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Election 2013: Brad Paulsen

Brad Paulsen is one of nine candidates running for the District 200 Board of Education in the 2013 election.

Brad Paulsen is one of nine candidates running for the Community Unit School District 200 Board of Education in the 2013 election. Paulsen, 46, is a licensed architect and works as vice president for PK-12 education for an architecture, engineering and construction company based in DuPage County. He has a Bachelor of Science in Architecture from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and completed a dual masters degree in architecture and finance at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. He lives in Wheaton with his wife, Pamela and daughters, Karissa, 11, and Juliana, 7.

Name: Brad Paulsen

Position sought: District 200 Board of Education

Campaign contact information: 

Age: 46

Family (name, relationship and age): Pamela Paulsen, wife, Karissa Paulsen, daughter, 11 (6th grade), Juliana Paulsen, daughter, 7 (2nd grade)

Education (degree and school):

  • Bachelor of Science in Architecture; University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, 1988
  • Dual Masters Degrees; University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, 1991, Master of Architecture (Management), Master of Science in Finance

Occupation:  I am a licensed architect. I am Vice President; Practice Leader for PK—12 Education for an architecture, engineering and construction company based in DuPage County.

Political party affiliation, if any: I consider myself Republican; however school board elections are non-partisan elections and the seven school board positions are not affiliated with any particular party.

Previous elected offices: None

Applicable experience qualifying you for the position:

With two young children (including the youngest of all nine candidates) I will bring a long-term perspective to advancing District 200. My background in architecture and finance offers a unique combination of skill sets, experience and creative thinking.  In my 22 years working in school planning and construction I’ve worked extensively with school districts. I will be able to draw upon a broad network of education leaders from whom I can draw fresh ideas to point a clear path to the future. My ideas and perspective are not “insulated” by the walls of District 200.

What is the primary reason you are running for this office?

The school district is in a good financial position, but there are challenges that lie ahead.  With a 2nd and 6th grader I bring a long-term vision to advance District 200.  In my 22-year career I have worked with many school districts. I’ve seen what other districts do with technology and forward-looking programs and have developed a platform of ideas that I would like to bring that can advance District 200.

What will be your single most important priority if you get elected?

I believe that instructional technology is a shortcoming and inconsistent across the District. The world has changed and I believe that our approach to teaching and learning will continue to evolve with technology. Working with the teachers and educational leaders will be critical to work towards a shared vision around the Common Core Standards and technology will be critical. I would like to bring several new ideas that can help advance student achievement. 

What sets you apart from the other candidates?

My perspective is not confined to District 200 and will bring a national perspective of what other school districts are doing. My 22-years working with schools districts have allowed me to see innovative learning ideas that can be brought to District 200. With a fiscally conservative approach and creative problem solving I will work to balance taxpayer needs with opportunities to enhance learning. I am in this for the long haul without other political agendas.

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To send a letter to the editor about the upcoming election, email Charlotte@Patch.com.

How long have you lived in Wheaton? If applicable, how long have you been involved with Wheaton?

I have lived in Wheaton for eight years.  I grew up in Carol Stream and have lived within 30 miles of Wheaton for 47 years.  My wife and I moved here to raise our young family. I served as a volunteer on the Hubble Middle School referendum committee. I have volunteered as a soccer coach in the Wheaton Park District. My wife, Pamela, serves on the P.T.A. Board at both Lincoln and Edison schools.

What's your favorite thing about Wheaton (District 200)?

The dedication of the teachers and families to support a good educational system and community values. Our teachers are very committed to student success, despite the challenges they typically face in the buildings and technology constraints. I moved here largely because of the schools and the family-centered culture and have found that my expectations have been exceeded.

What is the biggest problem in Wheaton (District 200)?

I don’t look at things as “problems”, just different challenges (with unique opportunities). I believe our biggest challenge is to continue making our District stronger by advancing new ideas and maintaining focus on academic achievement, while staying within our financial means. We must re-align the curriculum to meet the Common Core State Standards and accept the likelihood of pension costs being partially shifted back to local school districts.

What is your stance on the Jefferson Early Childhood Center referendum?

I understand that early intervention provides long-term benefits across the District. I have been involved in the design of early childhood centers and understand the unique challenges of special needs students – and how an appropriately designed building will benefit student learning and teacher collaboration. I believe the existing Jefferson facility creates barriers to students and teachers. I have reviewed the overall proposal and feel the plan and financing approach is reasonable. I support the referendum.

Related:

SuburbanMom March 01, 2013 at 05:42 AM
Glad to see somebody can bring some new ideas from outside the district!
Laura S. March 17, 2013 at 08:46 PM
Sounds like he had some new ideas at Thursday's forum. Good to see someone new with a different perspective.
Pamela Paulsen March 20, 2013 at 04:04 PM
Vote for Brad! And for an educator's viewpoint, please see Monday's Letter to the Editor from a local superintendent - http://wheaton.patch.com/articles/letter-brad-paulsen-for-district-200-school-board. Thank you!

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