Editor's Note: This is an ad by a candidate for the Fieldcrest Board of Education and is not an endorsement by this website.
My name is Beth Cassidy Palm and I am running for the Fieldcrest School Board. I am thankful for this publication to tell you about myself, express my reasons for running for school board and the hopes I have for the future of Fieldcrest.
I grew up in this community on a farm between Toluca and Minonk, attended Toluca schools through seventh grade and graduated from Fieldcrest High school in 1997. After living in other areas for several years my husband and I decided to return to this area to raise our family in 2005. The quality of Fieldcrest played a large role in our decision to buy a home in this school district. I currently have four children who attend Fieldcrest, three at East and one at West. I've had the opportunity to serve on the Fieldcrest East parent teacher community organization for six years. I have held the office of treasurer and am currently the president. I was also given the opportunity by the district administration to sit on two community advisory committees, one pertaining to the finance and the other to the building project. I also work as the bookkeeper for a cluster of local churches including St Patrick's in Minonk, St Ann's in Toluca, St Mary's in Wenona, and St Johns in Lostant.
I am running for school board because I believe it is incredibly important for community members to take an active role in governing those communities. My mother served on the Toluca school board for many years and my father served on a variety of township and community boards when my siblings and I were younger. The sense of responsibility instilled in me by my family is one of the reasons I am taking this opportunity to serve my community. As a parent of Fieldcrest students and a property owner in the district I also have a strong vested interest in seeing our schools thrive.
I believe it is vital that we take the current financial state of Illinois seriously. I believe that budgetary decisions need to be made that put the longevity of our district in the forefront. It is important to me that our school district be health and vital for many years into the future. As the bookkeeper for nonprofit organizations I have a good deal of experience and knowledge about the difficult decisions that need to be to keep them running. I'm also familiar with the accounting and budget systems that are used in non-profit. I feel my experience as a bookkeeper is important in understanding and analyzing the financial workings of the district. With the current state of Illinois' economy I don't believe it is fiscally responsible to make financial decisions that depend on our state government's promised reimbursements. I think that the leaders of our schools should be making financial decisions that enable us to weather these difficult financial times instead of making decisions that are costing us more money. I feel that non state mandated changes to curriculum or building arrangements that increase costs significantly should provide a proven academic benefit before they are implemented.
If I have the privilege of being elected to the school board I want to provide a higher quality education for the students we have the responsibility to educate. I believe the school board should be focused on providing a safe environment for our students to learn in. It is our responsibility as taxpayers to be good stewards of the public school buildings. Our students depend on us to take care of their learning environment so they have a healthy and safe place to go to school. I think it is time to make serious decisions about our buildings so our students, especially our high school students, have the ability to access modern technology and laboratory classrooms so they can receive a higher quality education.
If I am elected to the Fieldcrest School Board I will do everything I can so that 10 years from now I can sit in this gymnasium and watch my youngest child graduate, with the knowledge that the district is in a great position to educate the next generation of students.
Beth Cassidy Palm