Full Name: Debra Martin
What office are you seeking? Homer Community Consolidated School District 33C School Board Member
What is your political party? Republican
What is your current age? I am 56 years old.
Occupation and Employer: I am currently a 4th Grade Teacher in Joliet School District 86.
What offices, if any, have you previously held? I have been an elected School Board Member of Homer CCSD 33C since April of 2003.
City: I currently live in Homer Glen, with a mailing address of Orland Park.
Campaign Website: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100090131095044&is_tour_completed=true
Education: Curriculum & Instruction credits 2016
Teaching Certificate 2006
Bachelor of Science and Arts 1989
Community involvement: Volunteer School Board Member
Marital status/Immediate family: I have been married for 33 years and have four adult children. All of my children are Homer CCSD 33C graduates.
Why are you running for office?
I am running for the School Board of Homer CCSD 33C so that I can continue to represent all stakeholders through experience, collaboration and transparent communication. First hand experience and knowledge allows me to get right to the matter without first trying to understand the process or programs we are implementing. My experience as an educator and present School Board Member also allows me to collaborate with administrators, educators, and school board members while linking my personal knowledge to the needs of students and the educational system. All students deserve access to high quality education. I am committed to maintaining a high quality education for all of our Homer 33C students, provided by quality educators, administrators and support staff. As a long-term community member, I represent the parents and community members of our district. Homer 33Cs administration maintains a balanced budget, while being fiscally responsible. It is essential to continue a transparent and responsible budget throughout future long term projects that benefit the needs of the students and positive future of the district.
What makes you qualified for the office you’re seeking?
I have a proven past to be an active and willing participant. I am a qualified educator that has the willingness to listen, and collaborate with others in order to support Homer CCSD 33C community, including community, parents, students and staff. My background and position will allow me not only to make good, but sometimes difficult and always informed decisions. I understand and am dedicated to the overall quality of education that is provided by Homer CCSD 33C.
Have you sought and/or received any training to run for your local school board? If so, from whom?
I have been an active School Board Member for many years and have completed all mandatory trainings for School Board Members through the Illinois Association of School Boards. Optional webinars proved by the district attorney have also been important throughout the past several years. Joint Annual Conference in Chicago is a yearly event that I also attend. It is a gathering of Illinois school board members and administrators along with professionals sharing knowledge to become better as we are faced with many challenges in schools. This is provided by IASB. An elected member must stay current in school board member training.
Would you propose any changes to the curriculum? If so, what?
As a district, Homer CCSD 33C has been changing to meet the needs of all students. Not just academically, but the needs of the whole child. The recent changes have been one to one technology, SEL, SEL screener, and a more recent focus on the arts. I believe the most important focus as a Homer School Board Member is always, “What are the needs of the students?” That is what should dictate changes in curriculum.
Are LGBTQ students treated fairly in your district?
All students are treated fairly in our district. Any incidents of students being treated unfairly by others should be reported. If changes are not made, move up through the chain of command.
What is your assessment of how Diversity, Equity and Inclusion is handled in your school district?
The district programs include and not limited to, students that are gifted and students with special needs. The district continues support services for students who speak two languages at home. The School Board and administrators oversee that Homer CCSD 33C remains in compliance as well as questions any additional needs for support. There is no tolerance for bullying, including electronic bullying or intimidation. I can personally say that parents move to the Homer CC School District 33C for the programs that we have within our schools.
Do you believe the district needs to make any changes to improve DEI in your district?
As current students require change or students move into the district and require additional change or support, I believe Homer CCSD 33C will move in the direction to meet the needs of those students.
Are teachers in your district paid adequately now and in retirement?
I do believe that our teachers are paid adequately now and in retirement. As a current School Board Member, we listen to our teachers and meet their needs when reasonably possible while being responsible to our tax payers and other stakeholders.
Would you support changes to teacher pay scales? If so, how?
Society as a whole would need to change in order to pay teachers their true value.
What is your assessment of the district superintendent’s compensation?
The compensation of the district’s superintendent is compensated fairly for a district our size. His dedication and knowledge has instrumentally moved Homer CCSD 33C forward in academics and leadership.
Would you make any changes to how the district superintendent is compensated?
Do you support the current superintendent? Please explain.
Should schools in your district adopt and teach sex education according to the National Sex Education Standards? Please explain.
What is your assessment of how the COVID-19 pandemic was handled locally?
What did you learn from the pandemic?
Are voters that support your district taxed at an appropriate level?
Would you support any plans to raise taxes in the district? If so, what should the additional revenue be spent on?
Would you support lowering taxes in the district? If so, what programs or services in the district would you cut?
Will you accept the voters’ decision in your race on Election Day?
What is your position on open, transparent government?
Government positions must be open and transparent to gain the trust of the people you serve.
Do you support the Freedom of Information Act and citizens’ ability to freely access government records?
Absolutely, as long as it is done responsibly as the cost can be excessive.