Editor’s note: In the coming 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. The first profile appeared in the Jan. 5-11 issue. 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: Alice Saudargas, 94, has been a Rockford resident since 1940. She has served on the Rockford Board of Education for 11 years. In her spare time, Saudargas rescues various types of animals including cats and squirrels in particular. Also, she is a voluminous reader who also enjoys spending time with her family, when she is not out visiting local schools and meeting District 205 students.
1. What factors motivated you to run for the Board of Education seat in your sub district? I’ve been in education all my life. I started at age 6, then went on to college. I wanted to give my kids the best chance they have to gain a good education. I love to watch kids learn. It’s that look they give when something hits home for them. Education is my life, and schools are my passion. Plus, I love our community, and I feel it has so much to offer.
2. What experiences – work-related or otherwise – do you feel would help you succeed as a Board of Education member? My experiences in the classroom – from primary to secondary, all the way up to special education. I’ve written curriculum and set policies, so I know my way around the education world. I’ve also been very involved in politics, which I also feel will help aid my success.
3. If re-elected, what changes would you push for immediately? I would push for more transparency. The people who are pushing for changes have not been a part of the team, nor have they been a part of what is expected of them. We need to have everyone on the same team – from the teachers, to the custodians, to the administration.
4. What should District 205 parents and students know about your educational philosophy? I want the best educational opportunities for each and every child in this district regardless of his or her situations. I want each child to have the ability to make his or her futures better because if they succeed, our city will also succeed.
5. Question from last week’s Board of Education candidate profile, Laura Powers: If re-elected, what would you do to put children first? I would try to be inclusive with each and every person that is an employee of the school district because we are in this game together. We all need each other to work together to come up with the best possible programs to make kids successful.
From the Jan. 12-18, 2011 issue