Susan Hochmuth: 2021 candidate for Huntley District 158 school board
10 candidates are running for four, 4-year seats on the Huntley School District 158 board. Tara Masino did not complete a questionnaire.
Village: Lake in the Hills
Occupation: Patient Service Representative
Employer: Advocate Aurora Healthcare
Civic involvement: N/A
Q. Why are you running for this office, whether for reelection or election the first time? Is there a particular issue that motivates you, and if so, what is it?
A. My husband and I rooted our family in the District 158 community back in 2004. I loved how close and tight knit the community was. I faced a breast cancer fight in 2018, our community helped myself and family get through that battle. Since last spring this community has been divided and full of animosity.-an environment that is not what we are. It is time to heal and have our community come back together to support each in the positive manner that we know. I hear what the parents are wanting and needing in our district to better the education for our students. I am a mother of 2 students and 1 former student within d158 and will stand for what is right and what is needed for our students to be the best that they can be whether it is a popular decision or not.
Q. How would you grade the current school board on its response to the pandemic? Why?
A. I feel that current D158 school board has been dealt an unfortunate and unprecedented circumstance that no one ever expected. With that being said I feel that the board could have done a much better job at putting plans in place to get our students back into the classroom sooner. As it has been demonstrated in other surrounding communities the ability to get children back in class in a safe manner is a realistic option that our district has not been able to accomplish.
Q. How do you view your role in confronting the pandemic: provide leadership even if unpopular, give a voice to constituents -- even ones with whom you disagree, or defer to state authorities?
A. My answer to this question is all the above. There isn't one path to encapsulate this answer. These are uncharted times that will take a board to think outside of the box while listening and serving much as the community as possible to pull our students to the future they deserve.
Q. Did your district continue to adequately serve students during the disruptions caused by the pandemic? If so, please cite an example of how it successfully adjusted to continue providing services. If not, please cite a specific example of what could have been done better.
A. District 158 failed to adequately service our students during the academic disruption of the pandemic and doing so they cheated our children in precious time that they cannot get back. The failure came from level of leadership down to the educators. Watching my children e-learn during a typical school day where they were constantly dismissed early and basically ignored is not what should be acceptable to a District 158 education. I have witnessed this numerous times and have heard the pain of other examples from families ... it is unacceptable.
Q. Do you have a plan on how to safely and effectively conduct classes in the spring? What have you learned from the fall semester that you would change in the spring?
A. The plan I would follow is having students back in the classroom 5 days a week. Students and staff would be required to wear mask and follow all CDC guidelines. We learned from the fall that students and staff should be in class 5 days a week following safety protocol ... teaching and learning.
Q. What is your position on allowing high school sports to continue during the pandemic? Be specific.
A. All high school sports should be back to normal activity. HS Athletic Director follows IHSA rules and the same safety protocols as all other students district wide. If a player has symptoms then they are sent home until negative result. Many of the students future depend on playing a sport and to deprive them of these possibilities based on fear is not fair or justified.