Karen Camporese: 2021 candidate for Marquardt Elementary District 15 school board
Six candidates are running for four, 4-year terms on the Marquardt Elementary School District 15 board. They are: incumbents Jean Randazzo, Danuta Polsakiewicz and Luz Luna; and challengers Marcia Reiken, Karen Camporese and Rebecca Giannelli. Polsakiewicz and Luna did not complete a questionnaire.
Village: Glendale Heights
Occupation: Physical therapist
Employer: Legacy Healthcare Services
Civic involvement: Glendale Heights Junior Women's club, Vice President of the G. Stanley Hall Elementary School Booster organization
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 became a member of the Hall Elementary School's booster organization last year when my son entered kindergarten. Being a part of this organization has allowed me to establish relationships with several teachers, who then asked if I would consider running for the board of education. I was humbled and honored to have the endorsement from these educators and I felt compelled to further serve my son's school and our community.
Q. How would you grade the current school board on its response to the pandemic? Why?
A. After attending several school board meetings, I believe the current school board did the best they could with the restrictions set by the state of Illinois. The board took the concerns expressed by school staff as well as parents into serious consideration when making their decisions.
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. A leader I hope to be would: 1. Tell the truth despite popular opinion 2. Would listen to its constituents, as a community as diverse as ours has a lot to offer. 3. Consult with experts in the medical community to form an evidence based plan to handling the challenges of the pandemic.
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. Marquardt district 15 did an outstanding job at providing the technology necessary to enable a robust remote learning system. In addition, the district frequently provides support packs which include books and other learning tools to continue to help support our students. Their continued weekly meal pickup service should not go unnoticed, as this service has a significant impact on our students' well-being.
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. Teachers in Illinois are able to receive the highly efficacious COVID-19 vaccine which is our way out of this pandemic. I believe the district's current plan is safe, as our schools have not had an outbreak since we resumed in-person learning in January. We've learned that our children are resilient and our educators are committed to providing a high quality of education, regardless of the platform that education is received.
Q. What is your position on allowing school sports to continue during the pandemic? Be specific.
A. The benefit of sports significantly outweighs the risks regarding COVID19 due to the low transmission rates in school aged children. It should ultimately be up to the parents and students to choose to participate.