Full Name: Dr. Sandra Chimon Rogers
What office are you seeking? Board member of the Lockport Township High School District 205
What is your political party? The school board is not on a party ticket, however, I am running as a fiscally independent conservative who is focusing on providing our future leaders the best opportunities and educational possibilities.
What is your current age? 49
Occupation and Employer: Dean of the College of Professional Studies.
What offices, if any, have you previously held? President of the Board for the Association of Accredited Naturopathic Medical Colleges (AANMC).
City: Homer Glen
Campaign Website: https://www.facebook.com/DrSCRogers
Community involvement: I provide guidance for those that reach out with regard to academics and career options in all areas from art curators to a research biostatistician.
Marital status/Immediate family: Married with 2 kids
Why are you running for office?
Having been a part of the Homer Glen community since the late 1980′s and a Lockport Township High School (LTHS) alumni who was a percussionist for LTHS’s band. I took advantage of the honors courses offered and was involved in many other high school activities, including serving as an aide for the Science and Athletic departments. My passion for academics began with many conversations I had with my chemistry teacher at LTHS, Mr. Pocius. It is because of my experience at LTHS that I am in the field and position I currently hold, serving as a dean of academics and faculty for a college of professional studies.
Along with all my schooling, I obtained a Ph.D. in analytical chemistry from the University of Illinois, specializing in bioanalytical nuclear neurochemistry, focusing on finding various orthomolecular (natural products in their purest form) compounds that may be possible preventatives for Alzheimer’s disease.
I have been recognized for innovation in academic curriculum overhaul by the Congressional House of Representatives and the Society of Innovators, along with presenting a TEDx Talk on changing the way we teach and learn.
Currently, in my spare time, with my former research assistants (two of whom are my sons, one of whom attends LTHS and the other will join the LTHS community in the fall of 2023), we are working on completing my project with NASA/ISS/CASIS to see the effects of anti-gravity as a possible prevention for Alzheimer’s disease.
As an individual at the forefront of higher education, if elected, I will work on ensuring that we offer our students an opportunity to shine regardless of whether they are college-bound or trade school-focused. In order to do so, I will need your support. Please vote for Dr. Sandra Chimon Rogers and let’s continue to aim high for the good of our children, community, and future.
What makes you qualified for the office you’re seeking?
- Passion for education: As a candidate, I am passionate about education and have a strong desire to make a positive impact on students and the school system can be a great asset to the school board.
- Experience: As a candidate, I have experience working in education, having valuable insights and knowledge that can help guide decisions for the school board.
- Community involvement: As a candidate who is active in the local community and has a good understanding of the needs and concerns of the community, I can be an effective advocate for the community on the school board.
- Problem-solving skills: School boards face many challenges, from budget constraints to educational policies. As a candidate with strong problem-solving skills and the ability to think creatively, I can help the board find solutions to these challenges.
- Communication skills: As a school board member needs to be able to effectively communicate with a variety of stakeholders, including students, parents, teachers, and the community. As a candidate with strong communication skills, I can help build bridges and bring people together to support the school system.
Have you sought and/or received any training to run for your local school board? If so, from whom?
Would you propose any changes to the curriculum? If so, what?
There have been numerous proposals for curriculum changes in various subjects and levels of education. Among the most frequently suggested modifications are:
More emphasis on critical thinking and problem-solving skills: Many educators believe that rather than simply memorizing and regurgitating information, the curriculum should place more emphasis on developing critical thinking and problem-solving skills.
More technology and digital literacy: As technology becomes more important in today’s world, some experts believe that the curriculum should include more instruction on digital literacy and the use of technology in a variety of fields.
More focus on practical, real-world skills: Some educators argue that the curriculum should be more focused on practical, real-world skills that students can use in their daily lives, such as financial literacy, cooking, and basic home repair.
More diverse and inclusive representation: Some experts have suggested that the curriculum include more diverse perspectives and representation, particularly in areas such as history, literature, and social studies.
More interdisciplinary learning: Many educators believe that the curriculum should be structured to encourage interdisciplinary learning, allowing students to see the connections between different subject areas and develop a more well-rounded understanding of the world.
These are just a few of the curriculum changes that have been proposed for various subjects and levels of education. Ultimately, any curriculum changes should be carefully considered and founded on research and best practices in education.
Are LGBTQ students treated fairly in your district?
Many LGBTQ students have been subjected to discrimination, harassment, and marginalization in schools. Bullying can take many forms, including verbal and physical abuse, exclusion from school activities and events, and discrimination from teachers and administrators.
According to research, LGBTQ students are more likely than their non-LGBTQ peers to face bullying, harassment, and victimization. According to a 2019 survey conducted by the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network (GLSEN), 86% of LGBTQ students reported harassment or assault at school, and 70% reported hearing homophobic remarks from their peers.
LGBTQ students’ negative school experiences can have serious consequences for their mental health, academic performance, and overall well-being. Many LGBTQ students feel unsafe, unwelcome, and unsupported in school, which can lead to higher rates of absenteeism, dropping out, and even suicidal ideation.
Many schools and educators are working to create more inclusive and welcoming environments for LGBTQ students in order to address these issues. This can include putting policies in place to protect LGBTQ students from discrimination and harassment, educating and training teachers and staff about LGBTQ issues, and establishing support groups and resources for LGBTQ students.
Overall, there is still much work to be done to ensure that LGBTQ students are treated fairly and have the same opportunities and support as their non-LGBTQ peers. Many organizations, educators, and advocates, on the other hand, are working to bring about positive change and to make school environments more inclusive and welcoming for all students.
What is your assessment of how Diversity, Equity and Inclusion is handled in your school district?
Many educators, administrators, and policymakers have recognized the importance of creating more inclusive and equitable learning environments for all students in recent years, and there has been a growing emphasis on DEI in schools. DEI refers to a set of practices and policies that aim to ensure that all students have equal access to educational opportunities and feel valued and respected in the school community, regardless of their race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, or other factors.
Even though there has been improvement in many areas, there is still more to be done to address the problems of bias, discrimination, and inequality in schools. Numerous schools still contend with problems like racial and ethnic gaps in academic attainment, disproportionate disciplinary actions against marginalized students, and restricted access to resources and support for kids from minority backgrounds.
Many educational institutions and staff members are attempting to put DEI policies and procedures into place that support equity and inclusion for all students in order to solve these problems. This may entail developing curricula that are more culturally sensitive and diverse, applying restorative justice and other alternative disciplinary procedures, and offering resources and assistance to students from underrepresented backgrounds.
Overall, the commitment and collaboration of educators, administrators, parents, and community members is essential for the success of DEI efforts in schools. It is possible to create more equitable and inclusive learning environments for all students by collaborating and prioritizing DEI in all aspects of school life.
Do you believe the district needs to make any changes to improve DEI in your district?
The diversity, equality, and inclusion (DEI) of schools can be enhanced through a number of district-level adjustments. Possible modifications include the following examples:
1. Broadening the range of professors and staff: According to research, students from underrepresented backgrounds, in particular, can benefit from having a diverse teaching team in terms of academic performance. Districts can make an effort to attract and keep a more diverse teaching staff by using targeted hiring procedures, professional development opportunities, and other activities.
2. Developing culturally responsive curricula: Districts can seek to create and implement curricula that embrace diverse perspectives and voices and represent the variety of their student communities. This can entail employing a variety of texts and resources, adding cultural themes into current courses, and offering instructors resources and assistance to enable them to incorporate culturally responsive methods into their instruction.
3. Providing faculty and staff with chances for professional development and training: Districts can provide faculty and staff with opportunities for professional development and training on subjects connected to DEI, such as cultural competency, unconscious bias, and restorative justice. This can assist teachers in acquiring the information, abilities, and attitudes necessary to build more equitable and inclusive learning environments for all children.
4. Establishing safe places and support groups for students from underrepresented backgrounds, such as LGBTQ+ students, students of color, and students with disabilities, is something districts can concentrate on. This can entail offering mental health and counseling services, mentoring programs, affinity clubs, and other places where students can meet others who share their identities and experiences.
These are just a few examples of the kind of modifications districts might do to enhance DEI in educational settings. The most effective modifications will ultimately depend on the requirements and situations that each district and its pupils face. Districts can establish more inclusive and equitable learning environments for all children by putting a priority on DEI and working cooperatively with educators, administrators, students, families, and community members.
Are teachers in your district paid adequately now and in retirement?
Location, educational attainment, and years of experience are only a few examples of the many variables that affect teacher pay. Nonetheless, in general, many teachers believe that they are not paid fairly for the significant labor that they perform.
The National Education Association (NEA) reported that the national average teacher pay for the 2020–21 academic year was $65,090. Even so, many teachers make significantly less than this because compensation varies greatly by state and district. On their wages, teachers in places with high costs of living may occasionally find it difficult to pay for housing and other necessities.
Many instructors worry about their retirement benefits in addition to their present income. The state-run pension systems that many teachers participate in offer retirement benefits based on years of service and salary. However, due to worries about sustainability and underfunding, these initiatives have recently come under question.
Many governments and districts are looking into measures to raise teacher salaries and enhance retirement benefits in order to solve these problems. Increasing salaries, providing incentives for educators to work in high-needs subjects or schools, and increasing state pension plan contributions are a few examples of possible solutions.
Ultimately, even though teacher remuneration is a complicated topic with no simple answers, many educators and advocates feel that it is critical to give teachers priority when it comes to fair and adequate salary and retirement benefits. It is feasible to attract and keep brilliant and committed educators who can assist to influence the future of our schools and society by valuing and supporting the teaching profession.
Would you support changes to teacher pay scales? If so, how?
There are a variety of strategies that can be used to support changes to teacher pay scales. Some potential approaches include:
Advocacy and organizing: Teachers and their allies can use protests, letter-writing campaigns, social media campaigns, and other kinds of activism to demand changes to teacher pay scales. It could be possible to urge legislators and district officials to make changes by bringing attention to the problem and garnering public support.
Cooperation and negotiation: To negotiate adjustments to pay scales, teachers’ unions and district administrators can cooperate. This could entail formulating ideas and counterproposals, taking part in arbitration or mediation, or utilizing other cooperative problem-solving techniques.
Advocate for improvements to teacher pay scales through the policy and legislative processes. Teachers and their allies can do this by participating in advocacy groups. This could entail campaigning for amendments to current laws or policies, or it might entail working with legislators to create and pass legislation that addresses teacher pay.
Analysis of data and research: Advocates and researchers can utilize data and analysis to support changes to teacher pay scales. This could entail researching the effects of teacher pay on student results, examining salary data to pinpoint pay inequalities or areas in need of improvement, or creating models or proposals for new pay scales.
In the end, the best methods for assisting changes to teacher pay scales will depend on the particular requirements and context of each district and community. It is feasible to move closer to more equitable and fair teacher compensation by cooperating and utilizing a number of ideas and tactics.
What is your assessment of the district superintendent’s compensation?
In general, superintendent compensation is higher than teacher compensation, reflecting the position’s significant responsibilities and demands. Superintendents are in charge of overseeing the district’s day-to-day operations, managing budgets and personnel, implementing policies and programs, and serving as the district’s public face.
While some may question the high levels of superintendent pay, others argue that they are necessary in order to attract and retain qualified candidates for these important leadership positions. It is also worth noting that many superintendents work long hours and may be on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week, which can be demanding and stressful.
Finally, the appropriateness of superintendent compensation will be determined by a number of factors, including the position’s specific responsibilities and demands, the district’s financial resources and priorities, and the qualifications and experience of the individual in the role. Districts must be transparent about superintendent compensation and ensure that it is fair and equitable in comparison to other positions within the district.
Would you make any changes to how the district superintendent is compensated?
Superintendent compensation is a complicated issue that is influenced by a number of factors, including the district’s size and location, the specific responsibilities and demands of the position, the superintendent’s qualifications and experience, and the district’s financial resources and priorities. Some potential factors to consider when evaluating superintendent compensation are as follows:
- Comparable positions: To ensure that superintendent compensation is fair and equitable, compare it to that of other leaders in the district or in similar roles in other districts.
- District finances: When determining superintendent compensation, districts may need to consider their overall financial health as well as the availability of resources.
- Some districts may link superintendent compensation to specific performance metrics or goals such as student achievement, graduation rates, or community engagement.
- Equity and fairness: When setting superintendent compensation, districts may need to consider equity and fairness issues, such as the potential impact on other district staff and the broader community.
Ultimately, the appropriateness of superintendent compensation will be determined by a number of factors, and there may be no one-size-fits-all solution that works for every district. Districts can work toward compensation policies that are fair, equitable, and reflective of the value and importance of the superintendent role in leading and supporting the district by engaging in transparent and collaborative discussions about compensation and considering a variety of factors and perspectives.
Should schools in your district adopt and teach sex education according to the National Sex Education Standards? Please explain.
The decision to adopt and teach sex education in accordance with the National Sex Education Standards should be based on a number of factors, including parental consent, local community needs, and values, as well as any relevant state and federal laws or regulations.
Having said that, a group of experts developed the National Sex Education Standards, which provide comprehensive, evidence-based guidance on what should be included in a sex education program. Anatomy and physiology, relationships, communication, consent, sexual behavior, and sexual health are among the topics covered by the standards. Teaching sex education in accordance with these standards, at an age-appropriate period of their development, can assist young people in developing the knowledge and skills necessary to make informed decisions about their sexual health and behavior. It can also aid in the prevention of unintended pregnancies, sexually transmitted infections, and sexual violence.
Subsequently, local school districts should make the decision to adopt and teach sex education in accordance with the National Sex Education Standards in consultation with parents, students, educators, and other community members, taking into account the community’s unique needs and values.
What did you learn from the pandemic?
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on education around the world, and we have learned several important lessons from this experience.
- The role of technology in education: The pandemic has hastened the adoption of technology in education, emphasizing the importance of digital infrastructure and tools to support online and remote learning. Schools and educators have had to quickly adapt to new technologies and devise novel ways to engage students in virtual learning environments.
- The digital divide: The pandemic has also highlighted the digital divide that exists in many communities, with some students lacking access to devices or consistent internet connections. This has highlighted the importance of increased investment in digital infrastructure as well as efforts to ensure that all students have equal access to technology.
- The significance of social-emotional learning: The pandemic has heightened awareness of students’ social-emotional needs, including their mental health and well-being. The pandemic’s stress and disruption have made it more important than ever for schools to support students’ social-emotional needs.
- The importance of schools in the community: The pandemic has also highlighted the critical role that schools play in the larger community. Schools have not only provided education to students and their families, but also food, healthcare, and other essential services. This has highlighted the need for greater collaboration between schools and community organizations to support students’ and families’ well-being.
- Educators and students’ resilience: Despite the challenges posed by the pandemic, educators and students have shown remarkable resilience and adaptability. Even in the face of unprecedented disruptions and uncertainties, they have found creative ways to continue learning and stay connected with one another.
These are just a few of the many educational lessons we’ve learned from the pandemic. It is critical that educators, policymakers, and communities continue to reflect on these lessons and take action to address the challenges and opportunities revealed.
Are voters that support your district taxed at an appropriate level?
To determine whether voters who support Lockport Township High School District 205 are taxed appropriately, an examination of the district’s tax structure, revenue and spending, services and programs offered, and community economic conditions are required. This is a complex and nuanced issue that is dependent on numerous factors, and it would necessitate a more in-depth understanding of the district’s specific circumstances as well as the needs and values of the local community.
Moreover, it is important to note that property taxes are the primary source of revenue for the majority of public school districts in the United States, including District 205. Property tax rates are typically set by the local government and can vary greatly depending on a number of factors, including the assessed value of properties in the district and the school system’s funding needs.
The appropriateness of District 205′s tax rates would be determined by a number of factors, including the cost of providing high-quality education and services to students, the tax burden on residents, and the community’s priorities and values. If you have specific questions or concerns about Lockport Township High School District 205′s tax policies, I recommend contacting the district’s administration or local government officials.
Would you support any plans to raise taxes in the district? If so, what should the additional revenue be spent on?
Any decisions to raise taxes would depend on a variety of factors, including the funding needs of the school district, the priorities and values of the local community, and any relevant state and local laws or regulations.
If additional revenue were to be generated through a tax increase, there are many ways that it could be spent. Some potential uses of additional revenue might include:
- Hiring additional teachers or staff to reduce class sizes or improve student support services
- Investing in facility improvements or renovations to provide a safe and modern learning environment for students
- Expanding or enhancing extracurricular activities or athletics programs to provide more opportunities for student engagement and development
- Supporting technology upgrades or investments in instructional materials and resources to improve student learning outcomes
- Providing additional training and professional development opportunities for teachers and staff to enhance their skills and abilities.
Ultimately, any decisions about how additional revenue should be spent would need to be made by the district’s administration and school board, in consultation with the community and other stakeholders. The process should involve careful consideration of the district’s needs and priorities, as well as a transparent and open discussion of the potential benefits and costs of any proposed spending initiatives.
Would you support lowering taxes in the district? If so, what programs or services in the district would you cut?
Any decision to reduce taxes would be based on a number of factors, including the school district’s revenue needs, the priorities and values of the local community, and any relevant state and local laws or regulations.
If tax rates are reduced, it may be necessary to reduce or eliminate programs or services to compensate for the decrease in revenue. However, it would be inappropriate for me to suggest specific programs or services that should be cut, as that decision would ultimately be determined by the district’s specific circumstances as well as the priorities and values of the local community.
It is important to note that any decision to cut programs or services should be made carefully and deliberately, with an eye toward minimizing any negative impact on student learning and achievement. A thorough analysis of the district’s needs and priorities, as well as a transparent and open discussion of the potential benefits and costs of any proposed cuts, should be part of the process. It is critical for the district’s administration and school board to collaborate closely with the community and other stakeholders to ensure that any spending and revenue decisions are consistent with the district’s mission and vision of providing a high-quality education to all students.
Will you accept the voters’ decision in your race on Election Day?
Yes. Of course.
What is your position on open, transparent government?
Open, transparent government is a fundamental democratic principle that is critical to fostering public trust and accountability in government institutions. Access to information about government operations, decision-making processes, and the use of public resources is at the heart of an open and transparent government. This includes informing the public in a timely and accurate manner, as well as engaging in meaningful public dialogue and consultation on key policy issues.
Open and transparent government is also important for holding government officials accountable for their actions and decisions. Citizens and other stakeholders can more effectively monitor and evaluate the performance of government officials and agencies if information about their operations is made available, and they can take appropriate steps to hold them accountable if necessary.
Finally, open and transparent governance is critical for increasing public participation and engagement in the democratic process. Government institutions can help to ensure that a diverse range of perspectives is considered in the development and implementation of public policies and programs by providing access to information and opportunities for public input.
To summarize, open, transparent government is a pillar of democratic societies and is critical for fostering public trust, accountability, and engagement in government institutions.
Do you support the Freedom of Information Act and citizens’ ability to freely access government records?
The Freedom of Information Act is a federal law in the United States that guarantees citizens access to government records and information. The purpose of the FOIA is to ensure government transparency and accountability by allowing citizens to request and obtain information about how their government operates.
The FOIA allows citizens to be informed about their government’s actions, which is critical for holding government officials accountable for their actions. It also contributes to public trust and confidence by allowing citizens to see how decisions are made and taxpayer dollars are spent.
Overall, the Freedom of Information Act contributes to the preservation of a democratic society by ensuring citizens’ access to government records and information.