Name: Zack Nunn
Town: Granite City
Occupation: College Student
Position seeking: Granite City School Board
Campaign website: Facebook.com/zacknunngc
Why are you running and why should people vote for you? I’m running for School Board because I love Granite City and I care deeply about our schools and our town. I believe that my youth can bring a fresh perspective to the board that will be beneficial. I know what it’s like to be in our students’ shoes, because I was in their shoes just four years ago. I’m running to fight for taxpayers and to make sure that their tax dollars are spent on improving the education of our students. I’m running to make sure that every student feels safe and welcome in all of our schools so that they can get the best education possible. Voters should elect me if they want someone that will listen to them and seek community input on decisions.
What are the most important issues the school district faces, and how would you approach them? There are many important issues facing the school district, but I will touch on two big ones. First, we have a number of administration positions that will soon be open, including Superintendent. We need to make sure that we are hiring the best possible candidates for these positions with an eye towards the future. If elected, I will want to involve the community heavily in picking our next Superintendent. Another problem is absenteeism. We have far too many students that are not coming to school. We need to work together to make our schools places where students want to come. This includes addressing the problem of bullying and providing learning environments that are tailored towards meeting each student’s individual needs. I will maintain an open line of communication so that people can come to me with any issues they may have.
Under what circumstances would you vote to raise property taxes? Voting to raise property taxes should be an absolute last resort. These taxes unfairly burden the middle class and they are already far too high. I wish I could make promises to cut property taxes, but with our current school funding system we have to be reasonable. We need to push legislators in Springfield to come up with solutions that lifts the tax burden off of the middle class, and finds a more effective way of funding our schools, one that doesn’t rely so heavily on local property taxes. If the opportunity for our students to get a quality education were in jeopardy, all options would have to be considered to protect their future.
What are your goals for the district/what do you want to accomplish? My goals for the district are to do everything we can to improve our schools. We have to start looking at new ideas in order to give our students the best possible education. If elected, I will fight to protect our vocational classes and expand them. In today’s economy, not everyone needs to go to a four-year college. We should help interested students apply for trade schools and apprenticeships. I also want to improve transparency on the board by pushing meeting times back, so that working people can attend. I have already pushed the board to begin live streaming meetings and if elected, I will continue to take steps towards increased transparency. Another major goal of mine is to make our schools feel like a safe place for all of our students.
What is your position on the proposed increase in minimum wage for teachers in Illinois? I absolutely support the proposed increase in minimum wage for teachers. If we believe that teaching is as important of a job as we say it is, then we need to pay teachers well. I have a lot of very smart classmates in college who would make excellent teachers in science, math and other important areas. Some of them would even want to be teachers, but why would they do that if they can make much more money in the private industry? To attract the best people for this important of a job, we need to offer a competitive pay. Obviously, we always have to stay within our means, but raising the floor for teacher pay is a great step.