• U-46 Parent
• Community Member
• Financial Professional
Twenty-five years ago, my wife, Niki and I moved to Bartlett as we saw the value and promise that the community and U46 had to offer as we looked to start our lives and our family together. Over the years, we were involved in the education of our two boys, James and Peter, active in their schools and various parent organizations. Through these activities, I’ve come to a deeper interest in and appreciation for the value and importance of public education. While my youngest son graduated from Bartlett High School last spring, because of the many great opportunities that our family has been afforded, I feel a sense of responsibility to remain involved and to contribute where I can. For this reason, I applied for, and was ultimately appointed to, the U46 School Board in the spring of 2018.
Besides my role as an active parent and community member, I have had a wide variety of professional experiences that have equipped me in a number of areas that are of value to a board member. I’ve been employed as an actuary for 30 years, currently serving as Chief Actuary for a leading insurance organization where I’ve developed strong research, analytical, financial, and intrapersonal skills. My actuarial training and work experiences have routinely exposed me to financial, contractual, legal, and regulatory issues – all experiences that have relevance as a member of the school board.
I understand that balance is required when considering the needs and interests of a diverse set of constituents. I’ve found that pragmatic solutions can be achieved through hard work, exhaustive communication, a sense of alignment, and a strong spirit of collaboration.
What You Can Expect From John
Provide maximum opportunities and avenues for success to all U-46 students regardless of social, economic, and other personal circumstances
U-46 has a great array of programs and opportunities that serve its students delivered by passionate and committed teachers. Yet there are gaps in achievement across the district. Education can be a silver bullet solution for change – to really alter the trajectory for segments of the population that have traditionally underperformed in school and, as a result, tend to be less prosperous thereafter. While there may not be a single solution, it is important to continue supporting programs that offer these amazing opportunities while, at the same time, investing wisely in initiatives that serve to advance the prospects across the diverse U-46 community.
While recent reports suggest that U-46 is funded short of targets based on its student population and associated demographics, the impact of property taxes on the various communities within U46 is widely understood. As contributions to U-46 from local sources already exceed the local capacity, I will support efforts to pursue equitable and adequate school funding from the State of Illinois. Yet, as financial constraints will always be present, I will encourage and support responsible use and allocation of resources. My career as an actuary has largely been in a governance function – I’ve had a fiduciary responsibility to ensure that my organizations are acting with due care in their processes and financial activities. I bring that background and sense of stewardship to the U46 Board of Education and will work to ensure that the investments we make are sound and with clear objectives.
Education is a community effort. Beyond requiring engaged students, education is incomplete without strong engagement with families. Further, education can be well served through broader community engagement and partnerships with local businesses and non-profits. We serve a large and diverse community, so it is important to listen to more voices and involve more stakeholders. The size and diversity of the district demand that we, as board members, consider not just our own perspectives and opinions, but the wider communities that we serve. Accordingly, as a board member, I embrace the importance of participating in community events, of speaking and engaging with community members. Likewise, I encourage the administration to continue to expand efforts to improve its reach, involvement, and communications with the community.
Student Centered Focus