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Candidate Questionnaire from March 16, 2017: School District U-46 – Melissa Owens

Categories: Elections,Questionnaire

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NAME: Melissa Owens

POSITION FOR WHICH YOU ARE A CANDIDATE:

Elgin School District U-46

1.  Why are you seeking this position?

I am running for a school board seat because I have a strong belief in the value of public education to our community; I welcome the opportunity to be involved in the direction of public education at a higher level. I hope to use my experience in business management, community leadership and as a longtime parent and volunteer in the district to continue to improve the educational opportunities we offer our community. In U-46, I will support the continued strengthening of our academic programs and will promote a culture of innovation in the district. I will strive to be a careful steward of district resources, and I will support collaborative community partnerships that leverage local and regional resources for the benefit of our students.

2.  What experience and background do you have which qualifies you for this position?

I have been heavily involved as a district volunteer for the past seven years, starting with my role as CAC Representative for Liberty Elementary. I co-chaired the CAC Special Education Committee for five years, held the position of Council Vice Chair for 1 year, and have been Council Chair for the past two years. I currently sit on the Elgin Alignment Collaborative for Education (ACE) Operating Board, and volunteer in numerous planning committees in the social services arena. Professionally, my husband and I owned a successful small business in Roselle. In that capacity, I oversaw all administrative and financial functions of the business. I now work as the Volunteer Program Coordinator for the Community Crisis Center in Elgin.

3.  What will be your greatest challenge if elected?

Funding is an ongoing concern for District U-46. The district has been able to hold the line on raising the overall tax levy the past two years, while at the same time brining a major program enhancement to the community by adding full day kindergarten. However, the reality is that district operational spending is $1400 less than the state average, while pupil to teacher and pupil to administrator ratios are consistently higher than the state average. One way to address our budget concerns is to identify and reduce spending on items that do not support our long-term goals by analyzing programs for instructional cost-effectiveness. We also need to maintain pressure at the state level to institute a more equitable school funding formula.

Release for publication? YES

I will attend the forum? YES


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