District 203 Candidates Pitch Ideas to Improve Naperville Schools

Article excerpt

Voters in Naperville Unit District 203 will elect four candidates on Nov. 4 to serve 4-year terms on the school board.

The race features two incumbents and six challengers.

Incumbent Timothy Costello, 46, was elected to the board in 1993. An 11-year resident, he is a physical education teacher in Salt Creek Elementary District 48.

Incumbent Mary Roberts was elected to the board in 1993. An 11-year resident, she is a homemaker.

Challenger Laura Gavin, 45, is president of the District 203 Career Advisory Council. A 12-year resident, she is director of human resources at Edward Hospital.

Mickey Koziol serves on the city's Youth Advisory Commission and is on the District 203 Superintendent's Advisory Board. A 29-year resident, she is a part-time bookkeeper.

Craig Richardson, 42, is a youth soccer coach. A 15-month resident, he is a transportation consultant.

Debra Shipley, 43, is president of the Scott School Home & School Organization. A seven-year resident, she is a homemaker.

John Tableriou, 46, is on a District 203 parent involvement team. A nine-year resident, he is a project management director.

David Vaught, 49, served two terms on a downstate school board and belongs to the Naperville North Home & School Organization. A seven-year resident, he is an investment adviser.

Question: What changes are needed in the district and what would you do to bring them about?

Timothy Costello: The board is developing a process to bring all stake-holders together to discuss the district's direction.

The result will be a community-shared vision that will help answer the following questions: Where do we want to go? How will we be able to get there?

This is important for our district. It is important to have continuity in the board so the process will continue forward and reach a successful conclusion.

My re-election will help not only this process but also help ensure a smooth transition for the new board.

I will continue to focus on efforts to help students having difficult times in school. Our district is known for its excellence; this excellence must be extended to all.

I will focus on providing alternatives to expelled students; providing mentoring for students who could benefit from adult guidance and companionship; and providing better services to students with reading difficulties.

Laura Gavin: My desire to be a board member is not about change. It is about Continuous Quality Improvement.

I cannot lose sight of the fact that each year droves of families move to Naperville, often due to our fine school system.

Is it perfect? Not necessarily. As with anything, we always can look at how we conducted ourselves in the past and make efforts to improve.

I will commit to not settle for the, "That's the way we have always done it around here" attitude, but strive to make change where it is warranted.

Mickey Koziol: Committee reports at board meetings should always include what is being addressed and their current status to provide updates to the public.

We should invite interested parties to be part of the process. We should engage students in activities to promote success and this should not be limited to special needs, to the academically and athletically elite, but all students.

Every administrator should spend at least one day each year in an unorchestrated classroom. …