William Holmes, Minooka School District 111 Board of Education election questionnaire

Minooka School District 111 Board of Education candidate William Holmes

Full Name: William Holmes

What office are you seeking? School Board member - Minooka School District #111

What is your political party? Conservative

What is your current age? 60

Occupation and Employer: Currently seeking new opportunities

What offices, if any, have you previously held? This is the first elective position I am campaigning for, as I am seeking to be more involved in the community.

City: Shorewood, IL

Education: I have a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, from the University of Denver.

Community involvement: I am seeking to become involved in the local community and represent their views.

Marital status/Immediate family: I am currently married to Victoria Holmes for the past 29 years. Victoria is a Real Estate Broker for Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices for 20-plus years. I have two children, McLean and Mckayla Holmes, who both graduated from the Minooka School system. McLean received a BA in Computer Science from North Central College in Naperville. McKayla received a BA in Business Administration from Benedictine University in Lisle.

Why are you running for office?

I believe the parents have the right to say what is being taught and learned in the classroom. I want to represent the parents in the community and ensure their voices do not fall on deaf ears. Furthermore, I want to ensure the students have a healthy and safe institution for learning, both peer vs. peer and peer vs. environment.

Students need a culture in which they can respect and support each other. They should have a community within the school class itself to help prepare them for the future.

In addition, the classroom curriculum should encompass the values that promote self-thought and awareness for the student, giving them the right resources to make educated decisions. Furthermore, we need to invest in the future needs of the facilities and ensure existing facilities are well maintained.

What makes you qualified for the office you’re seeking?

Versatile and accomplished executive with a progressive career in operations managementwithin high-volume and high-service hospitality environments. Fluent in all aspects of business/operations planning and budgeting. Design new systems and strategic plans to turn around problem areas. Direct contributions to improved cost control and efficiency. Implement policies and procedures to maintain regulatory compliance. Expertise includes P&L management, sales, business development, resource optimization, talent development, labor control, fiscal management, risk/compliance, forecasting, and contract negotiations. An exceptional leader with the unique ability to transform big-picture vision into strategic action plans for success.

Have you sought and/or received any training to run for your local school board? If so, from whom?

I have not received any prior training.

Would you propose any changes to the curriculum? If so, what?

I would not change the current curriculum as it stands today. Although, we need to remain open to what the future holds and be ready to make adjustments to continue to provide the best student education experience.

Are LGBTQ students treated fairly in your district?

I am unaware of the exact treatment of LGBTQ and all students, for that matter. If there is unfair treatment to any student, regardless of how one identifies, I will ensure the incident is investigated.

What is your assessment of how Diversity, Equity and Inclusion is handled in your school district?

The current administration has the foundation to ensure diversity and inclusion among students. One should not only see color first. The strength of our community is built on diversity, and we all need to understand different cultures and respect one another. Inclusion is important; no student should be left out or behind. Equity is not equality, and equity places division between culture, religion, and ethnicity.

Do you believe the district needs to make any changes to improve DEI in your district?

I do feel that DEI needs to be reevaluated. Parents have rights; they need to be heard. If changes or improvements need to be made, the voices of the community will be heard.

Are teachers in your district paid adequately now and in retirement?

When looking at compensation, there are four factors needed to be considered. Income for the school district is based on: property values, tax rate, state appropriations and federal aid, and pupil enrollment. Typically, about two-thirds of this income is spent on employee compensation.

Would you support changes to teacher pay scales? If so, how?

We all believe we are worth more than what we are typically compensated for in our position at work. I will ensure educators have a fair living wage/compensation. While pay scales are unknown to me, if they need to be revisited, I am open to reevaluating the pay scales.

The trick is to keep a balanced annual budget while listening to what the community expects from the board. Income is limited, so the options to increase compensation are limited through these means: adopting a deficit budget; this is not a good option. Increase efficiency by eliminating frills, waste, and/or courses, increasing teacher workloads and larger classrooms. Finally, ask voters to approve a tax increase.

What is your assessment of the district superintendent’s compensation?

Yes, he is fairly compensated based on the surrounding school districts’ compensation.

Would you make any changes to how the district superintendent is compensated?

It would be premature for me to comment on this question.

Do you support the current superintendent? Please explain.

I support Dr. Robert Schiffbauer based on his experience and educational background. This includes the positions held during his tenure at Lincoln-Way High School district #210 and his credentials of four degrees, including an Ed.S. degree from Illinois State University. Dr. Schiffbauer has the credentials to be a leader and invoke necessary change to position and lead Minooka into and through its next chapter.

Should schools in your district adopt and teach sex education according to the National Sex Education Standards? Please explain.

The NSES sets minimal standards in standardizing the teaching of core content throughout the US. I believe the community should have a say in what is taught in sex education and when it’s age appropriate. Meeting family values should be the goal of the district.

The responsibility of sex education should not fall solely on teachers. Parents should also be involved in the sex education processes and partake in educating their children too.

What is your assessment of how the COVID-19 pandemic was handled locally?

Reviewing the information obtained during the pandemic, information that continues to become available, and what science tells us: we failed our children miserably. Moving forward, we need to ensure we are making an educated decision based on the facts and actual science, not opinion. Far too often, we received information that was not peer-reviewed and implemented policy based on others’ opinions. We must learn from our mistakes and implement systems to ensure we do not repeat the errors and poor decisions adopted during that time. For example, we know masks, plexiglass, and distancing did not prevent the spread of Covid-19.

What did you learn from the pandemic?

The main goal of the curriculum is to teach students to find factual and reliable information. To complete a comprehensive search on the facts, and don’t just believe what we are being told. Additionally, we need to hear what the community is saying.

All science is peer-reviewed; we should read these studies, not just listen to public opinions.

Are voters that support your district taxed at an appropriate level?

As they are today, yes.

Would you support any plans to raise taxes in the district? If so, what should the additional revenue be spent on?

I would support raising taxes to offer additional resources to for student body (i.e. adding new facilities on campus). Still, it would be up to the people being taxed (voters) to determine if they supported new infrastructure.

Would you support lowering taxes in the district? If so, what programs or services in the district would you cut?

I do not support lowering the taxes as it would lessen the district’s capabilities in providing an educational experience that will ensure our students are prepared for the next step in their lives. Whether that be college, entering the workforce, or something else.

Will you accept the voters’ decision in your race on Election Day?

Yes, I would accept the outcome by the voters, and if elected, I would be honored to represent them.

What is your position on open, transparent government?

I believe transparency is a cornerstone of governing. Transparent communication is easy to perceive and direct, a value the district needs to be accountable to the community. Parents have a right to know what decisions are being made so they can provide feedback and ensure the best decisions are made.

Do you support the Freedom of Information Act and citizens’ ability to freely access government records?

I do. Elicited officials are chosen representatives of the people and should be accountable to the people. The “Freedom of Information Act” is designed to make government transparent to the people.

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