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Kelly Beerheide: District 21 School Board Candidate

Kelly Beerheide is among five candidates running for four seats on the District 21 School Board.

Name: Kelly Beerheide                 

Age: 39

Family: Married, 3 children ages 8, 6, and 4

Education: BS in Accounting, Purdue University; MBA in Finance, Kellstadt Graduate School of Business DePaul University

Occupation: Finance Professional

Previous Elected or Appointed Offices: None

Other community involvement: Volunteer at PADS

Position sought: District 21 School Board

Campaign E-mail address: kbeerheide@gmail.com

Campaign committee: N/A

Campaign Website: N/A

Campaign Facebook: N/A

Campaign Twitter: N/A 

Why are you running?  

I am running for the District 21 school board to serve my community by contributing my time, talents, and passion to help our students achieve academic success. My motivation comes from my three children who will all be students in the district in the fall. Because of them, I feel the need to help guide the district through these challenging times to make informed decisions with my fellow board members while keeping the students best interests in mind. 

In what ways would the school district benefit from your service?

My professional experience and financial background has taught me to identify problems effectively, listen carefully, and work cooperatively with my management team and staff to develop and implement solutions. If elected to the school board, these skills will serve me well in effectively communicating and collaborating with the community, teachers, staff, administrators, and other board members to resolve issues and work towards the common good of all students.

What is the biggest challenge the school district faces and what should be done to address it?

School districts in Illinois continue to remain concerned about uncertain financial conditions such as pension reform, state and federal funding, property tax refunds and future Consumer Price Indices which all could have a significant impact on a school’s budget. District 21 is not immune to these challenges. These uncertainties will create a greater need for the Board to carefully manage the district’s finances to strive to maintain a balanced budget each year. If a balanced budget is not attainable, I would work to ensure that the Board evaluates all options available to effectively manage the long range financial plans of the district.

What do you think the district does well?

District 21 provides a quality education to prepare children for higher education and to be productive and socially contributing citizens in society.

District 21 consistently attracts and retains talented teachers and staff that are dedicated to providing a quality education for all children. 

The Board has been successful maintaining a balanced budget given the recent economic challenges facing school districts.  The strong financial management team is one of the main reasons for this success.

What should be some of the school district’s priorities over the next four years? 

A top priority for the Board will be to continue to maintain a balanced budget given the financial uncertainties of state and federal governments. 

The need to develop and implement a comprehensive technology plan for the purpose of personalizing learning, fostering creativity, and stimulating innovation is critical and must be a top Board priority. The 21st century student needs to have access to technology on a daily basis to help prepare them for successful careers. 

Communication to all stakeholders is another focus area of the Board. The district should consider creating a more robust web page, including the use of social media sites to provide more information to staff, students and parents.   

What else would you like voters to know?

The education world continues to change at an amazing pace. Senate Bill 7 is going to impact staff performance and student outcomes. The Common Core if implemented effectively will provide opportunities for all learners to become lead learners. State finances and an unstable economy will continue to put pressure on the Board and district to make informed decisions that will limit the impact on the students in the classroom. The district needs strong leadership now more than ever and I believe I can provide this leadership for the Board to continue to help meet the needs of every child.

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