League of Women's Voters - McHenry County

What skills, experience and qualities would you bring to this office?

I am a professional educator in a strong nationally recognized school district.  I hold two master's degrees in the field of educational leadership.  I have presented at local, regional and national conferences.  I serve on the governing board for a statewide organization that organizes the largest conference for teachers.  I have been recognized by Google for my work in instructional technology. I recently was recognized as a CETL (Certified Education Technology Leader), one of the premier national accreditation programs. I have lived in the Huntley area for 30+ years and I know and understand the community and its expectations for our schools.  AND I have two children in the district and a vested interest in seeing Huntley 158 be the best educational environment for the children in our community.  

What are the most pressing issues facing this office? How do you propose to address them?

The most pressing issue, and the primary focus of the school board, should always be to maintain the highest possible standards of education for our students.  This has been made more difficult from the outside factors and influences that want to interfere with what our teachers are trying to accomplish.  I am a non-partisan candidate and want to keep divisive politics out of our classrooms. 

Our success is measured when each and every student graduates with a strong foundation of the fundamentals in math, science, literacy but also critical thinking, collaboration , communication, creativity and true curiosity about the world around them.  This allows the youngest members of our community to leave our schools with a strong foundation to be successful in life.  

The goal for a school district is to educate and put students on a path for lifelong learning.  Students should choose their own path and not be indoctrinated with a particular idea or belief. I want each student to graduate with a strong foundation of the fundamentals that mark a well educated person in our society.  The focus has been and should always be on the students who make up our community.  

What, in your opinion, is the function of the School Board?

The school board is the voice of the community.  It provides our school administrators with the input from the citizens who make-up this community.  It is a representation of our entire community, not just a small portion . THIS is why it is important to keep divisive politics out of the school board and keep the focus on making sure that our schools achieve the highest educational standards.  It should highlight and amplify the strong academic and nonacademic programs of the district.  The school board hires our school administrators for their expertise in the field of education.  The school board holds these individuals accountable for ensuring the students in the community are receiving the best possible education.  

The Illinois State Board of Education recently adopted a program to teach K-12 students about personal safety and sex education. Participation in the program is optional based on parents’ and children’s preferences. What are your thoughts about this program?

The reality of the world that we live in is that kids need to be informed about personal safety.  We cannot ignore sex education.  The program, adopted by the Illinois State Board of Education, are the National Sex Education Standards which were developed by the American School Health Association and other distinguished groups.  I think that it is a reasonable program that provides resources for students to learn and augments the discussions that are hopefully happening at home.  Students are not being exposed to materials that are not age appropriate. The standards provide opportunities for students to answer the questions that they may be asking but not steer them in any direction.  As outlined, parents should have the right to review the materials and if a parent feels that the materials are not appropriate for their children, they should have the right to remove their child from participation.

The Illinois State Board of elections adopted the TEAACH program in October, 2021, for the 2022-23 K-12 school year. TEAACH, Teaching Equitable Asian American Community History, is now law for Illinois schools.  What are your thoughts about this program?

The reality is that our students will interact during their lives with people of different cultures.  Learning about Asian Americans can only be an asset when they are called upon to be in groups and work on teams with diverse backgrounds.  The new TEAACH program allows students to learn about the contributions of Asian Americans to the economic, cultural, social, and political development of the United States.  This program does not take away time from the core curriculum but rather provides resources that integrate these strategies, in order to broaden students' views, into existing literacy and social studies programs.