Name: Lynda Cozad
Family: David Cozad (husband); Ryan, Katelyn, and Tyler (children)
Office Seeking: O’Fallon School District 203 Board of Education member
Occupation: Senior Field Reimbursement Manager for Pfizer Oncology
Previous and current elected offices and terms served: OTHS District 203 Board Member since 2004; President since 2011
Why are you running? The “WHY” hasn’t changed for me since first seeking a position. I want to work within the role of a school board member to offer every student the greatest opportunity for success in their individual plans to reach grade 13 — whether or not that means a four-year or two-year postsecondary education, military service, or directly entering the work force and continue to find their future.
What is the most important issues facing O’Fallon Township High School? How would you approach it? For the past eight years, OTHS has faced serious challenges to meet the increasing educational demands on our district while receiving decreasing financial resources to accomplish the directives. New challenges are on the horizon for all districts in Illinois, and I want to continue to work as a board member to offer an opportunity for academic success for every student yet meet the financial challenges we will face. What is best for the students has always provided the guidance as decisions were made to do “more with less” and we need to continue to use that as our metric moving forward.
Should a school district’s teacher demographics mirror that of its student demographics? Why or why not? With a goal of offering every student the opportunity for academic success, the most significant resource we can offer is a high quality teacher that can demonstrate effectiveness teaching all students in the classroom. High quality teachers can come from any demographic.
How much emphasis should your school district put on STEM education? It is important for high schools to prioritize offering rigorous courses in all core subject matters including the arts (STEAM) in order to establish a path that will best prepare students pursuing post-secondary options in universities and colleges.
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? St. Clair County is a destination county. Revenue received from a school facility tax would allow us to abate money back to the local property owner and manage the needed requirements of our facilities with money that comes from many living outside of our county with money the state can’t touch. I supported the resolution to put this on the ballot, because it is important to offer residents the opportunity to decide if this is a direction they support in school funding. I do not support the public safety referendum.
Why should people vote for you? I bring a proven track record serving in a board member role in preserving the educational excellence offer at OTHS while functioning under ever challenging financial restraints. I will continue to work to ensure the opportunity for academic success is available for every student.
How should the school district approach current budgetary challenges? OTHS will continue to meet the challenges imposed due to financial constraints by making all decisions around what is best for the academic success of each student. We will continue to look for creative solutions to improve excellence and find ways to meet our financial obligations.