#1 A brief Biography that includes your qualifications for this office
I was born and raised in Highland Park and attended Braeside, Edgewood and Highland Park High School. After graduating from Colgate, I earned my MBA from Northwestern. I reside near Elm Place with my wife, Wendy Bloom, and two children, a 4th grader at Indian Trail and a 7th grader at Elm Place. Wendy serves on the 112 Foundation and is President of the Indian Trail PTO. As a private equity investor and entrepreneur, I have successfully owned and operated several businesses. Following the failure of last year’s school referendum, I was asked by District 112 to help launch the Reconfiguration 2.0 Community Team. I serve on its Steering, Communications, and Reconfiguration Committees. Because of my involvement in the Reconfiguration 2.0 Community Team, I have learned a tremendous amount about the District’s educational and facility challenges and can put that knowledge to further use as a School Board Member.
#2 The key issues to be addressed in the next term
We need to fix our financial issues and fill our vacant positions with great administrators so that we can restore stability and refocus on providing world-class education. Despite high reserves, the costs associated with operating 12 buildings will deplete our reserves in 2018. Excess capacity in our schools has caused some class sizes to become too small to be educationally and socially practical for students. Additionally, small numbers of classes in most of our schools have prevented the type of teacher collaboration that is vital to the delivery of education today. The district’s financial challenges have caused us to fall behind virtually all of our surrounding districts in implementing things such as full day kindergarten, facility improvements, and needed classroom renovations. We have cut programs that we once offered like world languages in the elementary schools and have been slow to update our curriculum.