Candidate profile: Jennifer Brumback

Name: Jennifer Brumback

Age: 50

Town: Edwardsville

Occupation: Educator

Position seeking: Edwardsville School Board Member (2-year term)

Campaign website: jbrumback4edwardsville7sb.com

Why are you running and why should people vote for you? Our family moved to Edwardsville in 2012. No matter where we lived as part of my husband’s military career, I was a teacher for the children in our community. I have worked in public, private, alternative, and Department of Defense schools as a teacher, sponsor, leader, and an academic coach. Serving our country and the public is our family tradition and the legacy we are leaving for our children. Currently, I work as an administrator in a Metro East district and volunteer in school-based activities in Edwardsville. Wanting to contribute more, I am seeking a seat on the District 7 School Board to put my collected experiences to work in the continued development of our community and its schools. The school board should encompass community representatives with varied backgrounds and experiences. A good balance between those who can speak to local tradition mixed with those who have outside experiences will create growth opportunities for the district without compromising the culture of the community. My unique background in education will provide that growth opportunity for District 7.

What are the most important issues the school district faces, and how would you approach them? The primary issue facing District 7 is restoring its fiscal integrity while not compromising its tradition of excellence. I would support the district’s existing recovery plan while encouraging leaders to seek out alternative funding sources for new programming.

Under what circumstances would you vote to raise property taxes? The district and community must be careful to not over-commit itself for fear of one failing the other. They are dependent upon each other. If the community wants to continue a tradition of excellence, it must be willing to make difficult sacrifices and choices for future generations. I would support a tax increase if opportunities for student success and community sustainability depended upon it.

What are your goals for the district/what do you want to accomplish? District 7 has a long history of being one of the best school systems in the area. Having two children graduate from Edwardsville HS, I can say they had wonderful experiences and opportunities. As with all things, there are areas for improvement. I will be focusing on the following areas. 1. Ensuring ALL students have equitable opportunities. This means a fully realized Career Technical Education (CTE) program, updated policies and procedures to support students with unique needs (i.e., Special Services, Social-Emotional Learning, Low Income, English Language Learners, etc.), and post-secondary planning support for students who are “in the middle.” 2. Supporting the district and board in meeting its financial obligations to students, teachers, leaders, and the community.

What is your position on the proposed increase in minimum wage for teachers in Illinois? As a former classroom teacher, I would whole-heartedly support a minimum wage for teachers. Education systems are in crisis right now. Across the nation, teachers are leaving classrooms, and districts are struggling to find qualified teachers to hire. Districts must work with state politicians for funding to support higher salaries to keep veteran teachers and attract the next generation of educators.