What is the importance of the Unit #4 School Board to residents of Champaign?
The Unit 4 School Board is elected to represent all of the citizens of Champaign, Savoy, and Bondville. It does this via governance through policy. The Board hires and supervises one person, the superintendent, who is tasked with running the district in line with the Boards goals and the districts mission. Simply put, the school board is in charge of everything associated with the school district.
Why are you qualified to be on the School Board?
For the past 4 years I have not only served as a Unit 4 Board of Education member but also as its president. During that time we have accomplished many things. After bringing the community together in the form of a Tier 2 committee to build consensus, the board proposed and passed a $183.4 million referendum in November of 2016 that passed by nearly a 2-to-1 margin. We've successfully negotiated 4 contracts with our staff. We've hired a Superintendent, and we navigated a charter school proposal, among many other accomplishments. I am both a licensed plumber and realtor in the state of Illinois, which has given me insight into construction and real estate issues as the board has navigated and continues forward with its referendum work. I have achieved status of Master Board Member level one through the Illinois Association of School Boards. I’m a member of Central Illinois Business Magazine’s Forty Under 40 (class of 2016), and in 2017 I won a Those Who Excel Merit award for school board members from the Illinois State Board of Education. I am a member and have been for 12+ years of Local 149 Plumbers and Pipe Fitters, where I have served as a union officer add as delegate to the AFL-CIO. I have served since October 2015 as a member of the Board of Directors for Champaign County United Way.
If elected, what is something you want to accomplish on the School Board, and how long will it take?
If elected to a second term I am passionate about seeing the referendum projects successfully completed while establishing a Facilities and Capitol Projects Plan that can carry the district’s operations forward for years to come. With consistent oversight we as a board should be able to accomplish this by Fall 2022.
Is there anything else you would like to say to an undecided voter?
Serving these last 4 years as a member of the Board of Education has been one of the most rewarding things I have done. I would be humbled and honored to serve this community for another 4 years in this roll.