Scott E. Encher

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

Age: 46

Previous political experience: None. 

Previous community experience:

Served a five-year term with the Village of Brookfield’s Parks and Recreation Commission, including two years as Commission Chairperson; 

Chairperson of Citizens for D95, a ballot initiative committee supporting the School District 95 Facility Referendum 

Occupation: Trial attorney

Education:

B.S. (De Paul University)

J.D. (The John Marshall Law School) 

Why are you running for a seat on District 95 school board? 

I am running for a seat on the District 95 school board for a variety of reasons. First and foremost, having two children attending the district, I have a vested interest in working to preserve and improve the quality of our school system for them and all of our community. Additionally, having seen my eldest child go through the district and graduate last year, I can personally attest to the impact and results of a great school district.           

I am also running because I believe that my business and life experience can be a benefit to the board and to the community. I believe that a thriving school district is found where parents, teachers, administrators, and the district’s residents work in concert for the benefit of the students and the community.

Lastly, I sincerely believe in providing the highest quality public education for our current and future students. Public education is the cornerstone to a successful community. All of us benefit from a great school system. Given our current political environment, it is my desire to work to ensure that the students of District 95 are provided with the best education available.

Do you support the plan to expand Brook Park School and renovate S.E. Gross School? If so, why? If not, why not? 

As Chairperson of Citizens for D95, I whole-heartedly support the plan to expand Brook Park School and renovate S.E. Gross School. The expansion and renovation are needed to allow the district to meet the needs of our current students. Further, demographic data suggests that our district will continue to grow in the near future and we must meet the needs of those future students. This plan is well-conceived and is a financially responsible way to meet the needs of the district. 

Additionally, I believe that the expansion to provide full-day kindergarten will be a tremendous asset to the district and the community. This program will allow for the district to more fully serve the needs of the working families of the district.

What do you think about standardized (PARCC) test scores and academic performance at schools in District 95? What areas do you believe could be improved and what action can the school board take to help improve student achievement?

I believe that District 95 continues to grow and improve as newer standardized testing evolves. As with any situation, improvements can always be made. However, when coupled with other data such as MAP testing and the number of District 95 students enrolled in honors classes at Riverside Brookfield High School, the academic performance of the district’s students is strong.

The board can continue to provide the financial and technological resources to the faculty, staff, and students to adapt to the ever changing nature of standardized testing. This support will result in the continued excellence already seen in the district. 

How does District 95 integrate technology into the classroom? What can be done to expand the integration of technology at the classroom level? Is there a wish to implement such initiatives as a 1-to-1 program? Why or why not?

Having been a resident of the district for the last 16 years, I have seen the expansion of the use of technology in the classroom. I believe that the district continues to amplify the use of classroom technology. The use of computers and tablets by the students grows every year. Multimedia platforms are integrated into the classrooms at Brook Park. 

It would be my desire to see the district continue to expand its use of classroom-based technology. In the uncertain financial future of the State of Illinois, it is imperative that the district work diligently to seek every source of available funding to provide its students with the technological resources to thrive. 

I would like to fully explore the feasibility of implementing a 1-to-1 program in the district. I believe that this system would further aid in the educational development of our students and further coordinate our educational plans with Riverside Brookfield High School. 

Are there programs District 95 could be providing to students that it does not already provide? If so, how might those programs be implemented?

In addition to the full-day kindergarten that would be implemented following the successful passage of the facility referendum, I would support expansion of foreign language programs for students in the district. Given the constraints of the school day, this would most likely be implemented as an extra-curricular program. Additionally, I would work to have the district’s curriculum to continue development of STEAM-focused classes and programs. 

What other issues are important to you as a school board candidate? How would you advocate for them as a board member? 

It is important to me that our school district continues to strive to provide the highest quality education for the children of our community. It is important to me that our school district ensures that the curriculum presented to our students is based upon science and evidence. It is important to me that the district provides a safe and secure learning environment for all of its students, regardless of their race, color, religion, creed, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, or ancestry. It is important for me that our school board, our faculty, our staff, our administration, our students’ parents and guardians, and our community at-large work together for the benefit of our students.

I would advocate for each of these issues by being a conduit for all of the interested parties in our district. I would advocate in support of these positions with the other members of the board and strive to reach a consensus to maximize the benefit to the students. I would advocate for these issues by making sure that appropriate and transparent discussion and debate occur so that an informed decision can be made.