Ryan Berka: 2023 Candidate for Wauconda Unit District 118 School Board
Age on Election Day: 39
Employer: Munson Ski and Marine
Previous offices held: N/A
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: Simply to safeguard my children's education. I'm new to the district but I've heard that there is a need to replenish support staff.
Q: What is the role of the school board in setting and monitoring curriculum?
A: The school board should set curriculum primarily with the assistance of the professionals, the teachers. They know the best way to meet the needs of the children because they have a unique perspective that can't be reproduced from outside the classroom.
Q: Are there curriculum issues within the district that you feel need particular attention from the board?
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: Everyone should have a voice but the school board should also provide stability in the face of anything radical.
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 would be firmly on the side of an abundance of caution. Precautions that keep our kids safe are of the utmost importance.
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: I've worked with very diverse groups and I like to make sure anyone that wants to can contribute. Not all ideas work out but especially in the brainstorming stage, almost everything is worth considering.
Q: What makes you the best candidate for the job?
A: I have children in the district so I am vested. Nothing is more important to me than my children and making sure they get a quality education is my number 1 priority.
Q: What's one good idea you have to better your district that no one is talking about yet?
A: Getting support for the teachers even if it's through less popular means. Just taking a quick glance at the pay rates, it appears that we are competing with the likes of McDonald's. That needs to be rectified.