Marcelo Sztainberg: 2023 Candidate for Glenbrook High School District 225 school board
Age on Election Day: 53
Occupation: Interim Dean Graduate Studies, Analytics and Research
Employer: Northeastern Illinois University (NEIU)
Previous offices held: Glenbrook D225 board member since 2017
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 believe in public service and I'm running for reelection to continue serving an excellent district and community. While there are many issues that motivates me, I would love to continue working to make our schools a safe and nurturing environment for all our students, teachers, staff, families and community members.
Q: What is the role of the school board in setting and monitoring curriculum?
A: I believe that the development of curriculum is the responsibility of the teachers that have the proper training and education to work on age appropriate subjects and maintain the professional development to stay current and bring pedagogies that are engaging and helpful to our students. The role of the school board is to support the processes that lead to the development and improvement of curriculum. As board members we should also be sensitive to our community input and make sure that questions and concerns are clearly addressed.
Q: Are there curriculum issues within the district that you feel need particular attention from the board?
A: I believe that the district has a good process in place for curriculum review and updates.
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: I believe that people have the right to bring their concerns and everyone should have a voice, as long as this is done in a respectful and proper manner. Most of us, board members, bring back questions from our community even if we are not necessarily in agreement with each question. These questions deserve attention and a proper response to it. In terms of popularity, I always support what I believe is right for our students' education and well-being, even if it is unpopular.
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: I think we've learned many things and our district adapted through changes as we learned more about the pandemic. We were one of the first districts that reopened and we slowly increased our attendance as people felt comfortable with the safety measures put in place by our district administration.
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 think our board has been very effective in working through consensus. While is clear that we do not agree on every issue, we strive to find a common ground and in most cases, as our voting record indicate, our decisions are a reflection of that common ground. I think our differences make our decision process stronger as we all bring something to the table.
Q: What makes you the best candidate for the job?
A: As an incumbent, people know where I stand in most of the issues. Aside from that, I think that as a Latino immigrant, a bilingual-bicultural learner, I can bring a different point of view to many issues.
Q: What's one good idea you have to better your district that no one is talking about yet?
A: I think we need to find better ways for communication and participation for all our community members. Maybe create spaces where people can come and bring their ideas and questions. We need to realize that we are all part of the same community and regardless of our differences we all want to make our schools the best place for our children.