Name: Curt Iffert
Family: His wife Michelle and three children Isabella, Olivia and Makayla Iffert.
Town: Fairview Heights
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Office Seeking: O’Fallon School District 90 Board of Education
Occupation: Field Metering Supervisor
Previous Offices: Although I am a member of other civic and professional organizations, I do not have
other political experience.
Why I am running: I want to be more active in my kid’s education. I feel with my management experience, I can offer the ability to solve conflict and issues by listening and promoting teamwork. I want to ensure our money is spent wisely but also ensure our staff is getting the needed resources to perform at their highest level. I love District 90 and want to help us improve to be better today than yesterday.
What is the most important issues facing O’Fallon School District 90? How would you approach it? With the state of Illinois being in its current situation, finances will continue to be our biggest issue for the foreseeable future. State funding is soft and sluggish, causing many districts to run in reserves and even opening lines of credit to keep a steady cash flow. District 90 has done an excellent job in becoming more efficient, the Faculty and Staff have recognized the situation and are doing more with less now. We will have to continue to find ways to become more efficient to stay within the budget. I would like to use my professional experience to look at possible ways to reduce our energy costs through energy efficiency improvements. Because class sizes are my 2 nd concern I would like to see enough money saved to further a class size reduction program, hopefully bringing back Art and Library staffing as well.
Should a school district’s teacher demographics mirror that of its student demographics? Why or why not? We should be aligning our district employee demographics with the community demographics, as long as we are still hiring the most qualified person for the job. Having a diverse workforce lends itself to becoming free thinking and multidimensional. Different cultures and/or backgrounds bring different opinions and experiences which help us to become better at everything we do.
How much emphasis should your school district put on STEM education? I am still a supporter of a broad based learning program. Many experts would agree that STEM is important, but also feel that a Humanities curriculum has its importance as well in child development. If we focused solely on a STEM curriculum, how good would our band program be tomorrow? Would we have a writers group publishing books? Perfect examples of how a mixed curriculum works because every kid is different. In the end, I believe we need to offer the very best STEM and Humanities classes that our district can. Improving to be better tomorrow than we were today.
In St. Clair County, there will be votes on two sales tax referendums. Do you support either or both? Why or why not? We should be aligning our district employee demographics with the community demographics, as long as we are still hiring the most qualified person for the job. Having a diverse workforce lends itself to becoming free thinking and multidimensional. Different cultures and/or backgrounds bring different opinions and experiences which help us to become better at everything we do..
Why should people vote for me? A few months ago I strongly supported the 1 percent school facility sales tax. We live in arguably the best commercial zoning in the Southern half of Illinois. We have a chance for people outside of our area to help shoulder the burden of our education system. It is an extra burden for our local businesses and an extra tax; I don’t take this decision lightly. However the district is committing to provide property tax relief if this passes, and that’s something our residents could use. Now, with the cocktail of taxes our state is looking to pass, my support is wavering a bit. I still believe it’s good for our community but I’m not sure people are interested in approving something on top of what could be coming down from the state. Seems it’s simply a matter of bad timing.
How should the school district approach current budgetary challenges?As a proud father of 3 beautiful girls in the district and as a fellow tax payer, I feel that we share a vested interest in ensuring our money is well spent to provide the best and safest education to the children in District 90. My professional experience includes over 10 years as a Journeyman Electrician and the last 10 years in Management of said professionals. With this experience, I can bring fresh ideas to energy efficiencies and utility oversight. My management experience has taught me to be an effective listener, listening to understand and not to respond. I truly value teamwork and inclusion of other perspectives. I am an active member of Masonic lodge and Ainad Shriners. I believe in giving back to the community and believe by offering my time to District 90 School Board, I can help build on the success of our former School Boards..