Chris Coughlin: 2021 candidate for District 128 school board
10 candidates are vying for four seats (4-year term) in the 2021 Libertyville-Vernon Hills District 128 race.
Occupation: Sales at CDW
Civic involvement: Currently on the D70 (K-8) School Board as the board Secretary; The Nora Project (currently three years); Feed My Starving Children (nine years); Indian Guides, leadership, and volunteering (five years); coached soccer and baseball leagues (seven years); The Breast Cancer 3-Day 14 years: (seven-time walker and seven-time sweep driver); Junior Achievement (currently on the CDW board and volunteer) three years.
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 because all three of my kids will be at Libertyville High School next year and I know what I've done in D70 has made a difference. Also, with COVID and restrictions on in-person learning I'm a big proponent of getting kids back in school.
Q: How would you grade the current school board on its response to the pandemic? Why?
A: I think the current board has done well but been too cautious in getting the kids back in school. Only one member, Kevin Huber, has been vocal from the start on this issue.
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: Give a voice to constituents, even the one's I don't agree with because it's about choice and doing what is best for the education, psychological and mental support of the kids.
Q: Did your district continue to adequately serve students during the disruptions caused by the pandemic?
A: Somewhat but the caution of not going back in hybrid in September really set the table for delays of in-person learning along the way. It wasn't enacted until January, which I believe, was too late.
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, I would open up more, especially if all the teachers have been vaccinated. Continue with testing and tracing but get back to a full schedule, as an option for those who want it. For those who don't make sure they are fully supported for online learning.
Q: What is your position on allowing high school sports to continue during the pandemic? Be specific.
A: I think we can figure out a way to play and make it work. I have kids that are in sports now and travel sports and we are making it work. Mitigation procedures, strict enforcement of guidelines and wearing masks while playing, in most sports, works. I am all for football in the spring and other contact sports like basketball and volleyball.