Cary Community Consolidated School District 26 Board
My experience both in the school district and as Vice President of a local business makes me ready to meet the challenges that face District 26. I recently served on the District’s Steering Committee. This group, made up of different stakeholders in the community, helped establish new goals, values, vision and mission statements for the district. These were recently adopted by the current school board and is where I found my voice. I have also for the last year served on the District Community Engagement Panel. As Vice President of a local business, I am well aware of the challenges for running a business in a volatile economy; uncertain revenue, rising health care costs, payroll and having to solve challenging problems quickly.
I am a good candidate for office because at this time, I am the the only mother with children in the district who is running. I am living firsthand the experiences and consequences our educational directives employ.
I have a background in education, having taught first grade reading, and then second and first grades respectively.
Currently, I work as a Developmental Therapist in McHenry County, and transition children from the 0-3 Early Intervention program into Early Childhood education, often in District 26, which allows me both a professional relationship with the district as well as a personal one.
Outside of my work and education experiences, I was selected by my pastors at Cary Methodist Church to serve on the Staff Parish Committee, which is the committee that oversees relationships among parishioners, Church staff, and the Pastors. We oversee budgeting for the Church\\\'s fiscal year, including salaries for all Church staff. The committee also engages in mediating conflicts that arise within the church and among employees.
I’ve been one of the only community members to regularly attend D26 committee and Board meetings and I’m also currently a member of the CEC panel.
I’ve been involved and want to do more. I currently sit on the school board’s Community Engagement Committee and most recently on the Steering Committee. It was the latter that led me to become a candidate for the school board. The Steering Committee brought together teachers, administrators, board members and community members to create a new mission, vision and goals for the District. Each person and group had different ideas, but consensus delivered a product everyone was proud of. The new Mission and Vision can be found on the District’s website: www.cary26.org
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.
I have had extensive project management experience and have experience in the prioritization of multiple projects under conditions of limited resources. Through teaching assistantships in graduate school and serving as an adjunct professor for the University of Iowa Evening MBA program, I have some classroom experience.
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I am an excellent listener. I think that is the most important quality for a negotiator. The board needs to help the administration understand the desires of the community and the teachers and students. I feel that the current administration has been antagonistic to the educators. This does not benefit the school system. I am also an excellent problem solver. Which tool do you want to use? Edward De Bono’s thinking hats? Role reversal? I understand psychology, negotiating and how to create win-win scenarios. I understand what inspires educators and students. I know how to motivate administrators. I think these are the correct attitudes to apply to problems as a school board member.
I’m in my eighth year of service on the Cary D-26 school board. I have consistently focused on top notch education for our students, and fiscal responsibility for our taxpayers. I’ve been on the Policy Committee all eight years, and have been committee chair for six years. I’ve authored many “good governance” policies that have kept D-26 from being in the news for outrageous or incompetent spending, or other scandals that some districts have gone through.
I’ve completed the Illinois Attorney General’s Open Meetings Act training. Additionally, I have over 25 years of customer service and business experience, and training in quality techniques such as Digital Six Sigma. I’ve been personally responsible for budgets as large as $12 million.