Fairfield Ledger

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Neighbors Growing Together | Jul 20, 2018

Symmonds: ready to serve

By Nicole Major, Ledger staff writer | Sep 05, 2017
Virgil G. Symmonds

Today’s showcase features Virgil G. Symmonds, who is one of two contenders in the running to fill one two-year vacancy.


1. Please briefly explain what prompted you to run for a seat on the Fairfield Community School District’s board of directors?

I’ve always felt that a person should be open to serve in whatever capacity they can. I was asked by several people to serve on the school board, and considered it an honor to be asked. I felt that this was my opportunity to serve this community.


2. What do you think the current board is doing right? Are there any areas that you think the board could improve upon?

The current board (and those before it) have put good quality teachers in place. That is a good foundation to build on. Going forward we need to make sure that we are fiscally responsible. The other area that I believe that the board can improve on is listening. I have had a number of parents tell me that they don’t feel that the current board is listening to them. We should listen, and act on the parents concerns; after all, they are the ones making the decision as to where to send their kids.


3. If elected to the school board, what assets would you bring to the table? Please talk about both your professional and personal experiences.

Being in retail business for 41 years, I bring management skills to the table. This includes managing people and budgets. I have also chaired numerous boards at my church. I am currently serving on the trustee board at my church. There could be changes coming to the district in the near future depending on which direction the legislature goes, particularly if a voucher system is adopted. We have to look at ways to keep our district strong and viable. I’m not saying that I agree with a voucher system, but we need to be prepared in case it does come.


4. What is your stance on the latest hot button issues, such as grade alike, Libertyville Elementary School closing etc.?

I am not a huge fan of grade alike. Splitting the grades up, and having 2 or 3 grades at one school, and 2 or 3 at another seems like too many transitions, especially for the younger kids. As far as the Libertyville closing, I would have liked to see all the options. If we could have kept it open, that would have been my preference. When it comes to the budget, all things have to be put on the table. Then you have to come up with a solution that brings balance. We must balance what the parents desire for their children, what the tax payers are willing to burden, and also keep good quality teachers. Basically we have to find ways to get the most value for our money.


5. What unique thing or things about you helps to distinguish you from your peers?

I am well known in the community. I am outgoing. I consider myself to be a good listener, and we need people who are open to listening to the concerns of the parents, tax payers, and the community. Thank you.

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