Salma M. Syed: Candidate profile
Name: Salma M. Syed
City: Long Grove
Office sought: KCSD96 School Board member
Age: 39 yrs.
Family: Husband and two daughters
Occupation: Full time mother and part-time office manager at my husband's office, an M&A Advisory firm
Education: B.A. (Sociology), and Post Graduate Diploma in Psychology
Civic involvement: participate in local and international charities, volunteer at my kids elementary and middle schools, board member of PAC Northern Illinois Muslims Alliance (NIAMA)
Previous elected offices held: N/A
What are the most important issues facing your district and how do you intend to address them?
I believe that more emphasis on the creative learning is needed. We need to create school environment, which inhibits bullying and cyberbullying. We need to focus on using tax dollars wisely.
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?
The schools actually should identify their strengths and weaknesses by exploring their talents from their young age. The school should help kids grow their skills sets, instead of making them follow the same generalized generic routine.
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.
I think this budget has been created by very capable people after the great research and thought-out process. I, therefore, don't foresee any budget-cuts are needed.
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?
I am not employed by a school district or any related institution, nor anyone in my family or someone that I know, is employed by a school district.
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?
If the request is made during the negotiation to raise the pay or benefits for the teachers or support staff then it ought to be given a serious consideration. These are the people who nurtur the student to help grow and prepare for the next stages into their lives.
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?
The school district should not increase the salary or benefits just before the retirement, with the aim to raise the pension benefits. The school should invest the funds into the current projects or making the school district better instead of spending the funds into the retired administration benefits.