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: None
Previous community experience: Cub Scout Leader Pack 90 LaGrange Park
Education: B.A. Business Administration Governors State University, University Park. Master of Arts in Teaching in Elementary Education, National Louis University, Chicago
What should the district do to improve access to technology for students?
In the changing educational environment of 21st century teaching, it is vital that the district improve student and staff access to technology. In my experience as a teacher in a classroom with a computer for each student, I have seen amazing gains made in student learning.
What are your thoughts on implementing a K through 8 foreign language programs in District 95?
It takes approximately five years for a student to become fluent in a language. A jump-start in grade school could assist our students in becoming fluent, but I would like to be sure this is not at the expense of other programs.
How should District 95 address and fund its ongoing infrastructure needs?
The current board has done a great job of staying within budget, which can be very difficult with the decrease of state funding. I would like to work with the current board to continue being fiscally responsible to our community.
What would you like to see in the next teachers’ contract? What would you change, if anything? District 95 has very hard working teachers who support their students and the school climate. The new teacher evaluations are going to be an important point in the upcoming contract.
What are your thoughts on District 95 possibly changing its grade-reporting system to one that’s standards-based?
To align the district to Illinois Common Core Standards District 95 will need to evaluate the current grade reporting system. This past year I have taught my class using Language Arts and Math Common Core Curriculum. The standards are a lot tougher than the current standards requiring students to not only answer questions but to support their reasoning. The goal of Common Core is to prepare our students for higher order thinking in college and work skills and our grade reporting should mirror these requirements.
What other important issues do you think the next school board will face, and how would you like to see those addressed?
Student safety, state funding, teacher evaluations and Illinois Common Core standards will be new issues the school board will need to address. I would like to involve the public in these issues. Our community needs to come together to support our school by letting the state know our children are important. I would like to see local businesses get involved at the school. My previous experience as a loan servicing manager was in real estate tax payment and calculations. Often I would have seniors or residents with no children ask why they needed to pay taxes to the school district. It is important for our residents to feel a part of our school climate. A great school district drives up the price of homes, which helps the districts businesses and homeowners. None of us can do this alone. It truly takes a community. We need to inform our residents that the school works for all of them.