Meet the Riverdale school board candidates


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Posted Online: April 05, 2013, 11:30 pm
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NAME: Rick Kessler
AGE: 43
ADDRESS: Hillsdale
OCCUPATION: Owner of Copper Creek Development, a landscaping business
FAMILY: Wife; three children
EDUCATION: Attended Blackhawk College and Western Illinois University
OFFICE SOUGHT: Riverdale school board
PRIOR OFFICE: 16 years on the school board
WHY RUNNING: I want to continue to serve. We have a very good board, and we've worked well together through difficult times.
KEY ISSUE: Illinois finances and our budget are key issues. We've tightened our belt as best we can. That's why we leased the buses. We are trying to maintain the same level of services while spending less money.

NAME: Todd Jackson
AGE: 51
ADDRESS: Hillsdale
OCCUPATION: Field auditor with the Illinois Dept. of Employment Security
FAMILY: Wife, Laura; four children, Guy, Angie, Faith and Hope
EDUCATION: Riverdale High School, bachelor's from Augustana College.
OFFICE SOUGHT: Riverdale school board
PRIOR OFFICE: Eight years on school board
WHY RUNNING: I am running for the board of education to serve the students and community of the Riverdale School District and help to restore the board integrity.
KEY ISSUE: I believe the key issues facing the Riverdale School District are school funding and unfunded mandates. The state has not addressed the issues most affecting downstate school districts, and due to the fiscal mismanagement of taxes entrusted to them, we are now faced with finding the necessary solutions to survive financially.
COMMENTS: I am a very qualified candidate with eight years experience as a school board member. I have served the students of the district in many capacities and have a vested interest in the district as I currently have two students attending Riverdale schools.

NAME: James Boyd
AGE: 58
OCCUPATION: Retired high school principal
FAMILY: Wife, Robin; two grown children
EDUCATION: Master's in school administration
OFFICE SOUGHT: School board member
PRIOR OFFICE: Board member eight years and vice president Illinois High School Association
WHY RUNNING: My family and I have lived in the Riverdale School District over 30 years. I consider this district to be one of the best school districts and I want it to continue to be one of the most desirable districts in the area and state.
COMMENTS: I have only been out of education for less than a year and I miss being a part it. Being on the board will allow me to continue to help and be involved. I will always listen and be open to opinions and input from all Riverdale School District's community members.After 30 years I worked for the Riverdale School District as a teacher, coach, principal and special education coordinator I have a solid background. I have seen the growth from no technology to a world that moves on technology. I want to make sure our students and staff are equipped and ready for the ever-changing world.

NAME: Brian Plumb
AGE: 54
ADDRESS: Hillsdale
OCCUPATION: ImageFIRST Healthcare Textile Rental Laundry owner
FAMILY: Wife, Reba; three children
EDUCATION: Riverdale High School, Bachelor's from Parks College
OFFICE SOUGHT: Riverdale school board
PRIOR OFFICE: Eight years on the school board, currently board president
WHY RUNNING: Having been raised, educated and living in this community for more
than 50 years, I feel that I am "connected" with our parents and community members. It is
my intent to use my listening and communication skills to provide clear direction to ensure our school district provides quality education to our children and children's children well into
the future.
KEY ISSUE: School funding is without a doubt the most important issue facing our school district at this time. The state of Illinois ranks last or very near last in how our states fund their school
systems. It is imperative that we aggressively work together to convince the state of Illinois to
make the education of our children a priority.

NAME: Thomas Walston
AGE: 38
ADDRESS: Cordova
OCCUPATION: Adviser at Ashford University, Clinton
FAMILY: Wife, Amanda; daughters Regan (10), Macy (8) and Emery (3)
EDUCATION: Blackhawk College; bachelor's in education, Western Illinois University; master's in special education, Michigan-Dearborn
POLITICAL PARTY: Democratic
OFFICE SOUGHT: Riverdale school board
PRIOR OFFICE: None
WHY RUNNING: I am running to help improve the current school district in which I have worked and now live. Also to make sure that my daughters and other students are receiving the best education possible.
KEY ISSUE: Funding is my biggest concern. I want to make sure that we are looking into whatever avenues to make sure we can supplement any shortcomings of the state.
COMMENTS: I want to make sure that all students that are currently in the district, those coming into the district, and those who will be in district someday have the best education possible. I want to make sure that I am working with staff, administration and the community to make this happen.




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