Judd Lofchie: 2023 candidate for East Aurora Unit District 131 board, 4-year term
Age on Election Day: 65
Occupation: Lawyer and commercial Realtor
Previous offices held: Alderman, City of Aurora
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 am running for school board because I believe I can connect students with internships, job and careers, using my large networking group I started, Aurora Business United, which has over 2,500 members. I am passionate about helping students and have hired many interns who I mentored pursue meaningful careers in real estate, law, and manufacturing.
Q: What is the role of the school board in setting and monitoring curriculum?
A: East Aurora has a curriculum committee. The board should review, approve and monitor the committee goals, and make sure they are being met.
Q: Are there curriculum issues within the district that you feel need particular attention from the board?
A: Mandatory dual language curriculum is mandated for many grades. However, some of the dual language students are not doing well, and perhaps should not be required to complete this line of study. Also, there is a shortage of bilingual teachers that has to be addressed.
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: We should absolutely give a voice to constituents! And we should reach out to the various parent associations to get feedback and not wait for them to come to us. Also, we should review what the state guidelines.
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: Home study is really hard on the students. I believe having them come to school at least periodically with masks would help their mental health.
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: As an alderman or president of various charity organizations, I have learned to build consensus. And to pick your battles and not try and get your way all of the time. I know all of the board members and the superintendent which will help me hit the ground with my feet running!
Q: What makes you the best candidate for the job?
A: I have lived on the east side of Aurora for 27 years and have a good feel for the issues facing students, parents and the school district. I will be able to use my business connections to connect the students to internships, jobs and careers. Also, with the various employment issues, I know it would be helpful to have a lawyer on the board.
Q: What's one good idea you have to better your district that no one is talking about yet?
A: The East Aurora School District needs a new vocational center much like other school districts have. For students who can't or don't want to go to college, we need to help train them for a successful career whether in manufacturing, the building trades, or IT.