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March 18, 2013     Times
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13 A Look at the School Board Candidates - In their Own Words DOUG MARTIN What goals do you hope to achieve if you are elected? The most important goal I have as a school board roember is to make-sure we are providing a quality education to every student in the school district and know they are prepared for the next step whether that is college, technical school or the job force. Other goals I would like to continue to work towards are to maintain o a healthy fund balance in each of th,,e funds that the school district uses, but more spe- cifically build up and maintain a healthy balance in our education fund. If elected, I would also continue to work toward the I:1' implementation of new technology in the classroom and Continue to work with the to administration, teache and community o to stay on top of new educational opportu- nities. I would also work to make sure that we are continuing to offer successful extra- curricular programs that continue to build pride within the community. The most important overall goal I have is to make sure we stay viable as a district so we can continue to offer a quality education and keep the communities that ma ke up CUD #23 the best place to raise and educate our families. What special strengths do you believe you would bring to the board? One of the biggest strengths I would bring to the board is experience. Many of the decisions that a school board makes such as negotiations, textbook purchases, hiring of administration, etc. only happen every few years. I have been a member of the board since 2006 and have been a part of these discussions and evaluations that lead to these decisions. With at least two new people being elected to tl)e school board in this election I believe that it is important to have that experience on the board. Having the strength to make tough decisions is also something I will bring to the board. By running my own business, I have firsthand experience in dealing with finances, budgets, personnel, and risk. Livilig and working in a small town makes for tough decisions to be even tougher and I feel that I have the ability to make those decisions. There are times in which the decisions I make as a board member do not make people happy. Even though people may not agree, I try to make the decision for what is in the best interest of the district as a whole. I also believe one of the strengths I will bring is the ability to listen to the concerns of the community. I have always been receptive to taxpayer's comments and concerns and try to give them an answer to their questions. One of the most important strengths I will bring is the pride, hard work and determination it takes to be a good board member and keep Mt. Pulaski Unit District #23.the best place to educate our children. Cont'd Page 14- See ' Dou& Martin" JOE OLSON What goals do you hope to achieve if you are elected? Continue to work through the challeng- ing financial situations facing the school district, with the goal being to reach a stable point and begin building up fund balances again. Continue the upward trend for test scores. What special strengths do you believe you would bring to the board? Common sense, open mind, thought- ful actions and solutions, working for the whole district. What's your "hot button"? What moved you to run for the school board? When I initially ran for the board, the open seats were unopposed. One reason I ran in 2004 was to ensure that Elkhart was represented if dosing the Elkhart building became a "hot button" issue (it did). Since theft, I haven't really had a "hot button" issue. I continue to run because I enjoy being a school board member, I get all the facts at school board meetings, and I like working with others to keep the school going in the right direction. What do you think is the relationship between the district and the public? I think it has improved greatly in the last few years, in large part due to the increased visibility and access of the school admin- istrators. The principals and the superin- tendent should be commended for attend- ing numerous extracurricular events, and interacting with students and faculty on a daily basis. What are your positions - if any - on text- book adoption, exl currioular activities, curriculum standards, construction of new school facilities? If I must put it in writing, I'd say I'm firmly planted in the neutral position on each of these issues. . What do you want the voters to know about your candidacy?. Since I joined the school board-, I've experienced some challenging situations such" as closing the Elkhart building, hiring a new superintendent, and budget shortages that require staff and program cuts. But I continue to run and hope to be re-elected because I enjoy it and feel my service is one way of giving back to the district. To me, it is not a thankless job or a burden. Occasionally, someone unexpect- edly says "Thank you for your help" or "I appreciate what you said or did", and that makes it all worthwhile for me. t JOHN STEWART What goals do you hope to. achieve if you are elected? One of my goals is to continue to make the School District one of the best in Cen- tral Illinois. I would like to bring new and innovative ideas to the district that will positively impact the students across all grade levels. What special strengths do you believe you would bring to theboard? I believe that I have many strengths that would be a positive addition to the board. I have held leadership roles in several local and county organizations. I served two four-year terms on the Logan County Board. In this role, I was an elected offi- cial that served the community that I rep- resented. As a staunch advocate for the tax-payers of Logan County I never hesi- tated to "question a decision that would negatively affect the tax-payers. My past work experience has provided me with many opportunities that will be an asset tff the board. These experiences include management of a large workforce, balanc- ing budgets, working with not for profit organizations and leadership develop- ment. What is your "hot button"? What moved you to run for the school board? Once I finished my second term on the County Board, I felt that I needed to con- tinue my service to the community. I am aqifelong resident of Mt. Pulaski, gradu- ated from MPHS, and currently have three children in the district. By serving on the board, I feel that I can give back to the community by helping to make our district be the best it can be. What do you think is the relationship between the district and the public? I feel that this relationship in the past has been Strained. It is time for a mend- ing process to occur. Our school district is funded by the tax payers of the community and I feel that they should have a voice in the direction that the district is going. What are your positions-if any-on textbook adoption, extracurricular activities, cur- riculum standards, and construction of new school facilities? Extracurricular acfives are an important part of the Student's growth and develop- ment. Students can learn many important behaviors and skills by taking part in these activities. But, extracurricular activities should never interfere with the academic success of the students. I feel that it is time for a close look at the curriculum standards in the higher grades and strongly feel that a program should be implemented to bring college level classes to the upperclassmen. The school facilities are aging, but I feel at this time that new construction would prove to be more of a burden to the tax payers than a benefit. Cont'd Pace 14 - See "Jokn Stewart" SCOTT DOERR What goals do you hope to achieve if you are elected? " My goals are to serve the community as an educational leader by using my expe- rience and knowledge to assist in leading the district into 21st century learning. In addition, to provide the best possible edu, cation for all of our students whether it be those entering the workforce, commu- nity college, trade school, or university. Finally, to provide the leadership in the areas of curriculum development, finance, and school law. What special strengths do you believe you would bring to the board? I have been a teacher, coach, principal and district level administrator for the past 18 years. I hold a Master's Degree, Advanced Leadership Certifisate, and Do,orate (Ph.D) in Leadership and Edu- cation Administration. My knowledge and experience in curriculum develop- ment, school finance, and school law has allowed me to hold the various positions in my educational career. I have served on the Hurlbut Township Board of Trustees for the past 9 years as well a Republican Precinct Committeemen for the Logan County RepublicanParty for the past 10 years. My experience working for the State Legislature and with current and past leg- islators has proven effective in obtaining insight in educational issues. My ability to work cooperatively with teachers and administrators has been proven to be suc- cessful when implementing important ini- tiatives for kids. What's your "hot button"? What moved you to run for the school board? First, the fact that all students (extr -cur- ricular) are required to ride the bus home after games. The District must realize that a school district which covers over 190 square miles of territory has many fami- lies that live miles away from the main school buildings; therefore putting an unfair burden on parents whose children want and lo'e to participate in extra-cur- ricular activities to represent their school. The question remains was this decision made for funding purposes from the State or other reasons not adequately propa- gated to the parents. Second, I feel that the relationship between the board and the public is inadequate. The Board should have direct accountability to the people of the district, the taxpayers. I believe some previous decisions have been made that does not always represent the people of the district; therefore causing hard feelings and,misguided trust. I believe the public should have complete access to the Board, per the Open Meetings Act, without first notifying someone in advance of their desire to speak. This has not always hap-. pened in the past. Cont'd Page 15- See "seott Doerr"