Gilbert R. Wagner: 2023 candidate for Naperville Unit District 203 board

  • Gilbert R. Wagner

    Gilbert R. Wagner

Posted3/10/2023 1:00 AM


Town: Bolingbrook


Age on Election Day: 45

Occupation: HVAC sales manager

Employer: Perfect Home Services

Previous offices held: West Chicago Elementary District 33 board member, 8 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?

A: I am running for school board to bring a new perspective to the board. I want to bring my blue collar roots to the board. I want to make sure that everyone is able to state their opinion on any subject, no matter which side they fall on. Students and parents need to be heard.

Q: What is the role of the school board in setting and monitoring curriculum?

A: The board's role in setting curriculum, is to take the administrations recommendations for new curriculum, ask clarifying questions to make sure that it aligns with district goals for the students. The board must also make sure that there are matrix set up to determine the success or failure of your curriculum. The board must set up time frames that the matrix need to be reported to check progress of any curriculum.

by signing up you agree to our terms of service

Q: Are there curriculum issues within the district that you feel need particular attention from the board?

A: The change in the music curriculum that was adopted at the Feb. 23, 2023 board of education meeting will need to followed up on in the coming school year to see what the effects of the change are, good or bad.

Q: How do you view your role in confronting policy or curriculum controversies: provide leadership even if unpopular, give a voice to constituents -- even ones with whom you disagree, or defer to state authorities?

A: My role is to listen to be heard and not to respond. Every stakeholder has a right to their view, whether it's the same as mine or not. It is my obligation to listen to each and every one of their views. I invite anyone to come and tell me how they feel on any issue at anytime. The board has to be welcoming and inviting, the people should not be worried about any retaliation from the board or district for speaking their mind.

Q: Concerns are growing regarding a new resurgence of the pandemic. If another massive outbreak of infectious disease occurs, what have we learned from the COVID-19 pandemic that will guide your decision making?


A: I learned that we, as a country, did a lot of stuff correct, a lot incorrect. We need to listen to more than just one expert and determine what is best for the students. Study what the effect of every decision made and most importantly listen to the people it affects the most.

Q: Describe your experience working in a group setting to determine policy. What is your style in such a setting to reach agreement and manage school district policy? Explain how you think that will be effective in producing effective actions and decisions of your school board.

A: During my eight years on the District 33 board of education, I sat on the policy committee where we reviewed policy made changes and presented to the full board.

We would discuss each policy and any changes that members wanted to make. My style is to listen to everyone, ask questions and discuss pros and cons of every change to new or current policy.

Getting all stakeholders opinions and finding an agreement that everyone can be happy with is the best way to set policy. You have to take your time and not rush into a decision that can do more harm then good.

Q: What makes you the best candidate for the job?

A: My blue collar back ground and my eight years of board of education experience make me the best candidate.

Q: What's one good idea you have to better your district that no one is talking about yet?

A: Let's talk about the trades and how to get students involved. Not everyone has to go to a four-year college.

Go to comments: 0 posted
Article Comments
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the "flag" link in the lower-right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.