School Board Candidate Profile: Matt Sinde

Matt Sinde is one of six board members vying for three positions on the RB school board.  The election will be held in April.  Sinde is the current RB board president.

Courtesy of Matt Sinde

Matt Sinde is one of six board members vying for three positions on the RB school board. The election will be held in April. Sinde is the current RB board president.

Matthew Sinde, School Board Candidate

Tell Clarion about your background, focusing on information that might be relevant to voters.

I am currently the President of the Riverside Brookfield Board of Education. I have served on several village/church boards such as Brookfield Zoning Board of Appeals, Brookfield 2020 Master Plan, Brookfield Planning Commission and President of the St. Louise School Board. These positions have provided me with the experiences and skills that are needed to provide our RB students with a great education that will help them to succeed when they graduate from our school.

If you are a sitting board member, either explain why you originally ran, why you are running again, or both.

Four years ago I ran for the school board because I was troubled by the lack of transparency and management at the high school. The community did not trust the board or the high school administration. The high school needed to regain the trust of the community and be able to make the changes necessary to provide our students a sustainable education.

I am running for another term because our job is not finished. First, we must negotiate the teachers’ contract which will need to be financially feasible and allow RB to live within their revenue stream. Additionally we must strategically plan on how we can progress our school via technology and class offerings to provide our students with the skills they need to succeed after they graduate. We must work with the community to convey what we are accomplishing here at RB and seek their assistance on issues that we will be facing in the future. Finally, we must find a way to develop a safe pathway for our students who live in North Riverside to get to RB.

What is one attribute that you have that sets you apart from the other candidates?  Why?

Leadership experience is a key attribute that I bring to the board. In the last five years, RB has faced a lot of challenges. The board has faced these challenges too and made the hard decisions which have helped the school financially and in educational excellence. In the future we will need to strengthen the relationships that we have with the community and feeder schools. These increased relationships will help RB in the future with the challenges that we face to continue to provide an excellent education for our students.

What do you see as the single greatest challenge facing RB right now?  How would you like to see the Board address that challenge?

The biggest challenge facing this board is to keep on providing a great education to our students with a limited revenue stream. The community told the school board that they would not provide any more monies through increased real estate taxes. The board has taken that challenge and has reduced costs and made the decisions to provide a great education to our students. We must continue to monitor our classes and ensure that we have the resources needed to make our students successful once they graduate from RB.

RB has undergone many changes over the last several years in order to lower expenses including the shrinking of its teaching staff, an overall increase in class size, and the elimination of several clubs.  What changes, if any, do you see RB making or needing to make in the next few years?  Why?

WE NEED TO PROVIDE A GREAT SUSTAINABLE EDUCATION TO OUR STUDENTS! The board must negotiate a teachers’ contract which will be financially feasible  and fair to the community, and keeps our spending in check. Develop a technology plan which will provide our students with the resources needed to succeed in their education and provide a base for the rest of their life. We must improve inside technical equipment capabilities to successfully transition to a one-to-one campus. This will include a move toward digital text books to ensure our books are current and relevant. Develop a life safety audit/building survey on our physical plant to cultivate a strategic capital plan which will avoid emergency spending and allow for better financial planning.  Develop a bike path between North Riverside and RB. Continue focus on working with our feeder districts on the implementation of the common core. Continue the financial management to strengthen the financial score and avoid state regulatory interference. Continue the development of community/staff/administration/board committees to help address issues the school faces or impute in strategic planning. Continue outreach to the community to update them on budgets and programs.

Is there anything else you would like the RB community to know about you as a person and as a nominee?

During my term as a school board member we have accomplished a great deal: increased transparency of the school with board minutes and agenda on the web site, two board meetings a month which are televised and archived, and all bills are published on the web site.

Hired a new senior management team for the high school: superintendent, principal, assistant principal which has brought focus on the school through new programs i.e. Character Counts.

Reduced the budget deficit to a surplus this fiscal year through: advance planning of the class needs of students to promote effective scheduling and avoid redundancy; switched healthcare plan from self insured to a group plan; put in budgeting controls for better oversight on spending and developing a zero-based budget; focused budget surplus to fund interventions for students that need additional motivation and learning resources.

Increased the integrity of our athletics program through new leadership which focuses athletes’ efforts in helping the community and other students through mentoring programs.

Currently converting school goals to focus on each graduating class by monitoring their progress through their four years at RB.

Implemented policies to ensure outside groups are complying with the law and improved transparency.

Sponsor’s Note:
This submission reflects an updated version of the original candidate responses sent by Matt Sinde. -D. Mancoff