LAIGHTON H. SCOTT III
CANDIDATE FOR DISTRICT 209 SCHOOL BOARD
1. What motivates you to seek this office? What skills, experiences, and perspectives would you bring to the School Board, and why would those contributions be valuable to District 209?
38 - Year Athletic Coach, Mentor, Advisor, and Life Coach
29 - Year Veteran Maywood Fire Department: 9 Year Fire Captain
20 - Years Municipal Finance Experience
10 – Year School Security Officer
Grandfather/Guardian of Proviso East Student
Father of Proviso East Graduate
Proviso East Alumni Class of 1982
I am a proud Proviso Township High School graduate, because of our rich tradition and heritage I motivated to work toward reestablishing a higher standard of excellence that once prevailed throughout the district. Thus, I will use my experiences and relationships to renew our motto of being: NOTHING BUT THE BEST.
2. What are District 209’s greatest strengths? What are its greatest challenges? What is your vision for District 209?
District 209’s greatest strength is its legacy of family and community support. Now, our greatest challenge is to restore our District’s respectability, accountability, and prioritizing student educational opportunities that will prepare them to be productive citizens. My vision for the District is to
Prepare students to become contributing members of society through college and career readiness;
Engage all stakeholders to ensure equity and equality;
Become economically effective planners to ensure accountability.
3. What does transparency in government mean to you? Give one example of an action you would take as Board Member reflecting your views on this topic. How would you evaluate the Village’s record on transparency?
Transparency means that the common lay-person is knowledgeable about the decisions and the reasons why policies are created and implemented. It also means that are informed about any monetary actions taken by their elected officials. Ultimately, constituents are familiar with the operations of the District. Currently, there’s a lack of transparency among the board members who are seeking reelection. For example, they conducted a national search, but had already identified and prepared the sitting Superintendent for the position.
4. What steps will you take to enhance community engagement with the District and the School Board? What is your view on how local elected officials should communicate with and respond to constituents?
To maximize community engagement, I will improve and enhance the use of 1) the District’s newsletter; 2) District’s website; 3) town hall meetings; 4) parent and student forums. The elected officials should ensure that they are responding to and communicating with their constituents within 72 hours. Moreover, the elected officials need to be transparent and honest. Furthermore, if elected, not only will I abide by these practices; I will also continue to be involved across the District, thus being accessible to the constituents.
5. In what ways have you sought to better know and understand the experiences, concerns and needs of residents outside your demographic group?
I have immersed myself in various activities that embrace cultural practices other than my own. It is my belief that accepting the differences and acknowledging the similarities are pivotal to advancing human dignity and universal human rights.
6. If you could create a brand new public high school district from scratch, what would it look like?
If I were to create a new high school, it would meet the needs of our community: have rigorous and relevant curriculum that would embrace parallel learning styles and abilities of all students, employee persons who would establish meaningful relationships through engagement within the school and community, offer the use of traditional and technological updates, provide opportunities in not only Math, Science, Engineering, and Technology but also in the Arts and Vocational fields, and provide a building that is aesthetically and environmentally welcoming to all stakeholders.
7. How should the District assess its policies and progress with respect to special needs and the achievement gap? As a Board Member, what metrics will you use to determine whether the District is succeeding?
The Board would determine success by using the state standards for all students including special-needs students. In additional to using the state metrics, the Board would use an Accountability Matrix which will outline objectives and standards to ensure that the information is honest and accurate.
8. What have been your most useful sources of information about secondary education? Have you found any research to be particularly informative?
I have found my work experiences, my involvement with students and parents, the Illinois School Report Card, and articles from Educational Week.
9. How will you balance the community's desire to decrease the property tax burden with District stakeholders’ desire to have a school district that effectively serves all students?
It is important to hold administration accountable financially. We must use the money that we are afforded more effectively.
10. In what ways can District 209 collaborate with District 91 and other pre-secondary school districts to more adequately prepare students for the transition to high school?
It is imperative that we enhance our District Institute Days so that teachers and administrators are collaborating more frequently. Moreover, there must be real and honest articulation not only with the Superintendents but also with the Curriculum Directors, the Counselors/Social Workers, and Middle and High School teachers and parents. It is also imperative that we academic is a continuum from kindergarten thru high school.
11. Early this year the School Board approved an extensive new master facilities plan for an estimated $77 million in improvements at all three high schools. What tradeoffs do you see for a facilities investment of this magnitude? Are there instances where the Board should have gone further?
Although the master facility plan appears comprehensive, it evades the immediate needs of our district. It fails to prioritize infrastructural needs of East and West. Moreover, Proviso Township High Schools do not have the financial capability to afford such a massive project. Furthermore, this evident by, not only, the multiple bond refinances, but also, the movement of funding from the Educational Fund to the Operational Fund and the backdoor bond that was passed in December 2018 by the Board of Education. Thus, the board should have taken additional steps to identify and earmark funding that would ensure the successfully completion of this plan. They should have also better analyzed and implemented the results of the feasibility study.
12. Please list the three largest donors to your campaign by dollar amount contributed.
Please see the current D2 statement for Proviso United.
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[The above answers were supplied on 2/20/19. It may be possible to find more current financial information at the Illinois Sunshine website. Illinois Sunshine is also a useful resource for identifying past contributions by individuals to political candidates and committees in Illinois.]
Proviso United (campaign website)
New slate of D209 hopefuls frame campaign themes (Forest Park Review 11/27/18)
New Party Forms As D209 Race Comes Into Focus (The Village Free Press 10/9/18)
Proviso United Party campaign disclosures (Illinois State Board of Elections)
Proviso United Party financials (Illinois Sunshine)
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Claims pile up in D209 board race (Forest Park Review 3/26/19)
State data outlines financial state of D209 campaigns (Forest Park Review 3/5/19)
D209 candidates file (Forest Park Review 12/18/18)