Full Name: PaTrice Dewey
What office are you seeking? Crystal Lake Consolidated Community School District 47 Board Member
What is your political party? Democrat
What is your current age? 41
Occupation and Employer: Customer Operations Specialist for Nutrabolt
What offices, if any, have you previously held? None.
City: Crystal Lake
Campaign Website: www.DeweyVote.com
Education: Bachelor of Arts, Major in Biological Sciences from University of Illinois at Chicago
General Ed, Crystal Lake South High School
General Ed, Lundahl Jr. High
General Ed, Canterbury Elementary
Community involvement: Volunteer work:
Kids in Need of McHenry County
Fill a Heart for Kids
Habitat for Humanity
Chicago Gay Games
Marital status/Immediate family: No spouse.
Why are you running for office?
I’ve reached the point in my parenthood journey where I would like to begin giving back to the community. I came to the answer of school board after my oldest child’s transition to middle school. After her first couple weeks of school, she was raving to me about how amazing it is. The teachers are consistent, communicative, and organized and the opportunities she finds in the various subjects, clubs, and extracurricular activities make her very happy and more interested in her education. Our District 47 schools have given my daughter friends that immediately intervene when bullying happens and they are involved in school clubs that include all children.
It has been inspiring to see how well our teachers have ingrained these values in our children and I’d like to be a part of facilitating the continuation of these values.
What makes you qualified for the office you’re seeking?
I am a concerned citizen, a voter, a graduate of D47 schools, and a parent to a child currently attending a D47 school. I care about how our children are prepared for high school and beyond so they function well as adults in the future. I care that our children are taught to interact kindly with others that are different than themselves so they will be prepared for the human diversity they will experience in the broader world.
Have you sought and/or received any training to run for your local school board? If so, from whom?
Yes. I have received training from the Illinois Association of School Boards.
Would you propose any changes to the curriculum? If so, what?
We have very good schools here in Crystal Lake. If I were to make any improvements, I would promote an Orton-Gillingham or similar program for reading. Orton-Gillingham facilitates better reading for students that that have learning challenges and doesn’t have any negative impact on students that do not have those challenges. Investing in this change of curriculum would reduce the costs of interventions needed later in a student’s education.
Are LGBTQ students treated fairly in your district?
I believe that D47 is on the right path to getting LGBTQ students treated fairly but there is room for improvement.
All students deserve to feel physically and emotionally secure at our schools.
What is your assessment of how Diversity, Equity and Inclusion is handled in your school district?
The teachers are doing it well. The students I’ve met in D47 are calmly accepting of diversity, point out inequity when they see it, and are willing to reach out and include others in activities.
Do you believe the district needs to make any changes to improve DEI in your district?
Our school and teachers are doing well at including DEI in our children’s education, but I have heard from a few parents that would like to see some improvements. Parents of children that are receiving disability services in our schools have indicated that they want their disabled students to feel more included in school activities.
Are teachers in your district paid adequately now and in retirement?
The average pay for teachers in D47 is about $7k below the state average.
I plan to speak with the Teacher’s Union soon and hope to learn more about how they feel about their current compensation and retirement packages.
Would you support changes to teacher pay scales? If so, how?
Yes. I would support increased pay for new teachers. No adult with a full time job should require a second income to live in the district where they teach.
What is your assessment of the district superintendent’s compensation?
Our current superintendent is compensated above the average of what Illinois school superintendents are paid. I feel confident that the school board selected her under the impression that Dr. Hinz would be compensated appropriately for the value and experience that she brings to District 47.
Would you make any changes to how the district superintendent is compensated?
No. I do not see changing the superintendent compensation as an action that would provide meaningful or notable impact to the district at present.
Do you support the current superintendent? Please explain.
Yes. While some of her solutions have not been popular, Dr. Kathy Hinz prioritizes actions to protect our students and encourages an inclusive environment in our schools.
Should schools in your district adopt and teach sex education according to the National Sex Education Standards? Please explain.
Yes. The standards follow age-appropriate education for children from different types of families, respectful boundaries, and naming body parts for younger students to sexuality, gender, and sexual assault for older students.
D47 schools already teach a comprehensive sex ed program that is very similar to the National Standards. Conforming to the National Standards isn’t anticipated to be a huge shift for our students or burden on our teachers.
What is your assessment of how the COVID-19 pandemic was handled locally?
I believe the teachers, school board, and superintendent made the best possible choices they could in with the information they had in challenging and constantly changing circumstances.
What did you learn from the pandemic?
I am grateful to our teachers for rapidly adapting to e-classrooms and ramping up their communications to home. I am grateful to the teachers that have stayed on teaching after all the upheaval. These two points of gratitude exist because the pandemic made it clear to me that I am not personally equipped to be a full time homeschool teacher.
Are voters that support your district taxed at an appropriate level?
According to the Illinois Public School District Tax Rates report, the District 47 Education Tax is within 1% of the average for McHenry County’s school districts. I feel this is an appropriate level for the region.
Would you support any plans to raise taxes in the district? If so, what should the additional revenue be spent on?
I would be disinclined to support a district tax increase until our state taxes have been adjusted. In the event of the schools receiving additional revenue, I would like to see upgrades to several of the buildings to increase the physical safety of our children and increases in the number of classroom assistants and Special Education staff.
Would you support lowering taxes in the district? If so, what programs or services in the district would you cut?
No. McHenry County residents don’t get enough dollars back from the state. McHenry county residents get back about $0.63 for every $1.00 they send to the state of Illinois in taxes.
I believe fixing tax issues at a higher level than the district would make residents more comfortable with the portion of district taxes they pay for our amazing schools and still allow us to provide services to those in our community that are having difficulties.
Will you accept the voters’ decision in your race on Election Day?
What is your position on open, transparent government?
I am an advocate of governmental transparency as it cements trust between the government and the citizens.
Do you support the Freedom of Information Act and citizens’ ability to freely access government records?