Below are candidate-submitted answers to a survey Landmark sent out to all candidates running in this year’s elections.
Office sought: District 102 School Board
Previous political experience: None
Previous community involvement: Illinois Saint Andrew Society – My husband and I are active members (he is a board member) of the Illinois Saint Andrew Society of the City of Chicago.
Grace Episcopal Church – My husband, children and I are members of Grace Episcopal Church in Hinsdale where I actively participate in the Grace Women’s group.
Concordia Center for Literacy – I actively support and fundraise for the year old Concordia University Center for Literacy which serves students in Oak Park River Forest District 97 and the surrounding area in afterschool and summer reading intervention programs.
My children are active in AYSO and Cub Scouts.
Doctor of Philosophy (2005) Loyola University Chicago
Research Methodology – Educational Leadership – Concentration: Quantitative and Mixed Methods
Master of Arts (2001) Saint Xavier University – Chicago, Illinois
Secondary Education – Middle School Endorsement
Bachelor of Science (2000) Principia College – Elsah, Illinois
Biology and Natural Resources – Environmental Education
DIRECTOR OF ACADEMIC RESEARCH & CHAIR OF THE INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARD
I have been employed by Concordia University Chicago as a fulltime faculty member since January of 2005. I have held several positions at the university in addition to my teaching and am currently serving as Chair of the Institutional Review Board (IRB) which reviews the ethical merit and federal compliance of all research proposals generated by students, faculty and staff.
PROFESSOR (FULL) OF RESEARCH, TENURED
I received tenure and am a full professor of research. Over the past ten years I have taught courses including multiple sections of Quantitative Analysis, Qualitative Analysis, Mixed Methods, Research Design, Advanced Statistics, Survey Development, Research Based Decision Making, and School Evaluation and Change at both the masters and doctoral level. I have also developed and taught several online courses using Blackboard as a certified faculty member with online training.
Why do you want to be a school board member?
I am a Mom who wants to be an active participant in my children’s education and our community. I do have some teaching experience that may or may not be helpful, and I have a great deal of experience with teachers and administrators and the research related to schooling.
I have experiences and expertise that I think could be helpful as a board navigates curricular, administrative, and financial issues; and, I come to the process truly believing that stability and continuity are of most importance as the district sees a new leader take office.
How many school board meetings have you attended in the past year?
I have listened to several of the Board Meetings online.
What is the most important issue facing the next school board, and what should the solution be?
Finances – With over 3,000 students, six schools, hundreds of teachers/administrators/staff and decreasing contributions from the state and a community that already feels that property taxes are high, how do we pay for it all? This is an issue facing all districts, but for districts like ours, where we do and must rely on local sources of funding, the question of how to pay for it all is significant. And if not all, how to pay for what can be paid for becomes critical. With a potential referendum and new Superintendent the board will be charged with developing support for what will undoubtedly be an unpopular item on the ballot. While I have no one specific solution, I do feel that the issue will be best addressed through collaboration and communication with the community.
If elected, what changes would you like to have accomplished by the end of your term?
A continued emphasis on communication and collaboration is a high priority for me. I do not, however, enter this race with a particular agenda.
If elected, what changes would you most strongly resist?
District 102 is known for its high quality well rounded programs. I would resist any changes that would take away from students’ experiences and ability to grow. I am also sensitive to the impact decisions have on the work of educators. I would resist changes that would make teaching more difficult.
What other issues facing the school district are of interest to you? Why?
Accountability – Each year the pressures related to academic performance increase. Federally the measures of AYP (Adequate Yearly Progress) become more difficult each year. Parents’ demands for programming and technology in and outside of the classroom increase each year. Emphasizing and communicating appropriate and meaningful measures of success will continue to be a challenge for the district.
Change – With the selection of a new Superintendent this Spring to take office in July of 2015 and the election of new board members, change is something the district will have to navigate. One of the strengths of the district is its continued levels of performance. I moved to the district specifically for its schools. District 102 and LTHS have a long history of providing high quality well rounded programs. Maintaining stability and continuity during a transition of leadership at the highest levels of the district will be a significant challenge.