Bachelor's Degree, Chemistry, Dominican University
Master's Degree, Chemistry, Marquette University
Other, Secondary Teacher Certification, Western Governors University
Adjunct Faculty , Western Governors University
On the Record
What experiences do you have that make you a good candidate for office?
I believe I am a good candidate for this office because of my service on the Board these past four years. I am proud of this Board and it has been a pleasure to serve the community. As a Board, tough decisions have been made but the District has achieved financial stability. I have worked with my peers and together we have avoided the path to state takeover and a successful 3 year teacher’s contract was negotiated. Unfortunately, our students were affected, but that is changing as specials are in the planning stages to be brought back. Technology has been improved with plans for further upgrades. This month, new language arts textbooks were just purchased to bring common materials to each classroom across the district. This will add a layer of stability as the Common Core Standards are implemented. While staying within a balanced budget, plans are in place to update math learning materials. I would truly like to serve for another four years to continue to help build a strong curriculum for our students within a fiscally sound framework.
What are your top two or three priorities if elected?
First, to ensure that music, art and PE classes as taught by certified teachers with endorsement in those areas are reintroduced at each grade level. Second, the District must continue to work within the limitations of a balanced budget. We will not go back to the days of deficit spending. Third, I have tried and will continue to try to find solutions for the fiscal problems that face us as a district. I believe that there does exist ways to structure your personal, payroll and benefits that would allow us to stretch our tax dollar without asking voters to increase the tax rate. We need to think outside the box because simply bringing back PE, music and art is not enough. I would like to see emphasis placed on gifted education, Band and foreign languages as well as the continuing effort to lower class sizes.
Would you support freezing your taxing district’s levy until housing prices rebound? Why or why not?
While I have voted to approve the full levy, I would support a freeze as long as people understand how much money the state has taken away from the District. The new revenue that the District receives each year from accepting the levy increase only offsets part of what the state has taken away. This money is very important in maintaining our current operating status. However, these are extremely hard times for our stakeholders and I realize that people are taxed out. I believe that if the school district was not bound by Illinois School Code, we could propose ways that would stretch our tax dollars without asking for additional revenue.
What one decision by the school board do you most disagree with and why?
The decision I struggle with is one that not only the Board of D26 has made but majority of Illinois school boards make. I disagree with the decision to pay any amount of an employee’s portion of TRS. This maybe come a bigger issue if the State shifts pension funding to the local districts.
What was the biggest accomplishment of the board in the past year?
What was the biggest accomplishment of the board in the past year? This year as the District’s financial situation continues to improve as a result of the tough financial decisions made in the three previous years, the Board has able to budget for new language arts textbooks for the entire District as well as a new roof for Three Oaks. The Board also prevented a Charter school that did not have a proven educational track record from forming in Cary which would have resulted in a negative financial impact on District 26.
Why should voters elect you to office?
I would appreciate a person’s vote because I will take into consideration the needs of all of our students and residents of Cary. Being a Board member is a balancing act requiring one to reach out to all stakeholders and understand everyone’s needs before taking a stance on an issue. I volunteer within the schools in order to understand the needs of the District and I am always available by email to talk with a community member. I will continue to work hard to make our schools educationally and fiscally sound.
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