Curtis Bradley – 2021 District 211 Board of Education Election Candidate Questionnaire


Photo courtesy of Curtis Bradley

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 Curtis Bradley’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 am longtime D211 resident which helps me understand the issues facing our community and the importance of this Board seat. My entire family has graduated from D211 – I’m a 1991 graduate of Conant HS, my wife is a 1991 graduate of Schaumburg HS, and we have two adult sons (27 and 23) that graduated from District 211, where they were involved in wrestling, football and basketball. I strongly believe in the importance of contributing to my community, and have been a volunteer and mentor for most of my adulthood – contributing to organizations such as the WYMCA in Elgin, where I mentored immigrants in financial literacy, or coaching football for 11 years and being an active volunteer team parent. I am also the Vice President Bank Manager at BMO Harris and have received many “Top Performer” awards in Financial/Banking Management. This experience will help me bring fiscal responsibility to the Board, ensuring D211 remains strong financially and debt-free.

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

While serving on the Community Engagement Committee in 2016, I felt that we made a lot of progress with some of our initiatives as it related to the 5 year strategic plan for D211. I was also a member of School District 54’s Foundations Committee for a year. After years of deliberation, working, and living in the community, I decided it is time to get more involved. I’ve always had a passion for developing people, from coaching sports, coaching my employees, and mentoring student athletes. My top priorities are to ensure that constituents have a voice that will be listened to and respected, and I believe the district must elevate equity and work harder to assist struggling students.


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?

The response to the pandemic by our district has been exceptional. Programs have been implemented, practically overnight, to address the needs of our students and families. These include assistance with meals, social-emotional support, community resources, and educational support, among many others. The School Board has been flexible and adaptable when making decisions to best serve our students and families, but I believe the Board needs to better address the needs of students that are struggling with the remote learning/hybrid model. The Board needs to acknowledge this issue and find solutions that are equitable.

I believe that students learn best in the classroom setting. This can be done safely and our District has implemented safety measures at each school. Guidelines established by the CDC and ISBE should be considered when making return to in-person learning decisions. The fall semester showed that while many students have adapted to this enormous change in education, many are struggling. I would like to see more flexibility on how to address the students that find remote learning difficult. We need more support for these students.


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.

Giving a voice to our constituents is one of the reasons I am running, and issues of racial equity and sexual violence must be dealt with by the Board. We must hold the District accountable to widening opportunity gaps in test scores and take a critical look at student student discipline practices that seem to disproportionately impact students of color. We also must take a hard look at policies aimed at safe and positive school cultures – ensuring all students feel a sense of belonging at school.

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?

While assisting struggling students, I believe the District must evaluate equity. We must focus on the whole student and ensure that every student’s needs are being considered when making decisions on how to best serve that student. We all have individual needs that differ from others. I would like to see flexibility and innovative solutions based on the whole child, rather than addressing the students’ needs as a whole.

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?

First the school board should never be in a position where we need to borrow money. D211 is very strong financially right now, however this could change in a matter of 5 – 8 years. My priority on the board is to put the needs of the students first. If the tax levy is in line with their needs then that’s where I will be voting. Currently there isn’t a need to increase taxes for this reason.

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

Keeping th schools safe for in person learning. Equity training: Provide a new era of learning and teaching. Maintain the excellence of our academic programs. Support the work of the librarians, teachers, TA’s, and anyone who directly working in the high schools that help maintain a high level of safety for all students. Continue to support the work of the counselors, psych, nurses, and supporting staff, and families especially now, over the coming summer and into next school year.

Eliminating 3rd party provider for the BTW component of Driver Ed. At this time this is the only area I would review for cuts.

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?

Constituents impacted by decisions of the Board should always have a voice and I see the increased community interest in Board proceedings as a positive development I hope continues. I would like to see the School Board more accessible by building a positive relationship with our community, keeping both formal and informal lines of communication open so that important concerns can be discussed and dealt with. Our District has successfully communicated information as it became available about the pandemic.

Information on Social Services was shared by email, tweets, Facebook, phone calls and on district websites. This information included resources for food, counseling, and suggestions for dealing with the pandemic available in our community.

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.

My role as a School Board member is to be knowledgeable, open-minded, and make decisions that are best for our community, no matter what. I will lead with respect and listen to others’ opinions – I have often found that I learn something new, even if I disagree. When working with others, I hope to bring the voice of my constituents into the debate, as well as my own expertise about issues facing our community. I will provide leadership, even if it’s unpopular, when necessary to ensure the best possible outcomes for D211 students.

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.

I believe we need to provide pathways for high quality career and technical education (CTE) and early college coursework to all students, so all students are set up for success after leaving high school – whether that pathway leads to college or directly to the workforce. By preparing our students for life after graduation, we empower individual students while cultivating a stronger workforce which aids our local community.

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?

The face the my immediate family all graduated within this district. I can always go into Schaumburg, or Conant and see the history of my family on the walls. Also living in and working in this community it makes me proud as I drive past the buildings. Also my youngest is still playing collegiate football, and during various interviews he will always reference how the coaches from D211 HS (Conant) prepared him for whats next!