Candidate profile: Michael Reynolds

Mike Reynolds is a candidate for the Freeburg School District 77 school board.
Mike Reynolds is a candidate for the Freeburg School District 77 school board.

Name: Michael R. Reynolds

Age: 59

Home: Smithton

Family Members: Spouse, three adult children, 8 grandchildren. My wife, all three of my children, one granddaughter and I have all graduated from Freeburg Community High School. I have two grandchildren currently enrolled; two grandchildren in junior high, one primary student and two pre-school aged grandchildren.

Office Seeking: Freeburg School District 77 Board Member

Occupation: Project Engineer

Previous Office: None

Why are you running?

I am seeking a seat on the school board because I am not satisfied with the current status quo. Many of our graduates are struggling with college readiness and are requiring remedial classes upon college entry while we the taxpayers are struggling with inflated taxes. Property tax rates continue to increase at an alarming pace. The current Board of Education does not welcome community involvement. A little over a year ago, I helped lead a team that successfully conducted a petition drive to prohibit a $1.5 million backdoor referendum that was approved by the board. The backdoor referendum was passed right after a substantial property tax hike. We obtained over 1,600 signatures from our community neighbors and a recurring comment was the desire for new school board members.

What is the most important issue facing Freeburg District #77? FCHS needs to balance their budget and get a handle on the district finances; FCHS is currently on the State watch list. FCHS has to be accountable to the taxpayers, citizens, parents, students and community. The college readiness scores are lower than surrounding schools and our students are not allowed to participate in SWIC’s Running Start, even though many parents and students have requested to enroll in the program. Our students are falling behind their peers in surrounding schools while costing the taxpayers more every year.

Should a school’s teacher demographic mirror its student demographic? I believe that a teacher’s skills should outweigh demographics.

What are your views on the high school’s mascot? As a family member with three generations of Freeburg Mighty Midgets, I am extremely proud of the history, tradition and pride that the Midget mascot represents in our community.

Why should people vote for you? My roots in FCHS are deep, as is my love, pride and hope for a brighter future for all of the students of FCHS. My intention, if elected, is to engage the taxpayers, citizens, parents, faculty, students and the community to collaborate and establish realistic and feasible solutions to improve our school district both financially and academically.