Candidate profile: Jason Wagenknecht

Name: Jason Wagenknecht

Age: 47

Immediate family members: Wife – Amy Wagenknecht; Kids- Carrie Wagenknecht (age 12), Chloe Wagenknecht (age 11), Chase Wagenknecht (age 9)

Town: Waterloo

Office seeking: Waterloo Community Unit School District #5 School Board

Occupation: Executive Recruiter

Previous and current elected offices and terms served: None

Why are you running? I was raised by parents who spent their spare time volunteering to help their community and those around them. It has had a profound effect on my life. Like my parents, I feel a responsibility in giving back to my community. I want to set an example of volunteerism for my children and I understand the importance a strong, solid education has in preparing our children to be successful later in life.

What is the most important issue facing the Waterloo Community Unit School District? How would you approach it? Budgeting remains the biggest issue facing all school districts. State funding deficiencies are causing issues which will require a very disciplined approach. I would approach budgeting issues by finding a balance between maintaining our excellent school district and being responsible to taxpayers who carry a heavy load for the funding of schools.

Should a school district's teacher demographics mirror that of its student demographics? Why or why not? I believe the best approach is a combined one. It’s important to have teachers demographics mirror those of the student population but at the same time, that should not supersede teacher quality. We should look for the best possible candidate for educating our students and providing the foundation they need to succeed in their personal, scholastic, and professional lives.

How much emphasis should your school district put on STEM education? While I believe that a great deal of focus should be to engage students in high-quality science, technology, engineering and mathematics, I also understand there are many factors that affect student learning, including school culture, teacher ability, and parent support. This is why we must provide the most well-rounded and meaningful educational footing for all students to prepare them for the future.

Why should people vote for you? With three children in the Waterloo School District, I have a great desire for this amazing school district to continue on its path of success. As a small business owner and a consultant to some of the largest hotel companies in the world, I believe that I bring a unique skill set that will contribute and improve our district. It would be an honor and a privilege to serve our district. Please vote for me on April 4th, 2017. Thanks for your support.