The Forest Park Review sent questionnaires to each person running for public office in 2023. The Review’s questions are in bold and the candidate’s responses are below.
Name: Jon Kubricht
Previous Political Experience: Worked with state representatives, mayors and school board members since 2008
Previous/Current Community Involvement: CUinFP, VOX, Citizen Advocacy Center, OI Young Ambassador and Forest Park Forward.
Occupation: Professional investor and educational travel coordinator
Education: Business and economics degree
1. In your opinion, what have been specific accomplishments made by District 209 over the past two years?
They have done a tremendous job cutting expenses to the detriment of the quality of the education our students have been receiving, and the resources provided to our teachers. To that end, I feel that the most significant accomplishment this administration has achieved lies in the unprecedented, and utter mismanagement of our school district, funded of course, by us the taxpayers. I mean to say that the superintendent has successfully alienated our teachers, demoralized both the students and faculty of Proviso, and destroyed, in record time, what took eight years to build. The incompetence of the sitting board majority, as well as of the superintendent himself has left the district in shambles. This must change.
2. Dr. James Henderson has had both supporters and critics of his administration since his appointment as superintendent of Proviso Township High School. Please provide your opinion of the work he has done at D209, including his relationship with faculty, his communications with parents and community, his management of a complex organization through a pandemic.
In all of my career, I have never seen such blatant ignorance, mismanagement, incompetence, and worst of all such little integrity as exhibited by Dr. James Henderson. This level of corruption and dishonesty is unfamiliar to me. His relationship to the faculty is toxic, he is unresponsive to parents, and misleading to the community at large. His management of the district, through his cutting of student services, doing away with support staff and security, have left the teachers and the students scrambling and vulnerable. This was especially true during the reopening following the pandemic when we saw an unprecedented increase in violence and mayhem in all three schools as only one of the many grave consequences I fear will plague our community for the years to come. I feel that his removal of the majority of deans, counselors, and mental health staff was the main fuel to fire this issue with the reopening.
3. As a board member, how would you respond to complaints and protests brought by students concerned with their education?
As my first priority, I would consider the complaints brought on by our scholars to be completely valid. I would be sympathetic and supportive of their concerns regarding their futures, and work together with teachers and administrators to ensure that the needs of our students are being met throughout the district. I Plan to collaborate closely with our faculty to ensure that all decisions being made not only put our students’ concerns to rest but also improve the educational environment for all.
4. Do you believe that the strike by teachers last year was unavoidable? How do you believe the district benefited by the strike’s resolution?
I don’t believe the strike was unavoidable under the conditions imposed on our faculty by the superintendent, these being the withholding of a fair and equitable offer on the part of the administration from the beginning. The benefits seen by the district came in the form of tremendous savings stemming from the lowering of educational quality seen in all three schools. Ultimately, I do not believe that the district really benefited in any way, much less our student body and faculty.
5. If you are elected to what continues to be a divided school board, what skills would you bring to governing productively?
As a business owner, I have extensive experience in budgeting, accounting, finance, contract negotiations, litigation, amongst many other things. I plan to implement a cost saving strategy that maximizes the quality of the educational environment experienced by our students. This strategy would include the increasing of teacher and support staff retention, which would effectively stabilize the learning environment and give students consistency throughout their day at school. Any cost savings can be used to develop additional extracurricular and educational programs that would enrich the learning experience of all students. Such programs would include areas of study in the arts, music, and even participation in physical activities.