Michelle Elise Anderson: 2021 candidate for Community Consolidated School District 46 board
Five candidates are competing for four 4-year terms
Occupation: Entrepreneur and interior designer
Civic involvement: I'm currently an Executive Board Member of the Grayslake Chamber of Commerce
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'm running because I want to be a voice for parents in the district and improve the school system in our town. I grew up in the district and know the amazing reputation it has, and my goal is to maintain and exceed this reputation. I plan to explore the community collaboration opportunities so we, as a whole, can raise more well-rounded children within Grayslake.
Q: How would you grade the current school board on its response to the pandemic? Why?
A: I believe the current school board could have been more proactive with a solid plan during the pandemic. In these uncertain times, children need stability and a more defined outlook. I understand that with ever changing statistics, this was not easy, but parents in our district were looking for more guidance, and less hesitation.
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 view the school board role as needing to provide solid leadership even if unpopular. There is no way to satisfy every person and viewpoint, but all of the voices need to be heard and acknowledged. Once a decision is made, the school board should be united in their platform.
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 district as a whole improved their remote learning practices significantly between last Spring and Fall. Providing the necessary tools for the students to learn from home or other remote facilities was well addressed and maintained. The return to in-person learning on a hybrid basis was, in my opinion, delayed unnecessarily, but they have resolved many of those setbacks now and are appearing to be making forward progress to return to full in-person schedules.
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: I believe that with decreasing numbers of individuals testing positive, full in-person learning is possible for this Spring. I would like to see more outdoor education incorporated (weather permitting) to not only alleviate the need for more spacing and fresh air, but help create a more well-rounded curriculum and unique experience for the students. Continuing to wear masks as required by the state and proper cleaning/sanitizing procedures will allow our children to more safely return to school.
Q: What is your position on allowing high school sports to continue during the pandemic? Be specific.
A: I believe that high school sports should be allowed to continue during the pandemic. Many of these student athletes are relying on scholarships for their higher education, and time away from the sports will be detrimental to their skills and visibility to recruiters. Again, with proper health and safety precautions, I see no reason that the sports should not continue.