Candidates Lisa Hirsh, Brent Ross, and Steve Welhouse agree that curriculum, stability, and fiscal responsibility need to be the priorities of the next Board of Education for NSSD 112. We want to focus on curriculum improvements sooner by working through reconfiguration distractions quickly. We want to limit disruption to an educational model that has served the community well, except where there is strong evidence to support change. We want to minimize the size of the referendum to ensure passage, while still making improvements in line with community values. Finally, we want to protect your property values with a greater focus on efficient spending. This is our agenda.
So far, the reconfiguration model that seems to best meet these objectives is a ten-school model with three middle and seven neighborhood elementary schools. This plan is not dependent on passing a referendum or increasing property taxes, and it is fiscally sustainable through 2030. Any plan that closes a middle school or more than two elementary schools will risk increases in class maximums, reduction in property values for those near closed schools, and higher tax rates for all.
This perspective is rooted in our shared understanding of curriculum, real estate, enrollment, Illinois school funding law, leading practices in school administration, construction costs, procurement, facilities maintenance, and more. We have immersed ourselves in the details so that we can highlight topics that have not received enough attention in recent years. It is easy for candidates to say “trust the process” and then talk about how nice, collaborative, and personally qualified they may be. All candidates share these attributes. We would rather take a more difficult path and have substantive conversation with the community.
We all have successful professional services careers in client and customer service industries. We see the entire community as our client and our mission is to be the community’s voice in education. We ask tough questions, look beyond our own district for information, hold ourselves to high standards, and have the same expectations for those we entrust to educate our kids. We also understand what it means to be professional at all times and serve the entire community’s interest. The community can be confident that we will not push something beyond the point of thoughtful consideration. At the same time, we believe the board of education should be more than a rubber stamp. We encourage you to decide for yourself which candidates are not only nice people, but have something meaningful to say.
Lisa Hirsh, Brent Ross, and Steve Welhouse
Candidates for NSSD 112 School Board