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Meet the Candidates Running for Barrington 220 Board of Education | Dr. William Betz

Meet the Candidates Running for Barrington 220 Board of Education | Dr. William Betz

Early voting is now underway in the April 6th, 2021 Consolidated Election. As Barrington 220 prepares to welcome the district’s new superintendent of schools, there are eleven candidates running for four open seats on the district’s Board of Education (BOE). After an unprecedented year of distance learning and approval of a $147M bond referendum for school improvements, voters have been weighing their choices carefully.

To help inform our decisions on election day, we’ve reached out the list of candidates which, in addition to incumbents Sandra Ficke Bradford and Mike Shackleton, includes Thomas J. Mitoraj, Lauren Berkowitz KlauerJonathan Matta, Erin Chan Ding, Katie Karam, Malgorzata McGonigal, William Betz, Robert Windon and Steve Wang.

Find all published profiles at 365Barrington.com/220BOE.

We’re continuing our candidate profiles today by getting to know a little more about Dr. William Betz.

An actively-practicing physician in Illinois since 2004, Dr. William Betz says his experience in the medical profession has uniquely positioned him to make informed decisions about health and safety in Barrington’s schools. We asked Dr. Betz the same questions we posed to all candidates, including what he sees as the district’s top priorities, challenges and opportunities. Here’s what he shared, in his own words:

Meet the Candidate: Dr. William Betz

Yes to Parents

“I am a strong advocate for parents having the option to send their children to school for full-days, 5-days per week. Closing schools to in-person learning disrupts the lives of our students and their families. As an actively-practicing M.D., I am aware of the risks posed by COVID-19 (and other communicable diseases that are sure to arise in the future). Households with those at high-risk due to age or underlying medical conditions need to have an option for remote learning. The parents should decide. Harvard School of Public Health physicians and the CDC “recommend that schools should be the last to close and the first to reopen during these times.” (See below for more.)”

“My 3 children are in the school district. They are in 3rd, 5th, and 6th grades. I have a vested interest in the success of the school district for many years to come.

My undergraduate degree is in electrical engineering. My wife and I both went to medical school in Illinois. We had continuous formal education until our early 30s. We appreciate the value of education.”

Wise Spending

“I run a small business. I have experience doing due diligence regarding review of contracts and finances. I will keep a close eye on the spending of the $23,753 annual revenue/student. (State median = $18,231.) I will not rubber stamp spending on the order of the proposed $656,000 per grade-school classroom. To find more affordable pricing, I will communicate with other school boards. With price tags that are this out of line, I’ll vote to delay time-insensitive projects until we have more and better options.”

Child Safety Data

“It is important to keep the risk to children from COVID-19 in perspective. There were 154 deaths of children in the U.S. from COVID-19 (as of December 3). Compared with the CDC data from 2018 (the most recent available), COVID-19 would rank behind 8 other causes of death. The deaths from suicide are approximately 20 times greater. The deaths from accidents are approximately 30 times greater. Fewer children died in 2020 from COVID-19 compared to deaths in a normal year from influenza and pneumonia.”

Learn more at BetzForBarrington.com.

Voter priorities in this election include refining best practices from lessons learned during Covid-19, the future education and safety of our students and stewardship of the $147M voter-approved bond referendum for planned school improvements, district-wide. There have been two candidate forums in March. Barrington 220’s PTO President’s Council hosted the first forum on March 3rd.

The second candidates forum was hosted on March 13th by the League of Women Voters, Palatine Area.

Barry Altshuler, Leah Collister-Lazzari and Angela Wilcox will remain in their BOE positions. Board President, Penny Kazmier and Gavin Newman are not seeing reelection. Incumbents, Sandra Ficke-Bradford and Mike Shackleton are among the eleven who will be on the April 6th, 2021 ballot.

For early voting locations CLICK HERE for Lake County, CLICK HERE for Cook County, CLICK HERE for McHenry County and CLICK HERE for Kane County.

Stay tuned for more Barrington 220 Board of Education candidate profiles in the days ahead. With the April 6th election fast approaching and early voting underway now, we’ll be sharing our final profiles this week. 

Find all published profiles at 365Barrington.com/220BOE.

Barrington’s schools are a big part of what gives Barrington its unique character and we appreciate all who are willing to help lead the way on behalf of Barrington families, children and young adults.

Formed in 1973, Barrington Community Unit School District 220 educates over 9,000 students at one high school, two middle schools (grades 6-8), eight elementary schools, and one early childhood center. District 220 encompasses 72 square miles in 4 counties and covers 12 villages: all of Barrington, Lake Barrington, Tower Lakes; and portions of Barrington Hills, Carpentersville, Deer Park, Fox River Grove, Port Barrington, Hoffman Estates, Inverness, North Barrington, and South Barrington. Learn more at Barrington220.org.

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