Mark Nothdorf

Demographics

Republican

40

DeWitt, Iowa

Married, Michele

On the Record

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

I have been on the Board of Education in District 36 for approximately five years and I feel I have gained quite a lot of experiences in various areas. I have been on the teachers’ contract negotiating team, facilities committee, curriculum committee and a part of the strategic planning process. I was also part of the Superintendent search committee before I was a board member. As a school board member I have been to professional development seminars in the areas of school finance and curriculum. I am also active in the community by serving on the Wonder Lake boys’ baseball board and the Cub Scouts.

What are your top two or three priorities if elected?

My first priority would be in the area of finance. I have made it a goal since I have been on the board to promote a fiscally sound budget, while still ensuring the children receive a quality education. This has never been more important than now as schools continue to receive less and less aid from the state and federal levels. As the number of educational mandates (that are not funded) continues to climb, it is extremely important to find ways to think outside of the box in the terms of finance. My second priority would be in the area of curriculum. As I stated earlier, I feel a quality education is extremely important. I feel every child should be prepared for college upon graduating high school. The State of Illinois has adopted the Common Core State Standards which guide learning from kindergarten through graduation of high school. I want to help ensure that District 36 follows this path to help prepare the students for high school.

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

In this last tax levy vote I voted for the levy increase. I do understand that many people’s lives have been affected by the down economy, but I also feel I owe it to the children in the school to continue the level of education they have received. The state and federal aid has decreased the past few years and in addition to the increase in costs to operate a school including utilities, transportation, personnel costs and curriculum it forces more funding from the local tax payers. While I am not in favor of continually asking the tax payers for additional dollars, this is the funding system that has been created by the state.

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

I feel that the decisions made by the board are to be in the best interest of the children. While some of the decisions might not be popular with the community members, we do discuss them both in open and closed sessions and come to a consensus as a board as to what is best for the students. While it is nearly impossible to agree with every decision made by the board, it is imperative to stand behind and support all decisions made.

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

One area that needed to be addressed was the condition of the facility. There were many areas that were outdated and needed to be brought up to code. There were some areas that were a life safety concern as well. We used this project to also improve some other areas of the building. The overall efficiency of the building has been improved. With the previous technology upgrades and the building updates, it is our hope that the community will want to use the school for non-school related activities as well.

Why should voters elect you to office?

I feel that my track record shows that I am committed to making Wonder Lake a community of excellence in every aspect I can. My focus however tends to be with the youth of the community in regards to the school, baseball league and Cub Scouts organization. I know the parents of the students in District 36 as well as the other community members want the same thing that I do, for the children to succeed in life and to reach their highest potential possible.