Below are candidate-submitted answers to a biographical survey Riverside-Brookfield Landmark sent out to all candidates running in this year’s elections.
Contact information: firstname.lastname@example.org
Previous political experience: Current School Board President. Board member past 4 years.
Previous community experience:
-United States Air Force Academy Northern Illinois Parent Club Vice President
-North Stars Hockey (Nazareth Academy, IC Catholic Prep, Riverside-Brookfield Hockey Club) Board Co-Vice President and RB Representative
-Cub Scout Leader for students at Brook Park
First Grade Teacher District 100 South Berwyn
Education: B.A. Business Administration, Governors State University
Master of Arts in Teaching, National-Louis University, Chicago
English as a Second Language Endorsement, Dominican University
Why are you running for a seat on District 95 school board?
As a graduate of District 95 and a life long resident of Lagrange Park I believe that a school district is what drives a community. My goal as School Board President is to ensure that we are fiscally responsible while providing the best possible education for our children. I grew up in this community and purchased my childhood house. My husband and I bought our house in Lagrange Park because we wanted to ensure our three children attended great schools and grow up in a supportive community.
Do you support the plan to expand Brook Park School and renovate S.E. Gross School? If so, why? If not, why not?
I fully support the plan to expand Brook Park School and renovate S.E. Gross. The board has worked diligently reviewing many options to determine the best plan for our students and community. Due to our great schools and community we have seen a huge increase in enrollment. With the expanded space we will be able to provide learning space for our students while also enabling the community space to hold meetings and athletic practices after school hours.
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?
The administration and staff have been proactive in tracking student growth using MAP scores and moving to standards based reporting. Tracking student growth is a more accurate method of showing student achievement and finding ways to improving instruction. PARCC, is only a snap shot of one day of student performance. District 95 students have preformed well on both the PARCC and MAP tests, but there is always room to improve. The board has worked with administration on a comprehensive plan to integrate technology to enhance learning.
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?
Technology gives our students the opportunity to be global learners. As a teacher in a 1:1 Apple Distinguished school district I have first hand experience in the ways that technology can enhance learning. As the Technology Committee Chairperson on the school board I was able to work with administration to increase the amount of technology available to our students and staff. We currently have computer carts for each grade at Brook Park School and a computer cart with 30 computers and 25 IPads for the STEM Scope science program at Gross School. My goal as a board member would be to support the purchase of additional carts at both schools, while providing a budget line item for computer upgrades and support. Due to my personal experience, I know the importance of providing support for the teachers and to ensure that we have the funds set aside for the replacement cycle of technology.
Are there programs District 95 could be providing to students that it does not already provide? If so, how might those programs be implemented?
Two opportunities I would like for our students would be full day kindergarten and a language program. The proposed increase space at both schools includes the building of full day kindergarten classrooms. We have also created a budget for staff and supplies once the classrooms are built. In the area of foreign language, I would like to see our district provide more than one language and start as early as kindergarten. As a teacher in a bilingual first grade classroom, I see first hand the benefits of knowing more than one language. Young learners become proficient faster, which will assist them later to become career ready. It generally takes a student six years to become proficient in a language, by giving our students an early beginning we are encouraging them to be successful.
What other issues are important to you as a school board candidate? How would you advocate for them as a board member?
As a board member my number one priority is to ensure we are providing the best possible education for our students while remaining fiscally responsible. My job is to support our administration and staff with the tools and training they need as well as working to ensuring we capture all state and federal funding that is available for our district.
Technology is the other area I would advocate for as a board member. Our students need the opportunity to use technology to enhance their learning. I would work to continue our long term technology plan and support the district in capturing Erate and other funding sources to support this initiative.