Candidate profile: Marvin Lampkin

Name: Marvin Lampkin

Age: 46

Immediate family members: Wife- Staccy; Daughter- Jasmine; Son- Elijah

Town: Swansea

Office seeking: Belleville School District 201 Board Member

Occupation: I am a Senior Key Account Manager for a pharmaceutical company. I have over 20 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry.

Previous and current elected offices and terms served: Belleville District 201 Board Member

Why are you running? Being a member of the Belleville District 201 School Board is an extension of my desire to serve the community. As such, I want to make sure that students, teachers, and parents have a voice as we continue to provide students with a quality education, equipping them with the knowledge and skills that will enable all students to thrive in the 21st century.

What is the most important issue facing the Belleville High School District? How would you approach it? We must continue to find innovative approaches to address and eventually eliminate the disparity in academic performances that exist in our district. Disparities should look at race and ethnicity, but also take into consideration other factors such as socioeconomic status. We should use data to accurately access the reasons for the disparity in our specific student populations. Once assessed, a comprehensive plan should be put in place that looks to reduce disparities within a five year span.

Should a school district’s teacher demographics mirror that of its student demographics? Why or why not? I do believe the district’s teacher demographics should be close to the demographics of its student population. It does not need to be completely the same, however. We must be mindful of homogeneous environments and make sure we have diversity everywhere. The data shows that when students see teachers that share their racial or ethnic backgrounds, they view their school as a more welcoming place. Diversity in the teaching ranks help the entire district better understand cultural differences and develop cultural competencies needed to meet the individual needs and preferences of all students. It is important for all students to interact with people that look and act differently than they do to understand all life experiences. This builds trust and makes for a better society. Diversity of students and teachers should be seen as an asset.

How much emphasis should your school district put on STEM education? STEM education is essential to the workforce of the future. It must be more widely embraced. STEM education produces critical thinkers. Employers of today are looking for candidates who can think critically and find solutions to complex challenges and problems. We need to make sure that our students can compete with the rest of the world.

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 both. Both of these will impact students directly. Our children deserve to always feel like they are safe and in the best learning environment possible.

Why should people vote for you? I believe one of my purposes in life is to serve others. There is no greater responsibility and privilege than to serve our children. You have my commitment that I will always do what is in the best interest of the students.