Below are candidate-submitted answers to a biographical survey Wednesday Journal sent out to all candidates running in this year's elections.
Profession: Medicare Insurance
Years in Oak Park or River Forest: 20
Are you an OPRF graduate? No
Do you have children who have, are or will be attending OPRF? What are their ages? 4 boys grad in 2005, 2007,2007, 2009
Why are you running for this office?
Current Board Pres – it would seem particularly irresponsible to the District for the sitting President not to run again
Have you ever run for or served in a local political office before? If so, when and which office? Only the D200 Board in 2009.
Are there individuals or groups which actively encouraged your interest in running for the D200 board? 4 years ago, yes.
What do you consider to be the greatest strengths of Oak Park and River Forest High School?
OPRFHS has to be a, if not the, crown jewel of the community.
What are your strongest concerns about the school at this time?
Completing and implementing the Strategic Vision and developing better means for ongoing communication to the communities at large, with ongoing emphasis on school-age families
How many District 200 school board meetings have you attended in the past two years? Way too many! Just like you Terry [Dean]!
What is your opinion of the Strategic Planning Process currently underway?
It is important that this effort be extremely broad-based and has little direction or even input from the Board. Generally, the Board stance, and my view as President, is that this effort and document, be our long-term guiding vision, interpreted and implemented on the medium term by the Board, which delegates programmatic decisions and day to day operations to the Superintendent and his administrative team to be carried out in partnership with faculty, staff, students and families.
Is the current financial reserve held by the school district a reasonable amount or too much?
That is the discussion we as a community need to have. Generally, a COLA-esque increase yearly, as just passed w/o a single objection at D97, through the levy process is much preferred to a 10-25% jump that most referendums will cause. Large increases are that much harder for residents to budget. I do feel that the excellent financial stewardship displayed by D200 is not understood or appreciated; the fact that we have aggressively reduced long-term debt, a very different approach from some other local taxing bodies, has positive short and longer term impacts.