RB Landmark sent questionnaires to each person running for public office in 2023. The candidates’ replies are as shown as they were received by the Landmark. For more on a candidate, click their name or photo.
1. Why are you running for the District 96 School Board?
I have two children attending a District 96 school and am passionate about the education of our community’s youth. I am excited to help ensure that our district’s resources are most efficiently utilized to create environments that inspire a love of learning and parent engagement. District 96 serves a wonderful community, and I’m enthusiastic about the opportunity to elevate the community’s perspective alongside the existing board to influence financial policy, curriculum development and resource allocation.
I have lived in Brookfield since 2008 – my husband and I bought our house several years before starting our family, but we knew we wanted to live here because of the excellent schools. We now have 2 boys, both in school in District 96 and couldn’t be happier with the support, attention, and guidance we have received for their individual needs. It’s been wonderful to see their growth, and we know we are lucky with the teachers that have contributed to that. I feel that serving on the District 96 school board is a way to give back, and help ensure that the teachers and staff have all they need to that every student in the district can thrive.
I am running for a second term on the District 96 Board of Education. Our work as a board was stagnated by the COVID 19 pandemic and we have some lofty goals for continuing to enhance our school environment for our students, staff, parents and the broader community. District 96 schools are a major reason families with young children move to this are and I want to continue facilitating the districts 5 year plan and complete the major facility improvements we need to continue improving our already great schools.
2. What experience and perspectives would you bring to the position and how would they be valuable as an elected official?
Growing up, I observed how socioeconomic inequality in my community impacted educational and eventual professional outcomes. My family benefitted from additional resource allocation across the spectrum of special and accelerated educational programs. I believe the formative experiences of my education have relevant application to present growth opportunities within District 96. From my professional experience as an investment analyst, I offer an analytical perspective, passion for lifelong learning, research and fact gathering skills, a desire to participate in rational, disciplined decision making and a love for building and developing teams with diverse perspectives.
I was fortunate to be asked to participate in the District 96 Strategic Planning Committee in 2020. Through that experience that I got an inside look at not only what people like me (parents in the district) wanted, but also how invested the teachers and staff are to the future of the district and their perspective on the needs of their students. Being involved in this planning of the direction district really helped me see what is important to leadership, teachers, and parents alike.
Following the strategic planning, I was asked to be a part of the Family and Community Partnerships Committee. Through this committee, I was able to help with this past Fall’s Satisfaction, Pride, Cultural Awareness, and Engagement Survey as well as delve into the results and plan for ways to improve engagement in the district.
I now have four years of direct experience on this board. My occupation as a Director is very comparable to the governance role board members play to effectively run district operations.. You must assess all pertinent information, gather diverse feedback from stakeholders and engage experts to make the best decisions possible for the district.
3. What do you believe are some of the greatest challenges facing District 96?
Over the past year, within District 96 there has been thoughtful dialogue and information gathering aimed at understanding factors impacting student achievement and family engagement. I believe there is an opportunity for District 96 to use this understanding to strengthen family and educator partnerships and develop and implement practical applications to promote higher levels of achievement across all students. I am keenly interested in ensuring that District 96’s students maintain access to leading technological resources and learning tools to support an equitable educational foundation that will encourage our students’ long-term academic success.
Right now, I know the district is working hard to increase engagement. The pandemic affected this, but now that the world has “opened up” more, the schools and PTAs are struggling to get more folks involved. Shifting to first ensure all students and all families feel included and part of the district will hopefully help with engagement down the road.
I believe the biggest challenges facing our district are education and social emotional needs. While we are seeing student growth dramatically improve as the classroom setting has normalized our data shows students are not yet fully performing at grade level. There have also been a number of challenges with social interactions with nearly two years in some state of lockdown and/or social restrictions. Getting our students “caught up” is a big challenge because every student and family was impacted by the pandemic in a different way. District 96 is in the process of evaluating and identifying student needs to ensure every student has the proper resources.