Below are candidate-submitted answers to a biographical survey Wednesday Journal sent out to all candidates running in this year's elections.
Profession: Independent Consultant- Developmental Psychologist
Years in Oak Park or River Forest: 17 years
Do you have children who have, are or will be attending OPRF? What are their ages? My 2 older sons, classes of '2007 and '2011 respectively, and twin daughters who will be incoming freshman at the high school in the fall.
Why are you running for this office?
As a civic minded individual my desire is to fulfill the goals as set out by the D200 board. I fervently believe that every child at the high school should be challenged and be met with the highest expectations so that they may attain the greatest achievement. The resources of the high school are tremendous. I hope as a potential board member to shepherd the process of educating our children in a way that is fiscally sound but never puts the needs of our children out of the forefront.
Have you ever run for or served in a local political office before? If so, when and which office? No
Are there individuals or groups, which actively encouraged your interest in running for the D200 board?
Many families with children attending the high school as well as those with incoming students have expressed great support in my decision to run.
What do you consider to be the greatest strengths of Oak Park and River Forest High School?
One of the greatest strength of the high school is that it sets out a curriculum, which has to educate a broad spectrum of children and is mindful of the needs of all the students. The variety of extra-curricular activities is a testament to the high school's awareness of the diversity within its student body is also a strength.
What are your strongest concerns about the school at this time?
While the school shows keen awareness of the range of needs of all the students, achievement for all of the students could be enhanced with raising expectations of students, encouraging them to take more challenging classes and raising the floor when it comes to educating our students with remedial challenges. All students should be expected to thrive and ultimately succeed.
How many District 200 school board meetings have you attended in the past two years? 2
What is your opinion of the Strategic Planning Process currently underway?
I feel the process is necessary in getting communication between the board and the community-at -large, as to what are the concerns and potential solutions for issues that have arisen at the high school. Forward thinking planning is always a good idea when it is laid out by a cross-section of the community.
Should District 200 become an active funder and partner in the Collaboration for Early Childhood initiatives to boost the success of at-risk children in Oak Park?
Yes, as a developmental psychologist I am aware of much research and many programs that have embraced the notion that learning starts at birth. Preparing our children in the pre-school years enables them to be ready for kindergarten, increases the reading levels at 3rd grade and puts children on a path to readiness for high school.
Is the current financial reserve held by the school district a reasonable amount or too much?
The current reserve if managed appropriately is not too much.