Joe Dunne: 2023 Candidate for Lake Villa District 41 School Board
Town: Lake Villa
Age on Election Day: 58
Occupation: Office Manager
Previous offices held: Board Member since 2010
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 to be re-elected because I am invested in the current and future students who do and will attend district #41. I am committed to making student first and fiscally responsible decisions for all stakeholders.
Q: What is the role of the school board in setting and monitoring curriculum?
A: Our role is to ask informed questions of the staff who we have hired to make these decisions. It is also our role to stay up to date with all policies and expectations within the state and federal guidelines. It is important that we are staying current and choosing curriculum to stay up to date for our 21st century learners who will be in careers that don't even exist yet.
Q: Are there curriculum issues within the district that you feel need particular attention from the board?
A: It is a priority that we improve our test scores. The pandemic has impacted student learning and we need to ensure that our curriculum allows for all learners to become successful and productive citizens. It is imperative that we continue the rotation of the curriculum reviews in order to ensure all areas are considered equally.
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: It is important that every vote I give is informed. When I don't understand or may not agree, I will come prepared with questions so that I can give an informed vote every time. I will make data informed decisions and ask for further data, if needed. Every vote from me will be for Lake Villa School District #41 as a whole and not for a personal agenda.
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: It is a #1 priority for learners to be face to face with educators any time it is safely possible. We have more data, technology, and medical knowledge than we had in March 2020. The board must use all we have learned to ensure all learners can attend school in person.
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: It is critical that every voice is heard, data is used in all decisions, and students are at the forefront in all discussions. Some policies are guided at the state and federal levels. In these cases, it is our role to determine how to put it into practice in the most practical and student first way possible.
Q: What makes you the best candidate for the job?
A: I have 13 years of experience being a successful board member. I have proven to be a dedicated, honest, and collaborative board member with every vote. I have served on multiple committees, volunteered for school events, attended many staff events, and will continue to put students at the front of every decision I make. I have lived in the community for 24 years and plan to be a community member for years to come. I believe that a successful public school system is at the heart of a community where people choose to raise their families.
Q: What's one good idea you have to better your district that no one is talking about yet?
A: It is critical that we continue to foster student well being and mental health in multiple avenues. I will continue to ensure that our district grows the Leader in Me program, that we ensure there is student voice when making decisions, and continue the discussions about ensuring the most up to date technology is in the hands of our students. It is also very important that we continue to retain and hire the best staff possible for our students during a time that our nation is experiencing educator shortages.