Eduardo Castillo Perez: 2021 candidate for Addison Elementary District 4 board
Eight candidates are running for four, 4-year terms on the Addison Elementary District 4 board of trustees in the April 6 election.
They are incumbents Rudy Aranda, Zack Frangidakis and Jeremiah Lange, and challengers Taso Triantafillos, Eduardo Castillo Perez, Daniel Alexander Medina, Ellen M. Finizio and Christen Bollig. Finizio did not respond to the questionnaire.
The Daily Herald asked each candidate about issues facing the district and how they would contribute to its progress.
In-person early voting with paper ballots is now available at the DuPage County Fairgrounds Building 5, 2015 Manchester Road, Wheaton. In-person early voting with touch-screen voting begins March 22 at locations throughout the county. Learn more at www.dupageco.org/earlyvoting/.
Age: Not given
Occupation: Sargeant, DuPage County Sheriff
Civic involvement: Fullerton School PTA, Illinois Special Olympics, Meals on Wheels, Seniors and Law Enforcement Together, Lisle Naperville TRIAD and Winfield Wayne WAYS
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: I am running for school board to give all students the best education possible. I am also running to give our educators the best tools to teach our children. Lastly, I am running to give fellow parents 100% transparency and honesty. During school board meetings, parents and members of the community were not all heard. All comment cards were not read or the school board ended the public comment session due to reaching the maximum limit allotted. Given the pandemic exemptions could have been made to allow everyone to have a voice, share a concern or listen to an idea.
Q: How would you grade the current school board on its response to the pandemic? Why?
A: I would grade the current school board as fair on the pandemic. Early on the community was not heard. Everyone should have been heard. The school board should have worked with other school districts to see what is working for them and not working. That information should be shared with residents. The school board should have worked with DuPage County officials, state officials, other school districts and medical providers on providing vaccinations to staff once it became available to educators.
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: I feel my role is to take all the facts and come up with solutions and resources to get the job done. It will be impossible to please every constituent but we are a democracy and we should do what the majority decides. In relation to the pandemic it should be done very carefully. This virus can be the difference between life and death. This is were more than one solution or option would come into play.
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: The school district did a fair job during the pandemic. Internet was offered to those that needed it. Communication was good as things changed. One thing that could have been better was having options for parents. In nearby Villa Park Elementary District 45, parents that could not stay home and do e-learning were allowed to send their children to a modified classroom that was operated with the help of the YMCA. The current school board should have worked on giving parents an option.
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: It will be very difficult to say where we will be in this pandemic in April. I think every single student, educator and student wants in person learning to resume. If the COVID numbers continue to drop, the school board should plan for a return to in-person classes. This, of course, would not be forced or be a solution for everyone. Until all parents feel safe the distinct should have a plan to have some remote learning for parents and family that are high risk at home. We have learned that things can change suddenly in this pandemic and we should be ready with several plans. This may include working with the local library, village, park district and nearby school districts to see if we can partner in assisting with child care, in-person tutors or a modified classroom or assistance with technology.
Q: What is your position on allowing high school sports to continue during the pandemic? Be specific.
A: Addison Elementary District 4 does not have high school sports. I think that the local high school board needs to have input from the community, student body, Illinois Athletic governing body and medical health officials. If the health guidelines allow, then the school board should introduce sports. Not all sports are the same. Outdoor sports and sports with limited contact should be introduced first with safety procedures in place.