District 41 (Glen Ellyn) Board of Education Member
Campaign Contact Information:
Email Address: Joeb@LFIRealestate.com
What will be your single most important priority if you get elected?
As a new member of the Board, my number one focus will be our facilities. I hope that my real estate and finance backgrounds will provide appropriate perspective and useful insight. My real estate expertise is getting the best price for high quality on-time real estate projects and doing so with an optimal financial schedule.
District 41 has almost 500 students in 32 portable classrooms. Simply put, District 41 has a school’s worth of students in portable classrooms. Furthermore, District 41’s type of space is not a good match for the type of space needed.
In 2009, a Master Facility Plan was submitted to the Board. This plan includes the elimination of all portable classrooms and the addition of Integrated Resource space, which is more appropriate for the needs of today’s students.
Excellent performance in this area, with a sound conservative approach regarding all associated financial matters, is critical to District 41.
Your Home Address:
Glen Ellyn, IL 60137
Jackie and I have been married for almost 9 years. We have two children – Hanna (7) and Cody (4).
University of Chicago, B.A. Economics 1988
University of Chicago, Booth School of Business, M.B.A. Finance and Accounting 1993
Current Occupation and Employer
I am a Commercial Real Estate Developer – Chief Financial Officer for LFI of Mokena, IL.
In December 2012, I joined the Think Tank Parent Advisory Group.
For the past 25 years, I have been a volunteer assistant wrestling coach at the University of Chicago.
Political Party Affiliation:
Why Are You Seeking Office?
To put it simply, I want to give back to the community where our family makes its home. I feel my strengths and experience will be an asset to the position. I hope to help ensure that our educators can access the tools and programs that will deliver the best education available to our community’s children.
What sets you apart from the other candidates?
This group of candidates will bring a variety of expertise to Districts 41’s Board. Each will have his unique perspective and experiences. I look forward to working with and learning from every Board Member. With everyone collaborating, I would expect many positive things to be achieved.
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?
In June 2010, the U.S. Department of Education released the new Common Core State Standards and the State of Illinois opted to follow these standards. Given the U.S. Department of Education’s new standards, District 41 needs to access and develop new programs, which will provide the opportunity for our students to meet and exceed these standards.
The Board of Education should be involved with all budget matters concerning changes to the district’s curriculum. Further, the Board should work closely with the district’s educators with all new large scale programs.
As a new Board Member, I will work diligently to monitor the implementation of any current board approved Think Tank initiative whether a full-scale program or pilot program. I will request detailed feedback on a quarterly basis from the administration, teachers, parents and students. I believe that clear communication of any progress or setbacks will be essential. Further, any new program requires continuous collaboration and input from all involved parties.
Issue 2: What challenges, if any, does the district face in preparing its students for a 21st Century world?
When our children start their first jobs, they will use technology that has not yet been invented. To ensure that we are preparing our children, we need to embrace change, foster new ideas and build on the great foundation that our District 41 educators have created. To keep our students engaged, we need to keep pace and stay relevant. We need to continue adapting to a changing world.
Further, we need to continue to make our classrooms as dynamic as the world around us. District 41’s Learner Characteristics are essential to a dynamic learning environment. Strong leadership and strong educators working in a collaborative effort will yield great results.
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 ?
District 41 needs to remain focused on a fiscally conservative approach to its capital and annual expenditures that are in-line with its Long Range Plan – a Sustainable Organization, 21st Century Learning and a Strong Positive Core.
Given the district’s needs from a facility perspective, District 41 must properly prepare and fund necessary capital improvements to meet these needs. The district should stay within the Tax Cap in the 1991 Property Tax Limitation Act for DuPage County. The Board should consider additional tax increases or referendums, only as a last resort - after prudent due diligence and applying a fiscally sound and conservative approach.
If the board remains focused today on a fiscally conservative approach, the district will be able to continue to provide its students the best resources and education. We can only do so through collaboration with all district-wide educators, staff and board members.