Diana Hartmann, McHenry County Regional Superintendent of Schools 2022 Primary Election Questionnaire

Election 2024
McHenry County Regional Superintendent of Schools candidate Diana Hartmann

Full Name: Diana Hartmann

What office are you seeking? McHenry County Regional Office Superintendent

What offices, if any, have you previously held? I have not held a public office in the past. However, I have worked in schools and districts at the district level administration for over twenty years.

City: I am currently living in Lakemoor and the Johnsburg school district.

Occupation: Regional Office Superintendent

Education: Ed. D. A.B.D. Educational Leadership

Ed. S. Educational Leadership

M.S. General Educational Administration

M.A. Secondary Education

B.S. Economics

Campaign Website: Diana-hartmann.com is the campaign website although it is not fully developed yet.

What are your plans for addressing the issues identified in state and county audits of the Regional Office of Education?

I am partnering with the McHenry County finance department to organize budgets and bring transactions into compliance for auditing. We have the task of auditing and analyzing procedures prior to my appointment. Currently, I am in the process of correcting the previous findings. At the same time we are building a foundation to use for all new revenue streams including new grants we may receive. Part of my plan is to work with experts from successful Regional Offices to learn and advise me on best practices. It is non-negotiable to me that the R.O.E. will be fiscally responsible, use correct accounting procedures, and have complete financial organization in the office.

Beyond the audits, what would be your top three priorities over the next four years?

The first priority is to develop a strong offering of professional development opportunities that will be held in McHenry County. We have begun by offering in-person administrative academies and substitute training. Local educators have had the opportunity to go to the preschool and kindergarten conference either in person or virtually which was funded by the ROE. I will be looking for more opportunities for our teachers to attend conferences. We are also creating a platform on our website for educators to complete asynchronous professional development and micro credentials. As a service center for professional development, I will be gathering resources for professional growth tracks which include paraprofessional to certified teacher and teacher to administrator.

The next priority is to address the teacher, paraprofessional, and substitute shortage. This goal has many tasks to work on. To foster a career in education in our youth and grow our own, we will be introducing clubs for future educators in our districts. I am working on organizing and providing information on every program that provides tuition funding in education. While building our social media platform and website we will be highlighting the McHenry County Schools and specific programs in order to build our county as a destination for learning and working. I have joined the Regional Superintendents’ legislative committee. This committee work keeps me informed of all house and senate bills that can influence education. I am active in speaking with legislators, filing witness slips, and testifying in order to influence and bring needed action. Included in the conversation about a shortage in education is how higher ed. plays a part. I am partnering and joining the conversations with ISBE and representative from colleges and universities to complete a systems approach. The statistics show that individuals are leaving the profession. Having the appropriate staff is a factor in decreasing burn-out. Public awareness in how to become a substitute, paraprofessional, bus driver, and more is important. Honoring our hardworking educators and those that work in schools on behalf of children will be done every year at our McHenry County Educator of the Year Dinner. This inaugural event will be held May 7, 2022 at the Holiday Inn in Crystal Lake.

The last priority will be to build relationships and learn the detailed needs of each district. We want to be a competitive in seeking grant dollars to fulfill our district goals. Often our grant opportunities are in partnership with programs that would be offered in schools. To write for new opportunities, we need to know what would be useful, effective, and supported. Investigating working programs outside of our county and finding the resources to have similar offerings enriches our student experiences and opportunities. I will be building relationships throughout the county with our businesses, parent groups, social groups and all stakeholders. Business partnerships with education will identify the current skills employers are wanting in entry level employees. This information is essential in developing dual credit, apprenticeship programs, certificate training and job pipelines within districts to fulfill the needs of our county and retain human capital.

Taxes are a top concern raised by voters locally. What do you do within your position to address residents’ tax burden?

As Regional Office Superintendent I am going to Springfield at least every other month. I am working on the R.O.E. Superintendents’ legislative committee. I will actively develop relationships with local and state policy makers that influence education. It is my responsibility to provide expert K-12 information. If needed, I will provide the opposing viewpoint and voice. The bottom line is to become an active participant. To relieve the local tax burden, it is important to bring as many private, state, and federal grant dollars to the area. Gathering information and seeking input through relationship building aides in effective grant expenditures.

If you could redo or reverse any one decision made by the previous regional superintendent in the last four years, what would it be and why?

The former superintendent did not effectively build relationships with districts, other Regional Offices, and most stakeholders. There was a lack of services provided by the office. No initiative was taken to create, partner, and offer professional development. Districts were left to manage on their own. The bare minimum of statutory responsibilities was sometimes met but not often in totality. A high functioning Regional Office aides in fulfilling needs of the educational institutions within the county it serves. Needs change over time. Staying current on all topics in education, being a resource for all schools, providing opportunities for growth and development of employees, and creating excellent educational opportunities for students is my goal. The why will always be what is in the best interest of students in order for them to fulfill their goals and be a sought after contributor in their chosen field.

What role do you think the regional superintendent has in curriculum decisions at area school districts?

There are three main areas that the regional office is involved in curriculum. First it is the regional office’s responsibility to check for compliance of all state mandated initiatives. Each district is on a compliance schedule to be reviewed. Secondly, it is my goal to be an active participant in the legislative process. Building relationships with legislators and ISBE are key components. The regional office will create pipelines of this legislative information for districts to use. Lastly, through professional development, educators can grow their practice to create engagement and achievement in students.

What do you bring to the table that another candidate would not?

My thirty years of experience in education and business along with my over qualified credentials have brought me experience very few others can duplicate. I have purposefully had experience in all grades, K-12, general education, special education, safe schools, alternative education, and private-therapeutic education either as a teacher or an administrator. I have an award winning customer service, business background that always achieved in sales and goals. Educationally I hold a superintendent, director of special education, general administrative, and teaching licenses which allow me to advise and be a resource on multiple topics. My drive and determination to build, organize, provide, be involved, and grow McHenry Regional Office into a full service provider promoting what is in the best interest of our students will be unmatched.