Bency Beals: Candidate profile
Name: Bency Karmel Beals
Office sought: Dist 121 Board Of Education
Family: Married with 3 Children
Occupation: Business Sales Manager -- Verizon
Education: Masters in Organizational Leadership
Civic involvement: N/A
Previous elected offices held: N/A
Incumbent? If yes, when were you first elected? N/A
Facebook: Bency Beals
What are the most important issues facing your district and how do you intend to address them?
The district is currently facing many important issues including (but not limited to) developing a balanced budget strategy, pending contracts and of course maximizing the growth and achievement of every student. My intention is to address the above issues as well as all current and future issues with an open mind, while considering all points of interest. I will thoroughly evaluate each issue and make decisions that are in the best interest of students, teachers and the community while consistent with goals and policies.
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?
Having graduated from Dist 121, I can say that Warren Township has historically provided students with adequate guidance and preparation as they begin their journey into college while also preparing students for the workforce by offering vocational programs. With two high schoolers today that will soon graduate from Dist 121, proper preparation is more important to me now more than ever. Scholarship workshops are now offered as early as Freshman year, and every class-man has an opportunity to attend the career workshops to discover what may interest them for the future. These programs are currently optional, I would like to have some sort of mandatory hours per semester be added as a requirement to ensure these programs are being taken advantage of for students who may not understand the importance of the guidance they offer. Student preparation and success is my number one priority. Necessary enhancements and additional support will always be my focus and intention throughout my term if elected.
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?
The district will have to face many budgetary issues in the next four years including energy efficiency and pending contracts. All decisions will be in the best interest of students, staff, community and the overall future of the district.
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? No, I have never worked for a school district nor has anyone in my direct family.
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?
I believe the school board should be open and intentional about showing value and appreciation to teachers and support staff alike through compensation and various forms of opportunity. Contracts should be carefully planned for in advance through balanced budgeting to ensure teachers and support staff are provided an increase as contract changes approach. Pay structure can vary based on role and other variables however compensation increases not only show value to the teachers and staff, but to the respect to quality education as well.
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?
Retirement is an important part of life for every employee/administrator regardless of title or position. I would expect preparations were made for retirement throughout the career of all district employees without impeding on current year budgets to boost benefits.