Haydee Nunez: 2021 candidate for Glen Ellyn Elementary District 89 board
Six candidates are vying for four seats (four-year term) in the 2021 Glen Ellyn District 89 school board race.
Occupation: Higher Education Administrator at North Central College
Civic involvement: CCSD 89 school board member, 2015-present; United Way volunteer (various positions), 2003-2019
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'm running for reelection for the same reasons I volunteered over 6 years ago- to contribute to the community in which I live and raise my children, to support quality education, and to ensure responsible decision making based on core values. I am driven by a lifelong commitment to diversity, inclusion, and equity in access and achievement.
Q. How would you grade the current school board on its response to the pandemic? Why?
A. With safety and wellness in mind, and a continued commitment to the academic success we are so proud of in our district, the District 89 school board responded quickly, responsibly, and with the support of experts and guidance where available, to support plans and processes that provided the best possible solutions for the vast and varying needs of students, families, teachers and the community.
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. Leadership and public service involves representing the needs of diverse and often diverging perspectives and ensuring that underrepresented perspectives are accounted for especially in times when circumstances involve stakes as high as the safety and wellness of our community in addition to educational achievement. As a public institution there are many times that we will need to defer to state or national mandates or guidelines. Where we have local authority, it is critical to have strong policies and a value system upon which you base decisions, a commitment to seeking and using data to inform decisions, and focus on ongoing communication.
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. Learning never stopped in District 89. Last spring, with an abrupt interruption to classroom instruction, the district developed a remote learning plan and quickly implemented plans to complete the academic year. That period provided important lessons that drove planning throughout the summer, where teachers and administrators engaged in training, planning, scheduling, still not knowing what the new year would look like, but committed to excellence in whatever form it would take. District 89 values the academic achievement of ALL students and the commitment to support instructional modalities that provide conditions where students and teachers feel safe to teach and learn are an important reflection of that value.
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. District 89 has been conducting classes for all students throughout the pandemic in different modalities. A focus on teaching and learning never stopped. This Spring, with new guidelines, conditions improving in the community, combined with successful mitigation efforts, including the vaccine, District 89 is expanding in person learning to allow for more time in the classroom as well as more time for individualized attention.
Q. What is your position on allowing high school sports to continue during the pandemic? Be specific.
A. District 89 is a pre-K-8 district.