On the Record
What experiences do you have that make you a good candidate for office?
For the past 9 years I have served on the McHenry District 15 school board. During this time I have been part of a team that has raised levels of student achievement while implementing the many changes that are occurring in education. Additionally I was part of the strategic planning team that set goals for the District. As a current board member I now am in a position to ensure that these goals are a priority and that District initiatives continue to address the needs outline in the strategic plan. My 9 years of history with the District coupled with my job as an elementary school principal allows me to bring a unique perspective to the role of a board member.
What are your top two or three priorities if elected?
With the adoption of the Common Core Standards, the manner in which students learn and what they will learn is drastically changing. It is important that we continue to provide training and support for teachers as they begin to implement curriculum changes in order for students to not only be successful on the new state assessments, but also demonstrate learning in new and unique ways. We need to continue to provide a platform for teachers to collaborate and design curriculum that best reflects the Common Core Standards. Because the Common Core holds students to high achievement levels and will ask students to be deep thinkers and problem solvers, it is important that we expose students to a variety of technology resources that will allow them the opportunity to take an active part in their learning. Technology not only serves as a resource but it also allows for more engagement with the curriculum. It is important that the District continue to explore ways in which technology and curriculum can coincide for the benefit for student learning. These are the most important issues facing student achievement and are a priority for continued student growth.
Would you support freezing your taxing district’s levy until housing prices rebound? Why or why not?
No I would not support freezing the District’s tax levy. Because schools cannot rely on the State of Illinois to pay what is owed to schools in general state aide, freezing of the District tax levy would negatively impact District finances. Unfortunately, until our State legislators rewrite the way schools are funded in the State of Illinois, property owners will continue to take the brunt of financing schools.
What one decision by the school board do you most disagree with and why?
Believe it or not, there isn’t a decision that I disagree with. Decisions by board members are made through analysis of data. All decisions are made in the best interest of students, staff and community. While not all decisions are easy to make, I respect the board’s decisions and how decisions are made.
What was the biggest accomplishment of the board in the past year?
This past year the board along with the Teachers Association bargained a 5 year teachers’ contract; allowing District administration to do long range financial planning.
Why should voters elect you to office?
As a parent of a District 15 student, I am committed to seeing that students are afforded an opportunity to grow academically, socially and emotionally. With so many changes in education on the horizon, board members need to vigilant that District staff is provided the needed tools and training to educate students for life in the 21st Century. My nine years as a board member has allowed me to see the path that District 15 is traveling and electing me to the school board will ensure that we continue to provide rich learning opportunities to students by not only preparing them for high school but also by instilling essential skills needed for lifelong learning.
Qualls's Current Race
- Illinois State Rep. Mike Tryon will not seek re-election in 2016
- McHenry County Board Chairman Joe Gottemoller announces election campaign
- 5-member task force will handle McHenry County township consolidation effort
- McHenry County Board member Tina Hill announces recorder run
- McHenry County State's Attorney Lou Bianchi to seek a 4th term