Michael Hoyt, Minooka School District 111 School Board election questionnaire

Election 2024
Minooka School District 111 Board of Education candidate Michael Hoyt

Full Name: Michael Hoyt

What office are you seeking? MCHS 111 School Board

What is your political party? Non-partisan

What is your current age? 47

Occupation and Employer: Learning & Training Advisor for IPC International

What offices, if any, have you previously held? None

City: Shorewood, IL

Campaign Website: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100090152673474

Education: Bachelor of Arts, School for New Learning, DePaul University Master of Arts in Teaching, Secondary Education, National-Louis University

Community involvement: Mission work abroad for 7 years (Mexico, Brazil, Italy)

Marital status/Immediate family: I have been married for 14 years to my wife Michelle and we have two children Mackenzie (10) and Michael (9).

Why are you running for office?

Primarily, I am running out of service to my community and our children. My wife and I moved out here 7 years ago because of the high quality of the Minooka school district. I have 2 children currently in these schools and I would like to see our school district get even better. I have always had a passion for education, helping the youth prepare themselves for a successful future. I want to represent our families by listening to their concerns and making sure that families are included in decisions that impact their children. I also want to make sure our students and teachers have access to the quality resources and activities they need to be successful.

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

As a former educator, I have taught at many different levels, middle school, high school and college. I was a youth group leader for many years too and I truly understand the needs, challenges, struggles our youth face today. I am not an extremist on the political spectrum, and I am open to listen and learn from the perspectives of those around me. Being that this is a non-partisan position, I believe this type of mindset will help keep political agendas out of our schools.

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?

Curriculum resources need to stay current to best serve our teachers and children. I will work with school administrators, teachers, and support professionals to gather input and work with the other board members to ensure that all decisions are based on what is best for students. I believe that no single individual should make curricular decisions without a process for gathering input and vetting appropriate resources district-wide.

I also hope we can focus more on critical thinking and teach our children to hear both sides of an argument before making a decision. Critical thinking and debate are good things. An educated community is one that factors in their critical thinking skills, instead of simply accepting the news they receive or because they lean left or right or because Google told them.

Are LGBTQ students treated fairly in your district?

I believe so. While I absolutely support the rights of each student to feel safe and supported while at school, regardless of their sexual orientation, I would still need to gather more information from parents, students and the mental health professionals in the district.

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

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion are very important to create a respectful environment in our schools. But I recently noticed a Leadership Training at MCHS that focused on DEI. I noticed that there were a handful of concerned parents that felt it was too political in nature and wanted to opt-out. It is very important for schools to make sure parents have a say in these matters before they are implemented. It is also crucial that parents speak up when their input is requested.

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

Yes. So much of today’s DEI focus is on the external (ethnicity, age, appearance, gender) and not so much on the internal (our beliefs, perspectives and values). I believe that to be truly inclusive, we need to teach our children how to respectfully disagree. Inclusion also means “I respect your point of view enough and I am okay with you being different than me. I still love you and respect you as my neighbor and my equal.” Based on that point, it would be great if DEI curriculum included a better, more comprehensive definition of the word “inclusion” and to stop treating disagreement as an offense.

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

Yes, when compared to other states and school districts, MCHS teachers are getting paid accurately. The pension plan is quite rewarding as well. This doesn’t mean we cannot improve the compensation structure. I would add more to the stipends for sports, clubs, and activities. This would encourage staff to continue to spend their energy to help students before and after school. Students will also benefit from these additional opportunities.

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

Yes, if we want the best schools, we have to be able to recruit and retain the most qualified and educated staff. This requires a pay scale that is valued highly by our teachers. But like most jobs, accountability should also be factored into the process.

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

Like upper management positions that require more responsibility, experience and even more stress, a superintendent should be compensated at a higher scale. But like I said above, accountability should also be factored into the process. A superintendent who is successful at improving the school district, who listens to the concerns of parents and who is totally dedicated to student success, deserves every dollar of their salary.

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


Do you support the current superintendent? Please explain.

Yes, I have heard good things about Dr. Schiffbauer from school board members, teachers and administrators. I believe his experience at Lincoln-Way High School 210 and his many educational credentials will continue to serve him well. I look forward to seeing more of his impact on our schools.

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

Yes, our public schools should use these national standards, but parents should also have the right to opt-out if they feel their value system and morality is being compromised. Whether teens learn about sex education at school or at home, it is important for teens to understand how their bodies function and the consequences tied to sexual activity.

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

I think the district did “okay” considering how hard it is to predict the unknown. The biggest challenge sometimes is our dependency on state decisions that usually focus more on politics before they address the real needs of our kids and the impact on families. If school districts had been given more autonomy, I’d like to think we would have done better.

What did you learn from the pandemic?

I learned how impossible it is to please everyone and how polarizing this topic was. I realized how our health care system focuses more on treatment of illness than prevention. I also learned that CDC and our government was in experimental mode with us, not really knowing what would work, acting like true scientists who test out their theories in a pass / fail environment. On a personal level, I’m a bit disappointed in the all the government mandates, considering the freedoms we profess in our country and the rights we have as parents to choose what is in the best interest of our children.

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

As one of those voters / taxpayers, I know firsthand how our taxes are higher than other areas. But I would not want to sacrifice the quality of our children’s education in order to serve the interests of those who do not value it as much. Children are our future and good school districts are where people want to live.

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

I intend to respect taxpayers’ interests by serving as a responsible steward of the school district’s assets. If there is a need in the future, it would have to be warranted as a real need and evident to the betterment of the community.

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

If there are ways of stretching our tax dollars to get more while paying less, I am all about that, as long as our children don’t end up paying the price because we wanted to be cheap. I will strive to be equally respectful of taxpayers’ interests while being equally respectful to the children in our schools.

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

Absolutely. I believe voters will choose candidates they feel best address the academic, social, emotional, physical, and mental health needs of their children.

What is your position on open, transparent government?

Yes absolutely. Transparency builds trust. I look forward to the day when government is made up mostly of individuals who truly want to serve others and make their communities better. Perhaps then, the need for transparency and openness won’t be so essential.

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