least part of) Jefferson School to a regularly running school to relieve the burden of some of the other schools to allow more room for all-day kindergarten.
If the school-age population growth continues to grow in Park Ridge, there may have to be consideration for building another school -- although geographical location will also be a challenge. Thirty or forty years ago, Park Ridge used to have at least three more grammar schools than it does currently.
I am not in favor of losing other valuable programs in order to implement all-day kindergarten. It will be important to weigh all options for how to implement all-day kindergarten, which may require some creativity, while bearing in mind the potential tax burdens to our tax payers in the community. It is important to me to limit the burden to tax payers as much as possible, while also avoiding the district going into debt. Should I be fortunate enough to be elected to our school board, it is important for me to leave behind a positive legacy of constructive contributions and good decision-making while being fiscally responsible to the community.
Are you currently employed by or retired from a school district, if so, which one? Is any member of your direct family -- spouse, child or child-in-law -- employed by the school district where you are seeking a school board seat?
None of my family members nor I have ever been employed by District 64.
As contract talks come up with various school employee groups -- teachers, support staff, etc. -- what posture should the school board take? Do you believe the district should ask for concessions from its employees, expect employee costs to stay about the same as they are now or provide increases in pay or benefits?
Our teachers and teaching assistants and support staff are our greatest assets. I believe they should be compensated fairly and equitably. I also recognize the increased costs of health insurance and increase in many annual deductibles. That is a burden to most everyone these from those insured individually to those employed by major corporations face today. While I want our teachers and staff to be well cared for, I also believe the burden of these extra costs and expenses must be shared to some degree.
If your district had a superintendent or other administrator nearing retirement, would you support a substantial increase in his or her pay to help boost pension benefits? Why or why not?
I would not support a substantial increase in pay to someone nearing retirement in order to boost pension benefits. There are many benefits that the district offers which will follow people into retirement. I do not feel an added burden to tax-payers would be welcome.