For all the acrimony surrounding the District 96 school board election, it should be noted that this community is fortunate to have the pool of candidates that it does.
Candidate Robert McCormack is an engineer who has a record of dedicated service to our country. He has clearly expressed his view that individuals are better able to handle money than the government, and that his focus would be on management. Candidate Juliet Boyd reminds us that she is a lawyer with an eye for detail, and that she aims to reform existing arrangements with the teachers.
Candidate Dan Hunt points to his MBA education and IT experience as suitable preparation to take the reins as a steward for the district. Candidate Rich Regan has extensive experience dealing with various corps of performing artists, an expertise which may prove useful when navigating negotiations with numerous stakeholders in the community.
Candidate Jeff Miller holds a Ph.D. in physics and he has achieved much success in managing his own business. He aims to emulate the approaches of other successful districts such as Hinsdale, which call for coordinated, long-term planning with regards to funding, curriculum and logistics.
Candidate Lynda Murphy boasts many years of leadership experience as a PTO member and has professional experience in assessing the developmental progress of juveniles. She seeks a positive alignment of goals for all stakeholders in the district to be achieved by fostering collaboration between teachers, parents and administrators.
Candidate Shari Klyber has been a teacher to students of all levels (pre-school through college) and has graduate-level training in assessing the physiological impact of different instructional approaches on students.
She asserts that a well-educated populace is beneficial to all stakeholders of the community while advocating for strict oversight of finances and administrative accountability.
There is no discord amongst the candidates when it comes to four major issues: fiscal responsibility, remediation, class size and reconciliation. There is agreement amongst the candidates that the district should work with what they have and not ask for more funding from the community.
All candidates are aligned in their desire to see that the Lamberson issue is brought to a satisfactory conclusion for the district. There is agreement that the class size issue needs to be directly addressed and that further policy overrides to existing policy are not the solution. Lastly, all candidates seem to recognize the need to promote a culture of reconciliation between the community, the board and the administration.
Ultimately there appears to be agreement with regards to what needs to be done to advance the interests of District 96. The outstanding points of contention between the candidates are chiefly with regards to prioritization of the actions that need to be taken.
McCormack, Boyd, Hunt and Regan appear poised to first take on the business and management issues of the district with a systematic, technical approach.
Jeff Miller, Lynda Murphy and Shari Klyber may be expected to take a comprehensive approach to examine the dynamic relationship of the issues and then respond with a long-term plan.
Whichever approach you prefer, don’t forget to vote on April 7.
Daniela and Otto Miller