Zivit Blonder: 2023 Candidate for Northbrook/Glenview District 30 school board
Age on Election Day: 48
Occupation: Travel consultant
Previous offices held: District 30 school board member, 2019-present
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 re-election because I believe in our schools. We have recently focused on our facilities and now I am excited to continue our work in ensuring that we are meeting our students' needs academically, socially and from a mental health perspective. We have recently hired a new superintendent for the district and I am looking forward to working with her as she transitions into our community.
Q: What is the role of the school board in setting and monitoring curriculum?
A: We are lucky in our district to have top flight administrators who guide the school curriculum. We as a board partner with our administration in ensuring that what is taught in the classroom mirrors the values of our community.
Q: Are there curriculum issues within the district that you feel need particular attention from the board?
A: Math and language arts in our schools rank amongst the top in the area as measured by test scores and academic achievement. Our present focus is on integrating new ways of addressing the social and emotional issues confronting students and staff into our core curriculum.
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: As a board member, my role is to be responsive to the community, and to listen to the messages that we are provided by community members. Board members bring the information that we gather back to the administration for consideration.
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: We learned to plan ahead and be proactive; not to wait until the last minute and be reactive. Open communication is key.
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 am a listener and consensus builder. I am always open to hearing other viewpoints and considering things from a variety of differing perspectives. The key is finding common ground and then unifying behind whatever decision is made.
Q: What makes you the best candidate for the job?
A: I have held a wide variety of roles in the district prior to being elected to the board in 2019 through which I have developed extensive relationships throughout our community. My strength is community and my ability to work as part of a team. For the past thirteen years I have been involved in all aspects of our school community as a parent, room parent, PTO President and school board member, amongst others. My knowledge of the families who comprise our community is useful as the district interacts with parents, students and others in our community.
Q: What's one good idea you have to better your district that no one is talking about yet?
A: Evaluating ways to expand our language offerings and fine arts curriculum.