Roxanne Wittkamp – 2021 District 211 Board of Education Election Candidate Questionnaire


Photo courtesy of Roxanne Wittkamp

Gabe Classon and Maya Nayak

The Viking Logue sent out a questionnaire to all nine candidates in the District 211 Board of Education race. Below is candidate Roxanne Wittkamp’s unabridged response. See here for The Logue‘s full coverage of the April 6 election, including other candidates’ responses to the questionnaire.


BIOGRAPHY: Tell us about yourself. What qualities, experiences, and skills make you a good choice for the Board?

I have served and advocated for our community’s educational needs as a District 211 teacher and a college professor. My three children are graduates from Schaumburg High School. I hold a bachelor’s degree from the University of Iowa, an MBA from Webster University. I am pursuing my doctorate in Adult Education in which I should be complete in June 2021. I am a business college professor, National faculty member at DeVry University. I believe in education for all high school students after graduation, whether it’s college or vocational training.

MOTIVATIONS: Why did you decide to run for the Board of Education? What would be your top priorities if elected?

I am running for a seat because I want to see D211 continue to be a standard of excellence in education. I want to see students continue to grow into contributing members of society, and I want to ensure that students are treated equally, fairly and their educational needs met.

My primary concern is the current board’s ability to work as a team after attending several school board meetings. I could see and feel the animosity between some of the members. The pandemic has put board members and Dr. Small in a position they haven’t experienced before, so now more than ever; the board members must work as a team and address the community with unity.

Another concern is ensuring all student’s educational needs are being met. Curriculum updates and new materials along with updated technology are needed to help D211 students succeed. I advocate for learning technology and professional development for teachers to learn the latest technology to be used in the classroom.

Lastly, the school district’s biggest challenge in the next year or two could be the possible gap in learning from the pandemic. Depending on the subject, students will need more help and support through tutors and small group learning.


How can the district support the mental health, physical well-being, and academic achievement of students during the pandemic? How should the district approach reopening?

At this time, the district is allowing students to come back to school, and now several sports are allowed to be played. I believe this is what D211 students need. Again, I believe the district’s biggest challenge will be closing the gap in learning from the pandemic. Depending on the subject, students will need more help and support through tutors and small group learning.


STUDENT CONCERNS OVER EQUITY: Over the past year, district students have addressed the Board over racial equity and sexual violence concerns. Please describe how you would approach these issues if elected.

Educational equity is providing educational tools for all student’s success. Equity and fairness must become the guiding foundation for all schools. Sexual violence is illegal and cannot be tolerated.

Teachers must provide lessons and assignments in which students work together in teams to understand cultural differences and the value of teamwork. Rubrics for all assignments must be created to limit grading subjectivity, and the curriculum must be updated to include other cultures especially black and women history. The Equity team presented the equity program at the December 2020 meeting, and I support this program. The program is needed, and it is timely. As an educator, we must ensure equity with our students, and this program brings students, staff, and parents together for continuous improvement.

TRANSGENDER STUDENT LOCKER ROOM ACCESS: After five years of vocal community input from both sides of the issue, the district in January 2020 implemented a policy to allow transgender students unrestricted use of the locker room corresponding to their gender identity. What approach should the district take toward transgender student locker room access?

The board adopted a policy of equality and fairness which covers all students, including transgender students. The policy is in place because it provides the guidance needed for all students. Due to the adopted policy, all students must be treated equally.

Fiscal Policy

PROPERTY TAXES: Striking the right balance between minimizing the tax burden on district residents and ensuring the future financial security of the district is challenging, especially during these economically uncertain times. What is your stance on abating or rebating a portion of the district’s property tax levy?

I support the tax levy that was approved by the current board. In order for a school district to remain solvent, it needs money for the long term. Many new housing developments will bring additional tax revenue through property taxes to D211, D54, and D15. The board can make potential changes based on the increased tax amount from these new developments in the coming years.

The D211 business office has won awards for its due diligence in budgeting and finance, which means this office is doing its job well.

There are many examples of state school systems that have gone broke and laid off teachers and staff because the boards didn’t look into the future for their schools, and D211 currently has no debt, and it doesn’t make sense to go into debt. As a business college professor, I teach students how to forecast and budget. It makes sense to keep the district at its excellent level of teaching, and in order to do this, the district needs money.

EXPENDITURES: In which areas should the district focus its spending? Are there areas where spending should be cut?

All spending should be student-focused. A new and updated curriculum and technology need to be added that covers equity and fairness among other subjects.

Role of the Board

COMMUNICATION WITH THE COMMUNITY: Recent months have shown increased community interest in Board proceedings. How should the district communicate with the community? How should the community be able to communicate with the district?

I believe the primary goal of a school board member is to advocate and serve students. All stakeholders, parents, district personnel, and students must be partners in this endeavor if we are to be successful.

I believe that a school board member must be responsive, receptive, and encourage open dialogue with parents, staff, students, and the community. A Board member must be accessible and willing to collaborate with all stakeholders. A school board member must build public understanding, support, and participation.

A school board member must understand the district’s fiscal responsibility and balance the financials, so they do not jeopardize student learning.

COOPERATION WITH OTHER BOARD MEMBERS: While the vast majority of Board resolutions are passed unanimously, many important votes have come down to a 5–2 split. Additionally, some have raised concerns over the introduction of divisive politics into local elections. Please comment on how you would work with other Board members if elected.

Having managerial experience, I would listen to others but remind them of the board’s purpose. I would foster open and honest communication. Those running for the board are running as independents, and the most qualified person should win—someone with a financial and educational background.

Final Thoughts

OTHER ISSUES: You may feel strongly about an issue for which we did not ask a question. If this is the case, please take the opportunity to share your thoughts on that issue here.

The candidate did not respond to this question.

A POSITIVE NOTE: It’s been a rough year, so let’s end this on a positive note. What is your favorite thing about District 211?

I have two favorite things about D211. The first is the teachers. You cannot find a more devoted group of educators! The second is sports and clubs. My three children all played in high school sports, and all three played at the college level. Also, I judged BPA (Business Professionals of American), and it was great to see students create and present their business ideas!