Emmanuel Thomas: 2021 candidate for Community Unit District 300 board
Incumbent Emmanuel Thomas is one of seven candidates vying for three, 4-year seats on the Algonquin-based Community Unit District 300 board in the April 6, 2021 election. The other candidates are incumbent David Scarpino, and newcomers Christine Birkett, Daniel P. Dale Jr., Holly Jarovsky, Kristina M. Paul and Kim Withycombe.
The Daily Herald asked the candidates several questions on some of the most pressing issues facing the district. Kristina Paul did not respond to the questionnaire.
Below are Thomas' responses.
In-person early voting begins March 10 only at the Kane County Clerk's Office, 719 S. Batavia Ave., Bldg. B, in Geneva and the Aurora satellite office, 5 E. Downer Place, Suite F. In-person early voting at locations throughout the county begins March 22. Learn more at www.kanecountyclerk.org/Elections.
Occupation: Postmaster, United States Postal Service
Civic involvement: Appointed to the Community Unit District 300 board in November 2020.
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: Working with communities to improve student's achievement. Enforce policies, budget and regulations governed by District 300.
Areas of focus: Transparency, enforce compliance. Ensure students, teachers and administrations are safe (COVID-19, computer bullying, etc.). District 300 students are the future of this community and the world. Getting a quality education is vital to their future and ours.
Q: How would you grade the current school board on its response to the pandemic? Why?
A: The school board is doing a great job dealing with the pandemic. We keep the community, parents and students aware of the current conditions related to COVID-19. All information pertaining to COVID-19 is on the District 300 website for all to see.
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: It's important to me to be as transparent as possible. Being popular isn't a concern of mine. I care about the community and our schools. Keeping everyone safe is my first priority.
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: (No response given).
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: We will attempt to go back to in classroom learning as long as it's safe to do so in the spring. eLearning has been a good option for the school district.
Q: What is your position on allowing high school sports to continue during the pandemic? Be specific.
A: High school sports is important to our students and community. High school sports can happen as long as we follow Centers for Disease Control and the state of Illinois guidelines for sports.