Bachelor's Degree, Mathematics, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Master's Degree, Educational Administration, Concordia University Chicago
Ph. D., Educational Administration (Graduation 2014), Concordia University Chicago
High School Math Teacher and Small Business Owner, Naperville Community Unit School District 203
Married, Karina DiOrio
On the Record
What experiences do you have that make you a good candidate for office?
I have a multitude of experiences that lend to me being a good candidate for office. For one, being in the education profession I understand the education process and the difficult curricular changes that are on our horizon. I could be instrumental in making the transition to a more standardized and accountable curriculum seamless for both the students and the teachers. Furthermore, the fact that I have a masters degree in educational administration and am currently working on a doctorate in educational administration has allowed me to become very informed on the way in which school districts can operate effectively. Lastly, being a small business owner I understand the fiscal responsibility and importance of results oriented practices that are necessary to survive in our current economic climate. Together these experiences have shaped me into a candidate who is qualified to get the job done right.
What are your top three priorities if elected?
The three priorities that I have revolve around ensuring that the education Geneva students receive is the best in the area without an excess burden on taxpayers. With my knowledge of the education profession I am acutely aware of the changes that are coming in terms of curriculum and accountability. Therefore my first priority will be to ensure that the transition to a common core curriculum and increases in teacher accountability happen seamlessly and efficiently for our kids. Second, I am passionate about maintaining fiscal responsibility in our district without increasing taxes in the near future. I believe that our $15 million in (tax payer funded) reserves should be used to ease some of the burden on the community until the economy and the housing market get back on track. Lastly, I want to help push the education system in Geneva to better prepare students for the real world. Due to technology many of the careers that we are preparing our students for have not even been created yet. I am a huge proponent of teaching kids the 21st century skills, through technology, that will allow them to adapt and succeed in an ever changing society.
Would you support freezing your taxing district’s levy until housing prices rebound? Why or why not?
I would support freezing our taxing district’s levy until housing prices rebound. People in our community are hurting right now, and if the school district is truly serving the community, then that needs to be recognized. This means that spending needs to be addressed and other measures should be looked at as well. For instance, the school district in Geneva is in the unique position to actually have reserves and if need be, those should be tapped into in order to ease the burden on the tax payers. The money came from them in the first place. It is no different than the reserves that a family or business has. They should only be used in the toughest of times, until things get better. We can do the same here with Geneva schools until things get better.
What one decision by the school board do you most disagree with and why?
One action that the current school board took that I did not completely agree with was the increase of the tax levy by 1.5%. This was done to raise $1.9 million more dollars for operating expenditures. I would have liked to see other options looked at to see if the district could have operated on the same budget that they did the previous year, making up the difference with the reserves that the Geneva taxpayers had already contributed in the first place.
What was the biggest accomplishment of the board in the past year?
Personally, I think the biggest accomplishment of the school board in the past year was working with the Geneva Education Association to avoid a teacher’s strike in the last round of negotiations. A strike can be devastating for a local community as it pits neighbors against each other with the kids in the middle. The relationship between a school board and its teachers and the community it represents is vital to a successfully run educational environment. This means that all sides need to give, take, and keep the quality of education as the main goal. I know that my expertise can be used to work effectively with all sides in order to get this relationship back to a healthy place.
Why should voters elect you to office?
Voters should elect me to office because I am a candidate who has a particular set of experiences that translate well into a qualified person for the position. Furthermore, I have a unique stake in our local education system. That stake is the fact that my wife and I are expecting our first child in July. My kids are going to attend our schools in the future and I want more than anything to make sure that they get an education in line with the quality of education that has been given to my neighbor’s kids. Our school board needs members who have kids who went to Geneva schools, are currently in Geneva schools, and certainly members who have students who will go to Geneva schools. Doing so would ensure a well rounded approach to policy and I represent the viewpoint of Geneva’s future.
DiOrio's Current Race
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