Endorsements: Van Gerven, Harper, O'Keefe and Weaver for Lincolnshire-Prairie View District 103 school board
Seven candidates seek four seats on the Lincolnshire-Prairie View District 103 school board in the April 6 election. Incumbents Anne Van Gerven and Kate Harper are joined by Asha Goldstein, Janene Harris, Catherine O'Keefe, Maria I. Peterson and Michael Weaver.
Van Gerven, an eight-year member of the board, is running to provide consistency and continuity of leadership during the pandemic. She wants to continue the Portrait of a Graduate project, where a team of parents, staff, students and school board members explore setting the qualities a Daniel Wright Junior High School graduate should have. She's seen large district initiatives including additions at all three schools without asking taxpayers for any additional funding.
Harper was elected in 2017 and wants to maintain continuity as the district completes its strategic plan and continues to navigate the COVID-19 challenges. She said the district should be ready to address mental health issues down the road. Goldstein says her professional experience lends itself well to listening and problem-solving. She said decision-making is based on facts and that transparency, honesty and communication are of highest importance.
Goldstein sees the importance of exploring a five-year plan, staying financially sound and focus on the agendas of the district.
Harris said it would be a privilege to support the district in its long-term plan of continuing exceptional education to the community. She plans to listen to all voices in the community with compassion and understanding and says the best path going forward should come from expert guidance from the scientific community.
O'Keefe is motivated to find program support for students with special needs. She said the board needs to include members of various skills. She says she is prepared to listen with an open mind and that COVID-19 is a medical issue and nothing associated with it can be addressed without evidence-based science. With her medical background, she is qualified to help others understand and utilize the resources and direction provided by the CDC, state and county health departments.
Peterson, a stay-at-home parent, says it's important to have board members with students in the district. She is active in the PTO and wants to serve the community by being a voice for the district's parents. Peterson said there were some challenges with remote learning in the fall but that it is going well now for her two children. She stresses the need for new technology to keep kids engaged.
Weaver says his experience in project and program management would benefit the board. He said he could process all the information presented to the board well and sees the board addressing future enrollment, the teacher's contract renewal, fiscal responsibility, class size and emotional learning.
We would like to see the two incumbents continue working through the pandemic. O'Keefe will bring a strong medical component to the table and we like how Weaver is looking down the road at key issues facing the board. The Daily Herald endorses Van Gerven, Harper, O'Keefe and Weaver for Lincolnshire-Prairie View District 103 school board.