Candidate profile: Roosevelt Fair-Kincaid

Name: Roosevelt Fair-Kincaid

Age: 57

Town: Centreville

Office seeking: East St. Louis School District 189 School Board Member

Occupation: Job Coach, Youth Advocate, Recycling Operations Manager

Why are you running? I am seeking election to the school board to be a voice for students, parents and community. And to bring an end to students leaving the district. I will pledge to bring innovative strategies to bring up test scores, reduce disorderly behavior, provide teachers with the support required to do their job. Building a district that will urge parents to bring children to the district. And to provide oversight for responsible spending of district funds and investigate avenues that can give the district other forms of revenue other that tax, tax and more tax.

What is the most important issue facing the East St. Louis School District? How would you approach it? The most important issue facing the East St. Louis School District is students not meeting average test scores and having the skills to prepare them to live productive lives as they transition to adulthood and the world of work. Stopping and reversing students leaving the district because parents do not believe their children are getting the education they need to be successful. I would approach this issue by working with the Illinois State Board of Education to make sure the curriculum for our district is revised to meet our students’ needs by using strategies that bring real world learning to the classroom and teaching methods that prepare them to perform well on test and in life. Elementary and middle schools students will be provided more hands on opportunities to apply their learning in structured community services.

Should a school district’s teacher demographics mirror that of its student demographics? Why or why not? The teacher demographics must mirror one another because the connection needed for teachers and students to relate to students is their shared cultural experiences. Teachers have the second most time with our children other than parents and there must be a bond built to be able to face the challenges that face the student every day. The ability to motivate, inspire and understand is the goal. No teacher or student desires to fail.

How much emphasis should your school district put on STEM education? STEM is the wave of social growth on the international level. The vast majority of employment and entrepreneurial opportunities has a foundation in STEM. Rather a student wants to further their education through college or trades STEM is a necessity as is reading, writing and comprehension. Not having an aggressive approach at a STEM curriculum keeps the students behind.

In St. Clair County, there will be votes for two sales tax referendums. One would benefit school facility costs, one would benefit public safety. Do you support either or both of the referendums? Why or why not? I support the referendum and its benefits outweigh the cost. However there needs to be further community discussion on how those funds are used as it relates to the local school districts. East St. Louis School District schools are practically new based on the life expectancy of buildings. To spend so much more on updating them and not considering how to invest in human capital is a step in the wrong direction. These funds would be better used to support struggling students and families improve their quality of life and increasing their academic success. Time to stop being reactive and become proactive.

Why should people vote for you? People should vote for me because I have experience working with administrative policies, communities and over 30 years of direct experience working with students, from kindergarten to college. I have worked with school districts in Topeka, Kansas and Kansas City, Missouri to provide services to students at risk, life and career skills and mentoring. For the last 16 years I have been working with School Districts 187, 188 and 189. I am as required a True Independent with no ties to any political parties. People should vote for me to have servant on the board who WILL NEVER COMPROMISE THEIR FUTURE.