Full Name: Diane Parro
What office are you seeking? Valley View 365U School Board
What is your political party? N/A
What is your current age? 63
Occupation and Employer: Retired
What offices, if any, have you previously held? Valley View 365U School Board for 8 years.
Campaign Website: https://sites.google.com/view/leadersforeverylearner/home
Education: Assoicates Degree from Joliet Junior College
Bachelors Degree in Computer Science from Northern Illinois University
Community involvement: Board of Directors Heart Haven Outreach
Board of Directors Valley View Educaitonal Enrichment Foundation
Boy Scouts of America
Actively involved in Grace United Methodist Church Joliet
Marital status/Immediate family: Married 34 years to husband, Mike. Two grown children, graduates of Valley View.
Why are you running for office?
Having been on the school board for 8 years, I feel that I still have more to contribute to the students of Valley View. I believe that I have been, and can continue to be a solid leader for our district.
What makes you qualified for the office you’re seeking?
I have been very involved in our district since 1998, serving in many volunteer roles across the district. Everything from ‘Room Mom’ to PTA and Music Booster President, as well as several district committees, led me to the school board position originally. I was also a substitute teacher in our district for 10 years prior to becoming a school board member, so can relate to the struggles of being in the classroom.
Have you sought and/or received any training to run for your local school board? If so, from whom?
Yes; Illinois Association of School Boards (IASB) requires extensive training once elected as a school board member. I also attend the annual IASB conference, attending several educational sessions, as well as local IASB meetings and educational sessions.
Would you propose any changes to the curriculum? If so, what?
I feel that Valley View has a very robust curriculum for all learners, although as times change our curriculum needs to be refreshed to keep up with current trends and issues. I believe that changes to curriculum need to be done as a collaborative effort with our educators.
Are LGBTQ students treated fairly in your district?
Yes. VVSD has a strong focus on equitable systems for all learners, eliminating disparities in academic and social outcomes by providing inclusive opportunities and access to resources for all.
What is your assessment of how Diversity, Equity and Inclusion is handled in your school district?
Valley View is very pro-active in ensuring ALL learners are set up for success. Starting with our littlest learners, VVSD provides programming and opportunities for families to prepare students for successful learning. The staff is equiped with the knowledge to understand and support the student groups that are historically marginalized. The high schools ensure that ALL students have the opportunity for advanced academics such as AP classes or dual credit classes.
Do you believe the district needs to make any changes to improve DEI in your district?
There is always room for improvement in DEI, and VVSD should never be satisfied with the status quo.
Are teachers in your district paid adequately now and in retirement?
When the entire compensation package is taken into consideration, I believe our teachers are paid fairly. Unfortunatley, educators across Illinois will never be compensated enough to appreciate their value to the future of our society.
Would you support changes to teacher pay scales? If so, how?
Pay scales should be reviewed at each contract negotiation.
What is your assessment of the district superintendent’s compensation?
I believe she is compensated fairly in comparison to other superintendents with the same size district and years of experience.
Would you make any changes to how the district superintendent is compensated?
Our superintendent’s compensation is based upon the goals set in the contract and the annual evaluation by the school board members.
Do you support the current superintendent? Please explain.
Absolutely. Our superintendent is a great leader, who leads by example and never expects anything from anyone that she is not willing to do herself.
Should schools in your district adopt and teach sex education according to the National Sex Education Standards? Please explain.
While I do not support teaching sex education to students of all ages, any sex education should be done in an age and grade appropriate manner.
What is your assessment of how the COVID-19 pandemic was handled locally?
Valley View handled the pandemic by following guidelines from the State of Illinois, CDC and Will County Health Department to ensure the safety of all learners and educators.
What did you learn from the pandemic?
As a board member, I saw first hand how dedicated every employee in our district was to our learners and how resilient our learners were.
Are voters that support your district taxed at an appropriate level?
Property taxes are high - there’s no doubt. But, we have to put our money into the youth of our community so that they grow up to become productive citizens. They are our future!
Would you support any plans to raise taxes in the district? If so, what should the additional revenue be spent on?
As a homeowner in our district, I do not want to see my property taxes raised at all.
Would you support lowering taxes in the district? If so, what programs or services in the district would you cut?
All district programs need to be continually evaluated to ensure their value, and that our money is being well spent. Cutting student programs is not the only way to conserve expenses; all expenses need to be continuously evaluated in order to ultimately lower taxes.
Will you accept the voters’ decision in your race on Election Day?
What is your position on open, transparent government?
Transparency is key to earning trust and respect from all stakeholders.
Do you support the Freedom of Information Act and citizens’ ability to freely access government records?