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:
Over the past 13 years in the community, I have volunteered at school activities, participated in and hosted PTC events. Several years ago, I was a member of the Parent Advisory Committee and the Delegate Assembly. My presence has ebbed and flowed over the years as work and family needs change and evolve, but I have listened to the past two years of Board meeting recordings and hope I have the opportunity to serve our school community. Within the community, I have volunteered for BEDS, coached volleyball, and coordinated Girl Scout cookie sales for several years.
B.A. in Elementary Education from Purdue University
M.Ed. in Instructional Leadership from University of Illinois at Chicago
Endorsements: Reading Specialist K-12 and English Learners
I have worked in Elmhurst for the past five years, I am currently 7th grade English teacher and Reading Interventionist in Elmhurst. Previously, I worked in Chicago Public Schools for 14 years in various roles include 5-8th grade teacher, Reading Specialist, and Curriculum Director at a high school.
Why do you want to be a school board member?
I am running for school board because education is my passion and I want to be a leader in the continued success of our district. I have been a parent of D102 students for the past 8 years and currently have a 7th grader at Park and a 4th grader at Cossitt. I am committed to making thoughtful decisions that take into consideration the needs of all stakeholders including, students, parents, staff, and taxpayers.
How many school board meetings have you attended in the past year? What has been your impression the board’s effectiveness?
I have attended 2 since being slated by the Delegate Assembly, but have listened to every podcasts from last school year and this school year before deciding to run.
I think the board has been effective at working towards accomplishing goals outline in the Strategic Plan and in passing the needed Referendum. I would like to see continued monitoring and support of the many curriculum changes that have taken place over the past few years.
What are important issues facing the school board and what should the solution be?
Continuing to make progress on ensuring equity for all students is essential to the success of our district. We need to continue the work of CEMA and SNAP and ensure that these stakeholders have a voice, feel heard, and are supported.
Another important issue is ensuring that all of the recent curriculum changes are supported through ongoing teacher training and support. As well as streamlined communication to parents regarding changes. I think it is also important to gather teacher, student, and parent feedback in regards to curriculum changes to ensure success.
Lastly, an area of concern is the evolving and shifting need for space. Next school year, a long term population assessment will be completed. After that, we will have a better idea of long term space needs and can discuss and plan accordingly.
If elected, what would I like to accomplish at the end of my term?
I would like to see long term success of curriculum changes that have already been implemented. Newer changes such as SWI, workshop model, changes to Science, Math, and Social Studies as well as Standards Based Grading need to be thoughtful, well supported, and assessed for successful implementation.
In addition, continuing the work of CEMA and making progress towards reducing the opportunity gap in all of our schools through thoughtful and well planned initiatives. Also, ensuring there are appropriate communication channels to engage parents, teachers, and community members so that everyone feels they have any opportunity to be heard is important.
If elected, what changes would I most strongly resist?
I would resist changes that do not support helping all students reach their potential and anything that would be fiscally irresponsible.
What other issues facing the school district are important to you? Why?
Additionally, I believe it is important to meet students’ social emotional needs. With rising anxiety and depression among teens we need to find more ways to help them cope and alleviate problems.