Juris Doctor, Attorney, John Marshall Law School
Bachelor's Degree, Business/Finance, Drake University
High School, Cary-Grove Community High School
Attorney, Camille A. Goodwin, Attorney at Law
Married, Daniel Hofmann
Russell Hofmann, 23
Morgan Hofmann, 20
On the Record
What experiences do you have that make you a good candidate for office?
I have lived in the Woodstock area since 1987, and was raised and educated primarily in McHenry County. I am currently a member of the District 200 School Board, and have been for the last 8 years. I also own my own law practice in Woodstock since 1992. All of this means that I am very knowledgeable in the economic needs and resources of the school district and the tax payers, and what it takes to continue to provide a quality education that will benefit the students of the District and enhance the value of our community. I do not need time to learn how to manage the resources of the District; I have already done that. With me, the voters have a candidate who is knowledgeable, financially responsible and resourceful, and who has already been part of the planning to address upcoming and long term issues facing the District.
What are your top two or three priorities if elected?
Our superintendent is retiring. Ellyn Wreski has been an excellent leader of our District, finding and managing key people to implement a vision of sound fiscal management and improving student achievement. It is imperative to find a strong visionary to replace her, particularly in light of the continuing financial woes of the State. Financial management of the District is always a priority, and increasingly more difficult with the uncertainty and frequent delinquency of payments by the state, not to mention the uncertainty of what the state will do about the Teacher’s Retirement. Not least of all is continuing to improve student achievement and providing students with a quality education that provides them the opportunity for success in college, tech school or the work force upon graduation. Higher academic standards not only benefit the student and student’s family, but increase the economic attractiveness and quality of life in the communities served by District 200.
Would you support freezing your taxing district’s levy until housing prices rebound? Why or why not?
School budgeting in these economic times is as uncertain as budgeting for a family with job uncertainty. Where before the District could rely on the state paying it’s share and the availability of federal and state grants to make up what the levy did not cover, that is no longer the case. While I have been on the Board, we have chosen to refund building bonds from the previous referendum, which has had the effect of reducing the bond levy in an attempt to offset, at least partially, the increase in the tax levy caused by the decrease in residential assessed values. This allows us to maintain needed funds in the main budgetary accounts directly supporting education without decreasing the levy but while still decreasing the burden on the tax payer. I intend to continue to seek these sort of creative options to benefit the tax payer and the District in the future.
What one decision by the school board do you most disagree with and why?
I can’t say that we, as a Board, have made a decision that I disagreed with in the last 8 years. There have been hard decisions, such as passing the levy, but since we have been able to diminish the impact on tax payers through reduction of the bond levy, this decision was acceptable. It has also been difficult, these last couple of years, laying off teachers and staff where we have needed to in order to remain fiscally responsible. However, because we successfully negotiated union contracts with minimal increases, these reductions in staff have been minimal. We also decided to freeze adding additional extra- or co-curricular programs requiring District funding. This was a difficult but necessary decision to reduce the strain on the District, and therefore, community, resources. Overall, the current Board is very thoughtful and thorough in its policy discussions. This gives me, as a Board member, the assurance that difficult decisions are approached from all angles, with a thorough look at alternatives before a vote.
What was the biggest accomplishment of the board in the past year?
Our biggest accomplishment has been and currently is providing a quality education with continuing improvement in academic standards and opportunities for our students, while remaining fiscally responsible to the community. We have accomplished this through providing continuing education and training to our teachers and support staff, maintaining appropriate class sizes for the respective developmental ages of the students as well as a properly tailored curriculum. Added to that, we have come to understand that there is a close correlation between extra- and co-curricular activity participation and high academic achievement and continue to offer a reasonable number of these opportunities for students. We have also continued to expand our career and technical study opportunities for those students not looking to attend a 4 year college or university, and many of these programs are in cooperation with MCC as well as local businesses.
Why should voters elect you to office?
I am well known in the community as a parent and as a businesswoman. I have been on the School Board for 8 years, during which time the community has learned that I will listen to their wants, needs and hardships, and will consider their point of view in any decision making. I have done quality work with this School Board, and the voters can be assured that I will continue to do so.
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