Candidate Name: Shannon Adcock
Office Seeking: School District 204 School Board
Campaign Website: www.shannonfor204.com
Closest School: Patterson Elementary • Crone • Neuqua
Occupation and/or Professional Training: Owner and Photographer at Shannon A. Photography
How long in years have you been a Naperville resident? 6 Years; We moved back to our IL roots after living out of state for 12 years.
Service on Boards, Commissions, Task Forces, etc. with dates served (nonprofit too):
Patterson Elementary PTA:
Teacher Appreciation Chair: 2015-2017
PTA VP Administration: 2017-2019
PTA Secretary: 2019-Present
Knox Presbyterian Church:
Deacon: 2017-2019; Moderator: 2020
Pastoral Search Committee: 2019-2020
Covid-19 Task Force: 2020
Personnel Council: 2019-2020
Mission Sponsor Of Hesed House: 2021
The following answers have only been edited for formatting purposes.
1. Why are you running to serve the board of education?
I am opting to run with a strong sense of advocacy for students in this community. Our 3 children will be at each level of district education during the 4-year term. I plan to bring a much-needed parent perspective while governing district-wide policies with transparent communication.
2. What is the school district’s most pressing need?
Returning students to safe schools full-time is critical. Our district has proven it can deliver remote instruction, however, the curriculum, educators, and facilities are budgeted and designed for optimal in-person learning. The district needs to provide supplemental learning opportunities over the summer in order to address the learning losses that have resulted since March 2020.
3. What are your thoughts on the school district’s programs dedicated toward special education students, English Language Learners (ELL), students in the middle and gifted students?
The resources and funding are in place to assist the needs of all district students. However, if any parent, educator, or student is seeing deficiencies or needs more support, it’s important to communicate concerns with the closet staff supervisors. I, too, will gladly advocate for any student who is not getting proper access to any available resources in the district.
4. Name three District 204 policies that need review or immediate attention.
School Choice (Hybrid/Remote) • Transparency • Equity
5. How often are you in touch with members of the current School Board? And do you attend/watch school board meetings live or after they’re saved in the archive?
Not often; I made a public statement to the board in August relaying my disappointment with their revocation of choice for hybrid learning. In an effort to be transparent, I have kept my correspondence to that of my concerns as a parent versus as a candidate. A candidate orientation took place recently with one board member and Superintendent Talley, which provided very helpful district information to those of us running.
I have watched all the board meetings live with one exception that was viewed the next day. As I was discerning a run for the board, I hoped that board meetings would give me a better understanding of the dialogue, discussions, and decision-making. It has been disappointing to realize the public meetings are limited in their scope of witnessing how each board member has come to their unanimous and dispassionate decisions. I just finished reading a book on the habits of highly effective school boards. It states that impactful boards are not made up of “good little boys and girls” (Groupthink) but rather, they consist of passionate, diverse, and engaged leaders who can ask the tough questions with civil debate and discussion. I look forward to making that impact on the IPSD 204 school board.
6. What up-and-coming City of Naperville/City of Aurora development will impact School District 204 funding the most? As a board member, where would you look to make budget adjustments?
CityGate is the main development being discussed at the board and city council levels. The project isn’t done with planning but it could result in the addition of children to schools that have high student ratios. District 204 is incredibly dense with housing versus developments that generate revenue for the community. I am in the process of networking with city council members to collaborate on what will be a win for the district alongside the city. I met with a district finance manager yesterday to educate myself on budget and revenue; it was very helpful and I appreciated his time. We are a lean district, which is great, but it is always worth evaluating how we could maximize funds at the classroom level. While the CARES act funding will assist our district, a long-term approach to finances will be critical. In 2027, the bond debt will be paid off, which is substantial.
7. In a public relations role, how would you orientate a new family to the school district?
Cookies! I’m kidding but who doesn’t love cookies? I would gladly make myself accessible to any new family/staffer/community member during the term as a board member. We moved back to the area when our oldest was in first grade so I remember the sense of being a newcomer to the district. The district/school websites are great to first orientate a new family. I am big on videos and tangible forms of connection, all of which have been harnessed this past year with remote learning. It would be beneficial for families to have access to a virtual tour of the schools, especially for those who may not yet live in the area. This would be a great project for our high school students who are involved in TV/Tech.
8. Consider K-12 core curriculum to include English (reading, language arts writing), science, technology, engineering, mathematics, arts (STEAM), foreign languages, computer science, civics/government/current events, economics, history, geography, physical education/health and social-emotional learning standards. If the school district were forced to eliminate a subject in order to add a new one, what would you eliminate? Any thought of what you would add at what grade level? What’s the parents’ role in monitoring curriculum changes and choices?
I cannot imagine a scenario of a district being forced to eliminate the above-mentioned subjects. However, there are some state legislation bills that may affect new teaching mandates. I encourage parents to be highly involved in understanding these possible reforms and writing their legislators with feedback. We should always pay attention to the curriculum being taught to our children along with the assigned books and projects.
After this past year, I firmly believe there will be gaps across all core subjects. Yet, any student struggling emotionally/socially will be hard-pressed to achieve academically. If elected, I would advocate for a total-child approach to assessments and advancement. It will take a village and innovative solutions in the post-pandemic classroom. We should take this opportunity to modernize and update the curriculum and manner of instruction. It will take buy-in from educators and parents. If I could add one specific thing to any grade level, it would be more time for P.E./recess.
9. Research reveals that high self-esteem and student achievement are closely related to positive parental involvement in school. Considering growing interest in school choice, home-schooling and private schools, what are your thoughts on school vouchers?
It is so great to see the high level of parent involvement in District 204 education and enrichment! Many of us move here specifically for the schools. I firmly support school choice and families having the freedom to pursue the best educational opportunities for their children. I attended parochial schools until college, my husband attended Naperville 203 schools, our oldest attended a classical charter school when we lived in Arizona, and now our children are all in District 204. We have lived the freedom of school choice!
10. When was the last time you read the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights?
Both documents are hanging as posters in our makeshift home classroom. We want our children to appreciate living in this wonderful country with all of its freedoms and rights!
11. Have you received any donations or endorsements from any organized group(s)? If so, which groups?
My campaign is self-financed but supporters may purchase a $7 yard sign. I have accepted every invitation to forums/interviews and will announce any endorsements as they are made. Any group or organization that wants to engage in a discussion is welcome to contact me.
12. Name the school teacher who most influenced you. Please include grade, school, city and state. (Parents/family are not eligible.)
I was fortunate to have many great teachers! One of my most influential teaches was Mrs. Hughes, my theater teacher at Mother McAuley High School in Chicago. She helped me to realize my potential with the perfect balance between critique and encouragement. To this day, the lessons I learned from her guidance continue to help me achieve my goals.
Anything else you’d like to add?
I am not an educator, lawyer, or CEO. However, I am a full-time parent who is teaching our children to be respectful citizens, has negotiated 3 kids under six years old to get through Costco without any tears, and has operated a successful photography business for 12 years. I will tackle the learning curve of a new school board member with grit and collaboration while aiming to be highly effective. Thank you for supporting my advocacy with a vote on April 6th!