Agata P. Karpowicz: Candidate profile
Name: Agata P. Karpowicz
City: Green Oaks
Office sought: Oak Grove School Board of Education, District 68 (Oak Grove, in Green Oaks)
Family: Married with two kids. My kids are in kindergarten and 2nd grade at Oak Grove School (District 68).
Education: Szkola Podstawowa 12 (Elementary School), Opole, Poland, Altwulsdorfer Schule (Primary School), Bremerhaven, Germany, Paula-Modersohn Schule (Secondary School or Middle School), Bremerhaven, Germany, Indian Trail Junior High School, Addison, IL, Addison Trail High School, Addison, IL (1996), DePaul University, Chicago, IL (B.S. 2000), Boston University School of Law, Boston, MA (J.D. 2003)
Civic involvement: Vice President, PTO at Oak Grove School.
Previous elected offices held: N/A
Incumbent? No. If yes, when were you first elected?
What are the most important issues facing your district and how do you intend to address them?
(1) Possible incorporation or transition to Standards Based Grading, district wide; (2) Retirement and related replacement of the superintendent; (3) Teacher's contract negotiations. None of these issues, however, are for me, or any single board member to address individually. With respect to these and other important issues facing the district, the board members have to respectfully collaborate while taking into account the community, following all rules and regulations in an effort to obtain a result that will ensure all students' opportunity for success at Oak Grove and beyond.
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?
Oak Grove is sought out by parents because it provides a solid foundation and opportunities for students to be not only prepared but to advance in their future, including high school and beyond. This district, offers programs outside of the basic curriculum to enrich our kids and expand their minds with art, music, and foreign language. If I were to introduce any changes, they would include more foreign languages to be offered to our students and offered earlier in life. In addition, I believe that expanding after school programs, in particular in sports, would be of benefit. In terms of academics, we should consider what the teachers believe should be changed, improved or added as they have the greatest knowledge in these matters.
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.
Oak Grove has ongoing budgetary issues ranging from facilities maintenance, to technology, to a pretty broad curriculum and also the upcoming teacher contract negotiation. It is important to maintain a balanced budget. I do not believe that Oak Grove should reduce any of its programs. Elementary years are key in development and to cut that foundation short would be of great negative impact for our children. These foundation years are important for growth and should be enriched. The board must balance the community's view points on taxes against the best interest of our children's education.
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?
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?
Great teachers make all the difference in every child's life and without them the district falls short. The board always has to take on a fiscally responsible posture while focusing on what is best for all of the students in the district. With that in mind, the board's posture in the contract discussions should be a working relationship based on mutual respect, collegiality and a joint commitment to our students' success.
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?
District 68 (Oak Grove School) does, in fact, have the superintendent nearing retirement. I would support compensation of the superintendent based on merit or the agreement between him and the school.