School Board Member District 41
Campaign Contact Information:
What will be your single most important priority if you get elected?
District 41 has maintained high standards and driven very good results. We need to continue to challenge our selves and continuously improve our results in light of the new common core standards. As a nation we are falling behind on the world stage with respect to Education and particularly Science and Math. This is our most important challenge over the next four years.
Your Home Address:
Suzanne Elger – Spouse 48
Sarah Elger – Daughter 24, Elementary Music Teacher in Canton, IL
Hannah Elger – Daughter 22
Joe Elger – Son 15
Loyola University of Chicago 1982 BBA in Public Accounting
Registered Certified Public Accountant in IL
Current Occupation and Employer:
Sales Manager for Life Sciences Industry
Political Party Affiliation:
School Board elections in Illinois are nonpartisan
Why Are You Seeking Office?
The importance of being a member of the D41 School Board, and the work that will be required over the next four years, is not lessened due to this being an uncontested election. While this is a local election it addresses a serious national issue concerning our readiness to compete on a global basis. This position affects two of the most important concerns for many people, their children and their money.
What sets you apart from the other candidates?
There are four candidates running for four open spots. Drew Ellis is a returning Board member and I have been impressed at the meetings with his knowledge of D41 finances. I have only recently met Joe and Patrick but both individuals are thoughtful, intelligent candidates that will be excellent additions to the Board.
Issue 1: District 41 is in the process of bringing its Think Tank initiative to the school board. The initiative has caused some parents to be concerned. Where do you stand on the issue? What, if anything, might the district have done differently in pursuing changes in its schools?
I support the rigor of the Common Core standards and believe they will provide a high quality education for our students. A curriculum needs to be in place to achieve the standards. The Board’s responsibility is to review and set policy that supports the curriculum. I fully support the recent recommendation to add a Spanish dual language option at one of the schools and FLES (Foreign Language at the Elementary School) district wide.
Issue 2: What challenges, if any, does the district face in preparing its students for a 21st Century world?
The District has space constraints that limit our ability to consider changes like all day kindergarten or dedicated STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) labs. We need to develop creative affordable changes to our facilities to enable the growth of these and other types of programs.
Issue 3: At a time when less funding is available, how does the district continue to provide students with the best education possible while maintaining a balanced budget?
The District is in sound financial footing, which allowed them to provide a tax abatement last year. The Board has been utilizing shared services and bundled costs agreements that have saved substantial amounts of money. There is an annual process each year to determine the levy required to keep up with cost increases largely out of the control of the district, such as materials and energy.
Please add any other information pertinent to your campaign.
My wife and I have lived in the District for 16 years and our son attended K-8 grade at D41 schools. I have been very impressed with the Teachers, Administrators, Students and Parents in the District. While the results that D41 has achieved have been impressive there is always room for growth and improvement. Our challenge will be to continue that progress with an eye towards developing students who can compete on the global stage.