Julia Kennedy Beckman is one of six candidates running for the Community High School District 99 Board of Education in the 2013 election. Beckman, 72, has served on the school board since 1993, and was president for 10 years. She is an outplacement job coach, and holds a B.A. in music education from the University of Iowa and an M.S. in industrial relations from Loyola University. She lives in Darien.
Name: Julia Kennedy Beckman
Position sought: Community High School District 99 Board of Education
Family (name, relationship and age): Four grown children—all graduates of Downers Grove South High School—and seven grandchildren
Education (degree and school): Bachelor's degree in music education and rom the University of Iowa, Phi Beta Kappa; master's degree in industrial relations from Loyola University.
Occupation: Outplacement job coach
Previous elected offices: Five terms on the District 99 Board of Education (1993 to present)
Applicable experience qualifying you for the position: 20 years as a school board member.
What is the primary reason you are running for this office?
I am running for this office because, although I have served for five terms, I still love the district and our students. There are always new challenges. This term, we are heading into the new required core educational standards, which will change dramatically the way our students are taught.
What will be your single most important priority if you get elected?
My most important priority will be to maintain and increase our already high educational standards in the face of possibly diminishing federal and state funding.
What sets you apart from the other candidates?
My 20 years’ experience adds a long-term perspective. While new ideas and energy are a plus for the board, a member who has experienced several referenda, massive additions to both schools and their campuses, and constantly updating curricula brings balance to board decisions.
How long have you lived in your community and/or been active in local issues?
I’ve lived in the Downers Grove area for most of my life, becoming active in school board issues in the 1980s. I was also appointed as a charter member of the Downers Grove Liquor Commission, and I'm a longtime member of the League of Women Voters, where I serve as a voter registrar. Most importantly, I have served on the District 99 Board of Education since 1993, and was president for 10 years.
What's your favorite thing about Community High School District 99?
It’s difficult to choose one thing about the district, but I must say when I walk into either school at any time of the day I love the energy, focus and discipline. It is such a positive atmosphere. However, probably my favorite event is graduation—the culmination of the teamwork it takes to arrive at this day; the result of the best, most current curriculum to ensure success; maintaining and improving our complex campuses to make them safe and efficient; and hiring and retaining the best staff we can find—it all comes together as we hand each student a diploma, the ticket to the next stage of their lives.
- Election 2013: District 99 Board of Education
- Election 2013: Deborah "Debbie" Boyle
- Election 2013: Martin Gorski
- Election 2013: Henry P. Jakobsze
- Election 2013: Teresa "Terry" K. Pavesich
- Election 2013: Rick Pavinato
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