High School, Brother Rice High School
Bachelor's Degree, Dual Major - Accounting/P.E. (Athletic Training Concentration)
Teacher, Proviso Township High School District 209 (Proviso West High School)
Married, Lisa McNally
On the Record
What experiences do you have that make you a good candidate for office?
Having worked as a teacher in both Catholic and public schools, I have practical insight into what constitutes effective, efficient policy and resource allocation. Experience in private industry management, along with multiple terms on the Proviso Teachers Union Executive Board allows for an organizational understanding from multiple angles. This can prove helpful in regular board decision-making as well as in oversight of contract negotiations, where an understanding of the needs of management and the teachers is important.
What are your top three priorities if elected?
Transparency - I hope to provide more transparency regarding decision-making in the district. Often decisions are made without adequate time for the public to understand policy ramifications, both educational and financial. Fiscal Responsibility - We need to balance high-quality, efficient education with fiscal responsibility to the community that largely funds that education. Faculty Needs - We have an exceptional staff in our district. We need to make sure that they have the necessary tools to continue to provide high quality education to our students.
Would you support freezing your taxing district’s levy until housing prices rebound? Why or why not?
I would support such a freeze. Many in our community have seen housing values decline while seeing no increase, and in some cases, decreases, in their pay. Efficiencies need to be sought throughout the district’s budget, prioritizing spending on educational necessities first.
What one decision by the school board do you most disagree with and why?
Living in the Davis-Richmond attendance area, I was extremely disappointed by the manner in which the decision to merge the schools was reached. While there are certainly many positives, there are negatives as well. Because of the way the decision was reached, there was unnecessary strife and division brought to two communities as they were asked to become one. Certainly, a phone message the day before a meeting with the ominous message that there would be a meeting in such short order “to discuss the future” of your child’s school can be distressing. As both a teacher and a parent of several children who were to be affected by this decision, I invested a great deal of time researching the proposed change. Typically, a change of this scale and scope would involve a two-year window, which would include measured community input. We were given scarcely over two months. There was no time, and it seemed no interest on the part of many on the board, to adequately weigh the merits and weaknesses of the district proposal. There were, and remain, logistical and other difficulties with the current constitution of the schools. Among these were concerns that were raised and dismissed at the time, and acknowledged only after the decision was essentially made. It was, in fact, this situation that provided the impetus for my decision to seek a position on this board. Transparency in the decision-making process is essential so that in the future, parents and other community stake-holders will be informed and afforded the opportunity for real, meaningful input.
What was the biggest accomplishment of the board in the past year?
As mundane as it may seem, I am most pleased by the apparent attempts by the board to address the carrying cost of the district’s long-term debt. I do not know the extent to which they researched options, but the acknowledgement that there is a need to address these carrying costs as a budgetary concern is a step in the right direction. I would hope, though, that there are attempts to retire as much of the debt as possible as early as possible.
Why should voters elect you to office?
People move to St. Charles to provide the best environment for their families. Even if they don’t have children, the quality of the schools affects them. We need to take the time to be sure we are making proper fiscal and educational decisions for the good of our children and our community. I have always maintained that the two most critical components for effective schools are competent teachers and motivated students. We are fortunate to have these assets in our schools. I hope to help provide what is necessary for the teachers and students to accomplish those goals.
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