Name: Laura A. Cole
Immediate Family Members: Husband, Ben and three sons, Logan, Grant and Owen
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Office seeking: Board Member, Granite City District 9.
Previous and current elected offices and terms served: None.
Why are you running? I am a lifelong resident of Granite City with two children attending school in the district and one son who graduated from GCHS. I and my parents graduated from GCHS. I love my hometown and I want to be a part of making and keeping it a great place to live and grow up.
What is the most important issue facing the Granite City Community Unit School District? How would you approach it? Funding to maintain our schools continues to be a critical issue. I also think we need added emphasis on the fact that all parts of the district are on the same “team” and that the goal of the “team” is to do what is best for all the kids in the district.
Should a school district’s teacher demographics mirror that of its student demographics? Qualified, competent, inspiring teachers should be the goal of any school district. School districts should hire the best candidates available. To the extent possible, diversity is desirable in this process.
How much emphasis should your school district put on STEM education? All students should receive education in these areas. For students with interest and aptitude, additional courses in these areas are vital to advance their post secondary educational goals.
Do you support the Madison County sales tax referendum to benefit school facilities? Why or why not? Yes. I know that increased taxes are unpopular, but if people will take the time to review the proposal, they will see that it will cost each person very little. We have been shorted funds from the state for many years. Doing more with less is only possible for so long. The strength of our schools directly impacts the strength of our town. I want to keep both strong and vibrant.
Why should people vote for you? I am committed to the best interests of the schools district and our town. As a practicing attorney, I have experience negotiating between multiple parties with different goals and viewpoints. I bring a different perspective to the challenges facing our district, and hope to be a creative problem solver who listens to the concerns of all involved.