You know, there are three questions that come up when you try to get elected, even if itís dogcatcher. They are: Why are you running? What are you going to do if elected? And finally; what do you bring to the table.
Why run? Well itís not the pay. The school board is a volunteer position. Iím running because I believe education is the most important legacy we pass on to our children. I want to see kids develop a love of learning, and fully develop their potential.
In the movie National Treasure, Riley, sidekick to Nicolas Cage, has a moment where he's the only one that knows a key piece of knowledge. Amazed he knows something his history obsessed friends donít, he savors the moment, saying, ďThis is cool. Is this how you feel all the time?Ē
After their formal schooling is done, I want our children to have useful facts and more importantly, the critical thinking skills allowing them to use knowledge effectively. Someday they will appreciate the value of a good education. It may not happen during a race for buried treasure but perhaps while analyzing sales trends, calculating the radius of pipe on a construction site, or flying a jet. There will be a little ah-ha moment and it will sink in, ďyes, my education did help.Ē
What about the issues?
At the top of important issues is maintaining "Educational Excellence" for our children. Set high expectations throughout. As the old quote goes, shoot for the moon and if you miss you'll still be amoung the stars.
Next is "Add value." Value comes from outstanding teachers, involved parents and a lean administration that gets taxpayer dollars into the classroom. We will always have more needs than money, and we need to stay focused on the fundamentals.
My third priority is to "Innovate with Technology." We need to try things and not be afraid to fail. If something doesn't work, change it and try again. The opportunity exists for innovative, even cost saving changes. A flipped classroom lets a teacher teach on video and spend more of the limited classroom time helping students work through problems and gain understanding.
Video conferencing between classrooms in our two High Schools can combine students into a single classroom large enough to make a low volume AP class feasible. Online learning is another technology we need to try. The rollout of 1 to 1 (student laptops) has a few growing pains and like any new program there are things to tweak. Quicker turnaround on broken laptops, finding the most durable laptops and getting classroom materials online are things we can improve as we move forward.
It's interesting how much has changed in 2 years. Two years ago the number one question was, do we need a third school. Today enrollment is flat and the burning question is, will the State of Illinois honor it's promise to fund local schools.
Community Involvement - for the long version, click here.
Starting with Walk for Mankind back in the early 80's, helping with young people at Grace Church, coaching Jr high volleyball, and volunteering around Towanda, Iíve been active in our community. Within the Lamplighter subdivision, I've been president 5 times and led a couple of substantial improvements.
I have extensive financial knowledge, including an economics degree, and over 80 credit hours of insurance/finance related continuing education.
I have the passion, commitment and desire to work for the best education we can provide our students. I'm asking for your vote on April 7th.
Thank you for being an informed voter. If you would like to discuss school related issues please call or email me. My contact information is here.