Editor’s note: Over the next 10 weeks, The Rock River Times will dedicate this space to profiles of the 10 candidates for the Rockford Board of Education in the April 5 election. Four of the seven seats on the board are up for re-election: Sub District B, represented by Jeanne Westholder; Sub District C, represented by Alice Saudargas; Sub District E, represented by Bob Evans; and Sub District G, represented by Board President David Kelley. Kelley is not seeking re-election. By sub district, the candidates include: Sub District B – Westholder and Tim Rollins; Sub District C – Saudargas, Jane Hayes, Ken Scrivano and Mickey Simmons; Sub District E – Evans is unopposed; and Sub District G – Toby Kellogg, Laura Powers and Bill Neblock.
Vitals: Laura Powers was born in Hartford, Wis., and is employed as an independent consultant. Previously, she was employed by Sears for 23 years. She has lived in Rockford with her husband and two children for the past 17 years. In her spare time, she enjoys cycling and has competed in several sprint triathlons. Powers is running in the upcoming Board of Education elections in Sub District G.
1. What factors motivated you to run for the Board of Education seat in your sub district? I felt like I could be a part of a much-needed change in our educational system and our community.
2. What experiences – work-related or otherwise – do you feel would help you succeed as a Board of Education member? I spent 23 years at Sears as a project manager. The corporate nature there showed me that changes, though difficult, are not impossible. Some of the projects I managed, the nature and scope were overwhelming, which makes me very familiar with meeting expectations on time and under budget. I also learned the value of clear, concise, transparent communications and their effect on the end result of any project. Plus, my last 20 years there taught me how to get things done as a part of a team by organizing and working well in a collaborative environment.
3. If elected, what changes would you push for immediately? I’d push for financial accountability so that all dollars spent are student-facing, or that they are beneficial to the students in the district, not the adults.
4. What should District 205 parents and students know about your educational philosophy? We are not a “one-size-fits-all” community or school district. And that diversity has been showing up in Rockford classrooms for years. Not all kids learn the same way, so we have to find tailored ways to meet the needs of all students. We need to use our diversity in our city as a tool to reach our diverse classes.
5. What were your resolutions for 2011? To do the best job I can every day and make the most out of each day.
From the Jan. 5-11, 2011, issue