Lori Linck: 2023 Candidate for for Antioch District 34 School Board (4-year term)
Age on Election Day:
Occupation: Cybersecurity and Data Privacy
Employer: Self Employed Consultant
Previous offices held:
Q: Why are you running for this office, whether for reelection or election the first time? Is there a particular issue that motivates you?
A: I'm running for the Board of Education because I believe that D34 can be a top academic district in Lake County, and can be a showpiece for our community. We've spent the past several years laying the foundation for best in class academics: implementing rigorous curriculum, rolling out new technology for students and teachers, and improving our infrastructure and learning spaces. This year we're implementing an advanced academic data tool for teachers to help ensure that they have the information they need to challenge and advance all students. Additionally, we were very fortunate to onboard our new Superintendent this summer, and he is focused on making D34 a top academic district, while continuing to fully support our wonderful arts and athletics programs. I'm excited to serve another term on the board to help ensure that all of the district's hard work comes to fruition for our students and families.
Q: What is the role of the school board in setting and monitoring curriculum?
A: The role of the school board is to ensure that highly qualified personnel are in place to select, implement, monitor and adjust the curriculum in the district. We are also responsible for ensuring that we understand the content and scope of the curriculum, and are responsible for approving or denying curriculum purchase and implementation. We are also responsible for monitoring student performance data and holding staff accountable for student performance. If there is a particular community concern or issue that arises due to curriculum content, it is my role as a board member to review the content in question so that I understand the factual basis of the concern and am informed if/when the issue is reviewed by the board.
Q: Are there curriculum issues within the district that you feel need particular attention from the board?
A: As I addressed in a previous question, I want D34 to be a top academic district in Lake County. We need high quality, rigorous curriculum to achieve this goal. We've made vast improvements in the curriculum over the past 5-7 years, but I would like to see us add coursework that encourages more critical thinking, scientific inquiry and technical expertise.
Q: How do you view your role in confronting policy or curriculum controversies: provide leadership even if unpopular, give a voice to constituents -- even ones with whom you disagree, or defer to state authorities?
A: Our role as board members is multi-faceted; we need to ensure that we have rigorous, standards aligned curriculum, we need to comply with state requirements, and we need to meet the needs of the community that we represent. It's our role as board members to listen to the concerns of the community and use this feedback as one input into reaching the best possible decisions for all stakeholders. Few decisions please everyone, but at the end of the day the board is accountable, and we must be willing to make and support difficult decisions. That said, as a board we also recognize that parents have the right to determine if subject matter is not appropriate for their own child, and we therefore have a long standing policy allowing parents to opt-out their own children from particular materials and/or content as they see fit.
Q: Concerns are growing regarding a new resurgence of the pandemic. If another massive outbreak of infectious disease occurs, what have we learned from the COVID-19 pandemic that will guide your decision making?
A: For obvious reasons Covid response required a huge learning curve. There were many challenges that had to be examined and addressed, from staffing challenges to transportation and meals, protective equipment and sanitizing supplies, quarantining, etc. Having navigated Covid, we're all in a much better position should something like this occur in the future. We've learned how to manage staff challenges like health concerns and absences, family choice and preferences, and what types of protective equipment work best in a classroom. We've navigated legal and HR issues, and would not be starting at square one should this happen again. We've also seen data on some of the long term effects on students of both the pandemic generally, and of social isolation that would help guide our response.
Q: Describe your experience working in a group setting to determine policy. What is your style in such a setting to reach agreement and manage school district policy? Explain how you think that will be effective in producing effective actions and decisions of your school board.
A: I've spent my entire career at large, diverse, multinational companies and have been responsible for implementing and operationalizing policies in most of my roles. In all cases, diverse businesses, groups and cultures needed to be able to effectively utilize the policies that I produced. I excel at distilling complex, disparate processes and opinions into simplified functional programs and policies that satisfy the needs of disparate stakeholders. In terms of the school board, what I bring to the table is the ability to find common ground, simplify complex topics, and maintain focus on goals, helping to ensure that we operate efficiently and effectively.
Q: What makes you the best candidate for the job?
A: My sole motivation for serving on the school board is to improve student and family outcomes- I'm running simply because I want the best for D34 families. I've proven that I'm a good financial steward, and am willing and able to put in the significant time and effort necessary to fulfill the duties of a board member. I have the knowledge, training and disposition to successfully navigate obstacles, make smart strategic decisions, and drive the district forward.
Q: What's one good idea you have to better your district that no one is talking about yet?
A: Coming from a background in IT and cybersecurity, I'd like to see the district expand our offerings to incorporate coding, hardware/networking and cybersecurity electives for students with an interest in this subject matter. I'd also love to see the district do a farm-to-table initiative with the students. Growing produce and incorporating the output into meals is a great life skill for students. A program like this could incorporate science concepts, support critical thinking and problem solving, and could also generate donations to the Open Arms Mission food pantry to reinforce concepts of empathy and community service.