Master's Degree, Education, University of Illinois, Champaign/Urbana
educator, Harvard CUSD 50
On the Record
What experiences do you have that make you a good candidate for office?
I have served on the D200 Board of Education for the past 12 years. I know this district and community very well. In addition to serving on the board, I am a parent and also a classroom teacher in a neighboring district. I have the unique perspective of seeing education from a variety of viewpoints.
What are your top two or three priorities if elected?
My top priority would be to locate and hire a new superintendent to replace Ellyn Wrzeski who is retiring after the 2013-2014 school year. She will have served our district and community for 13 years and does a tremendous job in moving this district forward. I feel that prior board experience will be very advantageous when conducting this search. The second priority will be to make sure that D200 remains fiscally sound while providing a high quality educational program. We need to plan not only for the upcoming school year, but for the future of our district. In order to do this, we need to make sure that a conservative budget is developed and adhered to due to the uncertainly of state funds.
Would you support freezing your taxing district’s levy until housing prices rebound? Why or why not?
This is not a simple yes or no question. There are many factors that need to be taken into account. For example, if the State of Illinois continues to decrease revenues to local districts in an untimely and unpredictable manner, it would be extremely difficult for districts to freeze their taxing levy in order to maintain a high standard of academic excellence. If the State of Illinois would keep our funding level stable and guarantee it for 3 to 5 years, then I could easily consider supporting a tax freeze due to the fact that we could plan better for the future. Again, this is not a simple question and it would need to be discussed at length. All districts will need to determine how this would affect not only the current situation, but also how it would affect the future of education in their own district.
What one decision by the school board do you most disagree with and why?
Since I joined the school board in 2001, I strongly support every decision that has been made. Not every board member sees issues in the same way. We take the time to discuss the pros and cons of each issue prior to making a decision; once a decision is made, I stand by that decision and support it.
What was the biggest accomplishment of the board in the past year?
I believe that our biggest accomplishment has been continuing to provide a high quality educational program while keeping within our budget.
Why should voters elect you to office?
I am a known individual and have helped lead D200 for the past 12 years. I feel that it would be advantageous for the citizens of this community to support the incumbents so they can assist in the search for Mrs. Wrzeski’s successor. The current board is solid and works well together in making decisions that determine the future of our district and the education of our children. Hiring the right superintendent is a key factor in what direction our district takes. The current board has helped create and support many strong programs within District 200 such as full-day kindergarten, our highly successful dual language program, and strong vocational programs to name just a few. If re-elected, I will continue to support the forward-thinking efforts of our district in order to deliver the best education that we can offer, both economically and academically.
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