District 155 School Board Candidates Discuss Contributions

Article excerpt

Six people, including four incumbents, are running for election to four 4-year seats on the Crystal Lake District 155 school board. And two people, one an incumbent, are running for one 2-year seat. The Daily Herald sent questionnaires to the candidates asking them about some of the important issues in their district. Here is one of those questions and the candidates' responses.

Q. If you are an incumbent, describe your main contributions. Tell us of important initiatives you've led. If you are not an incumbent, tell us what contributions you would make.

Four-year candidates

John J. Dawson. I believe the success to a great society is incubated in the education of their children, thus I have a strong passion for the education of our students. In this endeavor I have the unique benefit of having taught students and worked in the business world. The continued growth of the district requires some of the board members to have strong strategic and financial skills sets. I believe I bring the district a balance between education and running successful businesses. After all, a multi-million- dollar budget with hundreds of employees needs to be run like a business, but at the same time keep a focus on "doing what is right for the kids."

Gary R. Oberg. My 20 years on the board provides an excellent long-term perspective that is helpful to the rest of the board. Over time, I have been actively involved in all of the board's major committees. Our work has resulted in an educational program that has among the highest academic scores in the area, achieved with one of the lowest costs per student of districts our size. I was active in designing Prairie Ridge High School, and in building additions on South and Cary-Grove high schools, and remodeling Central High School without raising the property taxes of our district's residents.

David E. Secrest. As an incumbent for the past four years, I have attended virtually all board and subcommittee meetings. I have actively served on the following committees: planning and superintendent selection; curriculum; board policy; building and grounds; and safety. In addition, I attend the finance committee meetings. The current board is a team that works very well together. Thus, accomplishments are a real collaborative effort. However, I have been a strong individual leader on the curriculum alignment initiative, the rewriting and streamlining of board policies, and the safety committee, which includes students and parents as well as district staff. Perhaps my most important contribution was my active role in developing the recruitment and interview process that ultimately resulted in the board's selection of our new superintendent.

Ann C. Somers. First of all, I rarely travel and should be able to make all the meetings. Secondly, I would like to think I could add a certain amount of balance to the board and I would continue to build on the positive aspects of District 155. …