Christopher B. Humbert: 2021 candidate for Roselle Elementary District 12 board
Five candidates are vying for four, 4-year seats on the Roselle Elementary District 12 school board in the April 6, 2021 election. They are incumbents Christopher B. Humbert, Kimberly Duris, James J. McGowan, and Steven Zurek, and newcomer David Franzen.
They responded to a Daily Herald questionnaire seeking their thoughts on some of the most pressing issues facing the district.
Below are Humbert's responses.
In-person early voting with paper ballots begins Feb. 25 at DuPage County Fairgrounds Building 5, 2015 Manchester Road, Wheaton. In-person early voting with touch-screen voting begins March 22 at locations throughout the county. Learn more at www.dupageco.org/earlyvoting/.
No candidate is slated to run for the unexpired 2-year term.
Five candidates for four, 4-year terms
Occupation: President, Shepard Medical Products
Civic involvement: Appointed to the Roselle Elementary District 12 board in February 2020; volunteer, PADS; Stateville Prison Ministry; Metropolitan Family Services (board member)
Q: Why are you running for this office, whether for reelection or election the first time? Is there a particular issue that motivates you, and if so, what is it?
A: Currently a District 12 board member, I'm running for reelection.
I consider the following most important issues, now and going forward:
1. Safety for students, staff, and families;
2. Stability and growth in learning environment for every student's best possible growth, results, and self-confidence; and
3. Creating the best possible preparation for our students' success and for the next education level.
Q: How would you grade the current school board on its response to the pandemic? Why?
A: I would clearly give the board an A. My reasons are for the board's decisive actions to encourage, support, and be decisive with our hybrid strategy of 5-day in-person and 5-day remote learning. About 65% of the families chose to participate in 5 day in-person. The remainder chose 5-day remote learning. It's important to note that ALL parents were given their first choice of learning method, for both semesters this school year.
But the main reason for this A grade was how our great partners: our superintendent, staff, students, and families supported this strategy, and executed a great plan every day. Students, staff, and families were excellent and made the results possible to date. Also, the communication between all the partners, led by our superintendent and both principals was and is outstanding. For these reasons I would give the partnership of everyone an A.
Q: How do you view your role in confronting the pandemic: provide leadership even if unpopular, give a voice to constituents -- even ones with whom you disagree, or defer to state authorities?
A: Our responsibility and role is providing the strongest leadership, supporting, adapting, listening, yet being very decisive, timely, and most available for all district needs. Listening to and respecting everyone's thoughts, state and local mandates, and a common-sense approach, yet leading to decisive action, strategy, and performance is our role. Providing best possible support and direction for our students, families, staff, and school leaders is paramount.
Q: Did your district continue to adequately serve students during the disruptions caused by the pandemic? If so, please cite an example of how it successfully adjusted to continue providing services. If not, please cite a specific example of what could have been done better.
A: Absolutely yes. Our district executed a very successful hybrid strategy of 5-day in-person and 5-day remote learning. About 65% of the families chose to participate in 5 day in-person. The remainder chose 5-day remote learning. All parents were given their first choice, in both semesters this school year. There were many adjustments as well, based on current cases, situation, local and state guidance, and family needs. One adjustment was electing to voluntarily pause in person learning between Thanksgiving and the Christmas break, as a preemptive caution due to many families getting together in larger family groups during these holidays. Overall, I would say the students, families, and community were served well to date.
Q: Do you have a plan on how to safely and effectively conduct classes in the spring? What have you learned from the fall semester that you would change in the spring?
A: Absolutely yes. Our district will continue to execute the successful hybrid strategy of 5-day in-person and 5-day remote learning. We will adapt as needed and can flex or expand more (ore completely) into either strategy as needed. This is because of the excellent efforts and performance of all partner groups (students, families, staff, and district and school leaders).
Q: What is your position on allowing high school sports to continue during the pandemic? Be specific.
A: I am clearly in favor of sports to continue, if and only if all protocols, safety measures, and careful practice is in place to maximize the safety of all students, staff, and families.