There are so many issues facing our Duneland School community. I believe that as a candidate I uniquely have the lifetime experience needed to face these challenges head on. I want to listen to your thoughts. On this page, we've added a contact form so you can let me know directly the issues you feel are facing the Duneland School community.
Education During the Pandemic
In my time as Assistant Superintendent there were two situations I feel helped prepare me for dealing with education during the pandemic. The first was the Great Recession of 2008-09. The state cut funding in December well after we were committed to staffing and programs. The Duneland share was 2+ million dollars initially which ended up being over twice that amount. There were five of us that gathered around a conference table, trying to determine how we were going to make the cuts and preserve the integrity of a Duneland education. As we discussed, there were two questions asked of each suggestion: one--how will this affect students? We always choose the option that had the least impact. Students always came first! Second--what is the impact on staff? The major reason why I stayed so long at Duneland was it was a good fit philosophically. In my view students always come first followed closely by our staff. I believe as we move forward looking at innovative ways to provide a Duneland education during this crisis we need to ask those same two questions: How will our decisions impact students, and how will our decisions impact our staff. It is imperative that we find a way to safely provide the high quality education expected by our community. The second experience that helped prepare me for dealing with education during the pandemic was my work on development of the first state-mandated pandemic plan. It was a different time, with much different resources, but the parallels are plentiful. An area of concern is that within this pandemic plan we needed to address what we would do when any employee becomes ill, and we are certainly seeing these same questions today. How will we provide services when (examples) bus drivers, custodians, maintenance, food service, secretaries, nurses, aides, counselors, IT, along with teachers and administrators including the superintendent become ill? I have worked and planned for many of these concerns and feel equipped to inquire, think critically, address, and tackle these concerns.
Practical World Class and Innovative Programs
Duneland has always been a school district that offered programs that were competitive at a national and international level. We are still recognized as one of the very best as reflected by our 12 National Merit Semi-Finalists and nine National Merit Finalists. Education and staying in the elite category has become very competitive and we can not rest on our laurels. One of the qualities that attracted me to Duneland was the fact that it wasn’t just the top students that received a top tier education. Duneland has always been proud of every student that walks across the stage at graduation. We need to find classes and programs that will bolster this quality education and meet the needs of each and every student.
Fiscal Responsibility and Facilities Maintenance
We are blessed to live in a community that values education enough to pass a referendum that allows the Duneland schools to offer a world class education. As a school board member it is my responsibility to ensure that every dollar is spent wisely and to the benefit of our students.
The Duneland Schools have always had top-flight facilities of which our students and community can be proud. We are about to enter into a phase of updating our facilities in order to stay competitive in offering a world-class curriculum. Our “new” high school just completed its 20th year of service and many of our mechanical systems are reaching the end of their life. There is much work to be done.
Let Monte Know what issue is important to you.
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