William B. Eagan III: 2021 candidate for Naperville Unit District 203
Challenger William B. Eagan III, one of nine candidates running for four, 4-year terms in Naperville Unit District 203, responds to the Daily Herald candidate questionnaire for the April 6, 2021, local elections.
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Occupation: Certified public accountant, certified management accountant, self-employed
Civic involvement: Rotary, Jaycees, Naperville Park District Commissioner
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: I believe District 203 would benefit from leadership and experience.
Q: How would you grade the current school board on its response to the pandemic? Why?
A: Last year, B+. The school pivoted quickly and dealt with an unknown as well as they could.
This year, F. The school board shirked its responsibility and failed to do anything to plan to open schools. The school board did not require administration to look at what private schools are doing. Their actions were detrimental to those students who do not flourish in an independent learning environment.
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: My role, and I believe every board member's role, is to get every child in school safely while allowing parental choice to allow their kids to remote learn. District 203 could have been open, just like the private schools, and the superintendent chose not to open.
Even as a park district commissioner, I have made my thoughts and opinions be heard publicly. They have not always been popular, as a member of any board, you have a responsibility to share your thoughts and take feedback to course correct, as necessary. Every board needs to act as a check and balance to the staff. We need to represent those who are footing the bill and advocate to teach children critical thinking skills.
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, they did not. Children that had support for reading and the like lost critical contact time. Schools could have been opened this fall, not everything can be accomplished effectively through a screen. Keeping the schools closed and teachers reporting forced physical plants to be running wasting taxpayer dollars. Now that we are transitioning to hybrid, children should be in school for the full day and alternating. Bringing in half the kids in the A.M. and the other half in the P.M. causes additional cleaning. The model of private schools should be followed.
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: Yes, look to the private schools. They are in class full days, some have adopted the hybrid where part of the class is at home streaming the class with some asynchronous time.
Q: What is your position on allowing high school sports to continue during the pandemic? Be specific.
A: Sports should continue, and require masks. The rate of suicide and mental health issues are skyrocketing in the name of safety. We need the parents to decide what is best for their child.