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2017 Election Questionnaire: Berwyn South School District 100 Board of Education candidate Darlene K. Yoder

Published: Monday, March 20, 2017 10:10 p.m. CDT
Caption
(Photo provided)
Berwyn South School District 100 Board of Education candidate Darlene K. Yoder

Age

41

Current occupation

Licensed Mental Health Counselor in Private Practice

Education

Bachelor’s Degree with Majors in Political Science and Psychology. Master’s Degree in Clinical Psychology.

Immediate family

Husband of 14 years, Eric Yoder. Two sons age 13 and 10.

Civic involvement

I am currently the President of the Berwyn Township 708 Mental Health Board. I was appointed as a volunteer Board member almost three years ago. I have regularly attended school board meetings for the past 3 ½ years and last year worked on a DACE

Previous elected offices held

None.

Why have you decided to run for this office?

I am very invested in Berwyn. My two sons have attended South Berwyn schools since kindergarten. My husband and I own property and two small businesses here. I believe that a strong public school system is essential to having a healthy community. When I found out around 3 years ago about the challenges facing this district, I decided this was an area of volunteering and advocacy that I needed to engage. I think I can help make the right decisions to drive our district in a positive direction.

What experience and strengths would you bring to this office if elected?

I have some experience with budget development due to serving on the budget committee at my church for two years recently as well as working on the budget for the Berwyn Township 708 Mental Health Board. I have also been a part of my husband’s small business for 17 years and I started my own small business 3 years ago. Understanding how to make sound business and budgeting decisions will surely help my efforts...

During college, grad school and the first decade of my career, my focus was learning about children. I have significant knowledge around child development and due to having worked in child welfare I have experience working with schools to make education decisions for children...

Where do you stand on the district’s referendum measure asking for an increase to the limiting tax rate?

I was adamantly and publicly opposed to the district’s referendum request 3 years ago. I believed that the amount requested then would create a significant financial hardship for many of my neighbors. ...

For over a year...I advocated for the district to...decide on a referendum question that is as small as possible to both respect the finances of our taxpayers and ensure our student’s needs are met.

Because the district accomplished these standards, I do support this referendum... I am very concerned that if this referendum does not pass the district will be forced to close 1-2 elementary schools and raise class sizes significantly in order to stay financially solvent in the future.

What are your thoughts regarding Illinois’ school funding formula?

I believe the Illinois funding formula is inequitable and represents a social injustice issue that should be amended immediately. ALL children should be provided with healthy public schools and enriching activities. I believe districts in less wealthy neighborhoods should be able to give an equal education compared to the more wealthy neighborhoods in this state.

What types of new technologies or styles of learning should the district explore or implement in the coming years?

Candidate did not respond.

The current political climate across the United States seems more divided than ever. What will you do to foster cooperation and compromise on the board?

Cooperation and compromise begin with good listening. Toward that end I will strive to first seek out the needs and preferences of teachers, parents, and students regarding how education is delivered. I believe every member of the board will be in agreement that these key stakeholders should be the drivers of our decisions.

However, I also must say that I believe debate and differing ideas being shared in a collaborative group is a valuable thing that I celebrate. I believe it’s possible to disagree and remain undivided.

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