Spring election 2021: Trevor-Wilmot Consolidated Grade School District Board candidate Q&A

Residents of the Trevor-Wilmot Consolidated Grade School District will be able to vote in a contested election for School Board on April 6.

Two seats will be filled. Appearing on the ballot will be newcomers Louis Johnson, Christy Villalobos and Jennifer Youra.

Incumbents Dean Troyer and Lynn Jaeger are not running for re-election.

All candidates were sent identical questionnaires. Below are their answers as they sent them in:

Louis Johnson — Age: 50. Education:  – Bachelor’s degree in General Studies, Columbia College. Bachelor’s in Science degree, Workforce Education and Development, Southern Illinois University. Retired Senior Chief Petty Officer, USN, 1989 – 2017. Occupation: L&D – Johnson Controls, Inc.

Christy Jandula-Villalobos — Age:41. Education: Child Care Teacher certificate , Assistant teacher Childcare certificate, Graduated from the Salon Professional Academy in 2009. Occupation: Childcare. Previous elected/appointed public office: (No answer).

Jennifer Youra — Age: 41. Education: Bachelor’s Degree from St. Norbert College- Spanish with Secondary Education certificate ; Masters Degree from Concordia University- Curriculum & Instruction. Occupation: Spanish Teacher. Previous elected/appointed public office: None.

1.)  Why are you the best choice for Trevor-Wilmot School Board? 

Johnson — I have been involved in training/educating, in one way or another, since the 90’s through my military service and now at my current employer, JCI. Also, I have the experience to make difficult discussions and the ability to work with a diverse team to achieve a common goal. I have attended many of the board meetings as a concerned citizen and have gotten familiar with their vision and I seem to be perfectly aligned with them.

Villalobos — I am running for a seat on the Trevor Wilmot School Board because as a lifelong resident of the area I have always believed that TWC is a great school, and now being a mom of three young school age children, I have seen firsthand the wonderful community of parents and teachers. However, I feel there are gaps preventing the school from reaching its fullest potential.  I want to bring a fresh perspective to the district and couple that with strong leadership and communication.  The success of the school is dependent on solid clear lines of communication and that starts at the top with the school board and carries down through the administration, building leadership, and school staff.  If the vision and direction of the district is not being clearly articulated to the community, parents, and staff then the message will never be achievable.

Youra — Growing up as the daughter and niece of a number of educators, I have lived my life in and around schools. I also have been a public school teacher for nineteen years, serving in both an urban and a rural school district during my career. This has brought me a variety of insight and experience over my nearly two decades in public education. I am truly passionate about learning and want the best educational experience for all students. As there are not currently not any women serving on the Trevor-Wilmot School Board, I would also like to be a female voice on the board.

2.) What do you see as the chief issues facing Trevor-Wilmot Consolidated School  and how do you feel they should be addressed?

Johnson — The school is in need of a good operational budget, as it is projecting shortfalls. In order to overcome those shortfalls, the district is asking for an Operational Referendum. Go here to see more information to the referendum: https://www.trevorwilmotschool.net/referendum/index.cfm I am in full support of this referendum and if elected, I promise to work closely with the other board members, the community, and our amazing Booster Club to continue the great legacy of the Trevor-Wilmot school district.

Villalobos — I feel we can work to strengthen the lines of communication through administration to parent transparency. I would like to focus on three areas: school safety/security, cutting edge curriculum, and community partnering.  The desire of all parents is to send their children to a physically and emotionally safe environment where they can flourish and develop.  The safety of our students and staff at TWC is priority number one to ensure the long-term success of the school.  Additionally, I want to be part of creating a school that is leading the way with a curriculum focused on preparing our children for the future.  Finally, for the school to reach its full potential we need to be engaging not only parents but also the entire community.  Trevor school should serve as source of pride for the community and academic achievement. We need a checks and balances system of Administration and staff working hand in hand with parents and community members to implement the vision of the school.

Youra — The biggest issue TWC is facing deals with the referendum that is up for vote on April 6. One of the greatest things about Trevor-Wilmot Consolidated is the high quality programs that it has been able to consistently offer during my childrens’ schooling, as well as relatively low class sizes. If the referendum does not pass, there will be a number of cuts to programming, building upkeep, and difficulty in staying up-to-date with constantly changing technology.  Some difficult decisions will be ahead without the passing of the referendum, in which the school board will have a voice. 

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