Juris Doctor, Law, University of Wisconsin - Madison
Bachelor's Degree, Journalism, University of Illinois - Urbana
Attorney, Woodstock Legal Consultants
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On the Record
What experiences do you have that make you a good candidate for office?
I am the product of an environment emphasizing academic achievement, and my goal is to provide the opportunity for every child to achieve his potential. My family members include highly regarded college professors and teachers, as well as professionals. While living in Woodstock, I have served in leadership positions including presidents of the McHenry County Bar Association and the Woodstock Morning Rotary Club. My education views were formed by attending school through college at the University of Illinois and law school at University of Wisconsin. I was a paralegal studies instructor at the College of Lake County for several years. Prior to attending law school, I volunteered for a literacy program and I observed school boards as a newspaper reporter. My career as an attorney places me in direct contact with the struggles Woodstock residents endure with paying their bills amid rising expenses and stagnant incomes. As a parent and occasional volunteer, I have also observed many of the struggles the schools face.
What are your top two or three priorities if elected?
First: Finding a quality replacement for our outgoing superintendent. Second: Harmonizing financial choices with academic achievement.
Would you support freezing your taxing district’s levy until housing prices rebound? Why or why not?
It is politically popular to answer “yes.” However, I believe the board must consider its history before it commits regarding taxes. The considerations regarding whether to raise the levy should include whether the board has raised the levy recently and repeatedly; the level of cost savings achievable by personnel replacement and retirement; cost savings that can be achieved through expense management; income that can be raised through rental of school facilities to outside groups; the level of state and federal aid, including the timing and reliability of the state meeting its past and current obligations; and the expected impact upon programs if the levy is not raised. The levy is not the rate. The levy is the amount of money the district needs annually to pay costs and there is already a cap on the district’s tax rate by imposed by state law.
What one decision by the school board do you most disagree with and why?
It is not constructive to criticize the past board for its decisions.
What was the biggest accomplishment of the board in the past year?
The board’s completion of teacher and support staff contracts during the past year is commendable.
Why should voters elect you to office?
I aim for the expansion of excellence in Woodstock high schools so both schools land on the U.S. News and World Report top schools list. I aim for continued growth in advanced placement programs, and exploration into the international baccalaureate program. I aim for ongoing support of the district’s excellent fine arts and other extracurricular programs. I aim for high expectations for parental involvement in their children’s educations. Improving education does not have to lead to increasing the budget, but will require resolve, curiosity and creativity.
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