Candidates Discuss Changes District Should Make
Six people are running for three open seats on the Wheaton Warrenville Unit District 200 school board.
Four challengers are lining up to face the two incumbents, Alan Bolds and Marie Slater.
The challengers include Kimberly Ludman, Robert Infanger, Barbara Intihar and Rosemary Swanson.
The Daily Herald asked candidates several questions about issues that affect the school district. Here are their answers to questions about changes needed and the middle-school concept.
Question: What changes are needed in the village/district and how would you help bring those about?
Alan Bolds: The district can most easily improve by becoming proactive in planning for needs in facilities and programs. That means looking ahead to enrollment that is projected to level and then decline slightly. It must seek critical analysis of current practices and be willing to modify and strengthen where needed. It must also work within the constraints of a balanced budget, for the long-term financial health of the district.
Robert J. Infanger: There exists a shortage of planning within CUSD 200. Careful long-term financial and facilities planning will help the district better utilize its resources.
The district should focus more time on improving the quality of our schools with specific emphasis on consistent implementation of curriculum and continuous improvements inn curriculum, teaching methods and materials. I would suggest careful monitoring and evaluation of methods and achievement with a focus on results.
Additionally, there should be an increased emphasis on staff development in light of the fact that there have been a large number of new teachers hired in the district.
Barbara J. Intihar: We need to develop trust between the district and the community. We have an excellent beginning with the addition of John Sluis to our staff. We need to be managing our taxpayers' money wisely and the message that we are doing so needs to be spread throughout the district. With a vision and a mission as I mentioned above, we should be able to develop and articulate long-range plans that the community would support.
Kimberly J. Ludman: I'm listening. (Voters) don't feel their money is being used wisely. Let's bring everything out in the open to show the taxpayers where their money is being spent.
Marie C. Slater: One of the biggest changes needed is to restore trust in the board and its decision-making process. We need to be a role model to our community. Respect of differences but commitment to "speaking as one voice" can be accomplished by in-service training for the board and new superintendent as we move forward. A board of education makes policy and holds the superintendent accountable for the results. Micromanaging has no place in this process. Dialogue with the many publics we serve will bring a better understanding of the various positions each represents. I am open to suggestions about how this can best be accomplished. A closer working relationship with the city councils and park boards of Warrenville and Wheaton would be a first step. There should be opportunities for interaction with the many people living in our communities who do not have children in the public schools.
Rosemary I. Swanson: We have great students, great parents, great teachers and a good solid community with values. We just need to come together around a common vision for our schools that the people of the district could feel proud to support with both time and money. It will be the task of the superintendent to lead us to that goal and it will be the job of the board to support his efforts. I would do this by taking advantage of any training in "boardmanship" that is available through the IASB (Illinois Association of School Boards); finding ways for the community to benefit from the services of our schools and the achievements of our students (community concerts, open gyms, computer labs, etc. …