Below are candidate-submitted answers to a biographical survey Riverside-Brookfield Landmark sent out to all candidates running in this year’s elections.

Previous political experience: I have never sought or held elected office

Previous community involvement: I have served on the Auxiliary Board of the Art Institute of Chicago; I was President of the Board of Lutheran Social Services Metropolitan Chicago.

Education: Knox College, BA Economics – 1977; Harvard Law School, JD 1980

RBHS has made cuts to its budget in recent years, which have increased class sizes and decreased the number of teachers. What effect have these cuts had on the educational product at the high school?

I do not believe that the quality of the classroom education has been diminished. The unfortunate result has been a decrease in the breadth of extracurricular activities, which may have lessened the overall high school experience for some students. Earlier spending commitments were too far out of line with revenue sources, which I would work to avoid as a board member.

RBHS, despite its recent cuts, is still running a budget deficit. Do more cuts need to be made? Where?

I would hope that the budget deficit could be managed through cost containment, wise spending and managing the timing of spending.

Is there a need for RBHS to seek a property tax referendum to increase revenues? Why or why not?

Certainly new revenue would be welcome, but the community spoke loud and clear in defeating the referendum in 2011. I believe the message sent was that the Board needs to manage the affairs of the District without property tax increases. Of course, this will be difficult, but I would hope it would lead to a sustainable high quality education model.

What would you like to see in the next teachers’ contract? What would you change, if anything?

In keeping with cost containment, the next teachers contract is very important. We need to balance the need to keep our valuable and high quality staff in place with negotiation of a much more reasonable costing contract. Pay needs to be brought in line with the economic realities of our economy and community. Benefits need to be closely examined for cost control. The step pay increase structure needs to be looked at as part of the compensation picture. Further, we need to ensure that our Superintendent has the ability to execute decisions which will allow for the efficient running of the District, which may require tweaks to the management rights clause and other contract provisions.

Do you think the district should continue its pay-to-participate policy, or should that policy be changed? If so, how? Should athletic programs be cut?

In a word, yes. However, it needs to be further examined for its effects/impact. For example, the cost of participation in certain sports should reflect the costs the District incurs in participating in those sports. Creative ways to ensure that the cost for students who would like to participate, but cannot afford to pay, need to be further reviewed, and perhaps involve either Boosters or RBEF if appropriate. It is imperative that we foster participation and keep the breadth of programs that we can within our financial means to keep the overall high school experience for our students as rewarding as possible.

Do you think there should be a limit on the number of classes students can take in a given grading period? Should there be changes to the school’s graduation requirements? Why or why not?

As a new board member, I would need to hear the opinions of professional staff and leadership. I wouldn’t want to lower educational standards, but would hope the District could be flexible to meet the needs of its individual students as determined by the student, parents, educators and counselors. RB needs to prepare all of its students for what comes next, whether it be highly selective colleges, the workplace or public service.

What other issues do you believe are important for the next school board to address?

It’s not really an issue, but I believe that the school board should take advantage of the many talented people we have in our community, and seek input as appropriate as issues are faced. The board has benefitted from open input in the past, and I think it would strengthen both RB and the community’s awareness of what RB is doing.