Getting it right and getting it done

Opinion: Columns

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By Steve Lefko

Candidate One View

I'm running for the two-year term on District 90 Board of Education. I'm a PhD scientist; gaining understanding is in my DNA. 

I enjoy tackling big problems that benefit others and have success. The village recently approved a safer routes plan with more crossing guards. I've chaired PTO committees for years and now nearly one quarter of Lincoln Elementary participates in the Science Expo. 

Community participation in school dialog increased dramatically through my questions. I believe in working harder to improve the social and emotional health of students. A five-year plan should telegraph strong goals to the community, and teachers need greater voice. I don't have all the answers; however, I'm willing to ask tough questions and do the hard work. 

During my involvement with crossing guards I learned D90 had adopted a new instructional philosophy aimed at eliminating the achievement gap. Changes in curriculum, instruction, scheduling and assessments are well underway. For over a year, I've been gaining understanding at board meetings with administrators, principals and teachers. They have been patient with answers. 

I believe in closing the gap by investing to raise the bottom without lowering the ceiling; all children can soar in River Forest. My expertise is in complex problem-solving and policy. Seeking explanation for philosophical change and how change will better serve all children is important to me. 

As a candidate, I'm hearing how important this understanding is to a community that prides itself on being an education destination. My unique skill set, proven history and balanced approach is a unique asset to moving forward. 

Wednesday Journal endorsed my opponent and said, "Delays are a distraction." I'm encouraged the current board listened to the community and echoed the sentiment: let's get it right over just getting it done. Vote Lefko on April 2. 

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