Candidate profile: Bill F. McMasters

What you need to know about the April 2019 election

The 2019 municipal election is April 2. Here are some key dates and times you need to know if you're planning to vote.
Up Next
The 2019 municipal election is April 2. Here are some key dates and times you need to know if you're planning to vote.

Name: Bill F McMasters

Age: 66

Town: Granite City

Occupation: Dental Practice

Position Seeking: Granite City School Board

Campaign website: Facebook: Bill McMasters for School Board

Why are you running and why should people vote for you? I am seeking re-election to continue efforts toward helping our students succeed in going as far as their gifts and hard work can take them. One of the very best things as a School Board member is getting to know and work with the incredibly gifted and dedicated professionals on our staff. However, so many came on so close together that we will have a huge responsibility as a New School Board to hire equally qualified and dedicated replacements. These new Administrators will chart most of the future in our Schools for years to come and most definitely I believe as our Schools go, in a very real way, so goes our community. During this next term due to retire is our Superintendent, Head of Special Education, Principals from Prather, High School, Grigsby Maryville, and Wilson. I trust you have seen in me good judgment and dedication toward what is best for our District #9 family to allow me to continue and be part of this process of hiring the very best new Administrators. Looking forward confidently always that our best days can most definitely be ahead. Always I keep in the front of my decisions is that I work for our kids that can’t vote and Parents that want the very best for their children.

What are the most important issues the school district faces, and how would you approach them? We must continually be seeking ways to improve math and English language arts skills, as well as deal with issues of attendance. I began the ideas that led to the development of our ROAR program (reading enrichment program for our students). I began the ideas that led to the development of our Rocket Math program (multiplication skills development program). I developed the program to partner with our city in our monthly reward drawings of theater tickets and refreshments for perfect attendance students. I have championed our Vocational Fair and promoted the expansion of our Vocational Department, and have encouraged our counselors to educate our students and parents toward a greater interest in vocational careers. I have been actively involved with helping administration and counselors in developing strategies that will hopefully see a marked improvement in our ACT and SAT scores for our university-bound students and hopefully more opportunities for scholar athletes to obtain university acceptances and scholarship money. What are your top goals if elected? First and above anything else it is critical, with a large percentage of our students not meeting or exceeding standards in testing to show they are prepared for next grade level, that we develop an effective plan to improve math and English language arts development. Our district will in the next couple of years have not only our superintendent but many other principals and administrators retiring. It is critical to our district and community that we hire new leadership with not only the education and experience but also vision for the future of district and community. I chair the committee that is exploring solar opportunities which can potentially save our district in excess of a hundred thousand dollars annually in utility costs and hope to see this develop. I would like to help in the further expansion of our Vocational Department and help in the development of exploratory classes in vocational to help give students and parents a vision of career direction before setting their high school pathway. I would continue to explore options to maintain a secure and safe environment for our students. I am always mindful that it is a privilege to serve our community.I have also, with our superintendent, served on our city’s Education and Government Workforce Committee. This has been a great way to constantly listen to what the concerns are of community members and hope to look for new and creative ways to include community, district and city in partnership

Under what circumstances would you vote to raise property taxes? That is not really a viable option in our city. Our taxes are high already and it seems any increases would over burden our community. We will need to seek creative ways to use resources that we have, seek and take advantage of all Grants available, look for creative ways to save in costs.

What are your goals for the district/what do you want to accomplish? I would like to help our District in strategic planning to help our children improve math and English language arts scores. The score in itself of meeting or exceeding standards does not give the entire picture but it does measure a child’s readiness to move forward to next grade level. I would like to expand our Vocational programs to equip our students in gaining real and marketable skills. I realize over this next 4 years we will be in the process of hiring a new Superintendent and new Principals and this will determine our District leadership for years to come and want to apply my experience toward hiring the best qualified people not only with credentials and experience but also vision for our District. I would like to also work on directions to improve our graduation rate, improve our attendance and most certainly there are several safety and security issues still being improved. I would like to work on creative ways to save expenses, like the proposed solar initiative. Much of the direction our city goes in is determined by our Schools being excellent and therefore I would like to continue developing ways our School and City can be in partnership.

What is your position on the proposed increase in minimum wage for teachers in Illinois? It is absolutely incumbent that we move toward a progressive and competitive wage for all teachers. Each year we have been graduating fewer teachers and this profession will only be attractive if we treat it as something of great value to our communities. There are fewer places we can better invest than in attracting excellent people to this profession.