Jennifer Crick

Demographics

Republican

38

Itasca, IL

Bachelor's Degree, Elementary Education, Elmhurst College

Other, State Credential: Developmental Therapy

Developmental Therapist, Self

Married, John Crick

John, 11

Nathan, 9

Madilynn, 7

On the Record

What experiences do you have that make you a good candidate for office?

I am a good candidate for office because at this time, I am the the only mother with children in the district who is running. I am living firsthand the experiences and consequences our educational directives employ. I have a background in education, having taught first grade reading, and then second and first grades respectively. Currently, I work as a Developmental Therapist in McHenry County, and transition children from the 0-3 Early Intervention program into Early Childhood education, often in District 26, which allows me both a professional relationship with the district as well as a personal one. Outside of my work and education experiences, I was selected by my pastors at Cary Methodist Church to serve on the Staff Parish Committee, which is the committee that oversees relationships among parishioners, Church staff, and the Pastors. We oversee budgeting for the Church\\\'s fiscal year, including salaries for all Church staff. The committee also engages in mediating conflicts that arise within the church and among employees.

What are your top two or three priorities if elected?

MY absolute number one issue is reduction in class size. Projected for 2013-2014 school year, there are still classes in D26 which have over 30 students. If we reduce the class sizes by as few as 6 students (so 24 kids per class), there is a potential 25% increase in direct teacher/student one on one contact time. Quantitatively, this potential increase in one on one can only enhance student performance on the newly implemented core standards. Tied closely to this issue is the restoration of “specials”, or art, phys. education, and music programs. There should absolutely be a tiered and balanced approach, which allows class size reduction with reintroduction of programs. The second priority I have maintains that it has become apparent that the current board has had issues laying out clear and detailed facts on decisions rendered. One of my main goals would be to ensure the accuracy of the supporting details behind each decision, and to make sure each stakeholder in the district has access to information regarding and understanding of key decisions. There needs to be clearly laid out action plans and accountability with said action plans. These are areas in which our district has been lacking for a long time now.

Would you support freezing your taxing district’s levy until housing prices rebound? Why or why not?

On my street alone there are at least 5 empty homes; which translates into fewer people paying the overall tax lien for the district. Sadly, this trend doesn’t end on my street, therefore I absolutely cannot support raising taxes in this community and asking more from people until the housing market rebounds.

What one decision by the school board do you most disagree with and why?

I disagree with the Board’s decision to award Brian Coleman, the Superintendent, a five year contract. So far, I have only seen Mr. Coleman support closing schools, cutting programs, allowing large class sizes, while maintaining a shortened school day. I\\\'ve also sat in meetings where his support staff who are paid at director level positions have presented subpar plans for the future of the district with regards to technology and curriculum basics. There needs to be some accountability for the decimation of the reputation of District 26, not bonuses, pay raises, and, with a 5 year contract, the assumption that all of the aforementioned is A-Okay.

What was the biggest accomplishment of the board in the past year?

As I am a member of the Community Engagement Panel, I have appreciated the opportunity to engage in constructive discussions regarding various issues that arise within the district with the members of the board. CEC meetings are the singular instance at which the Board seems open to ideas and input from the community at large.

Why should voters elect you to office?

As an advocate for the children in the community, as well as a mother of three young children in the district, I have a vested interest in creating an educational environment that restores the reputation of District 26 to what it once was.