Election 2013: Ken Knicker

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

Ken Knicker is one of nine candidates running for the Community Unit School District 200 Board of Education in the 2013 election. Knicker, 68, has been a board member since 2001. He has a Bachelor of Science in economics from Benedictine and a Master of Science in educational administration from Northern Illinois University. He lives in Wheaton with his wife, and has three children who attended District 200 schools.

Name: Ken Knicker

Position sought: District 200 Board of Education

Campaign contact information:

  • Website: Under development
  • E-mail address: kknicker@comcast.net           
  • Phone: 630-808-1944
  • Address: 1592 Hemstock Ave., Wheaton, IL. 60189

Age: 68

Family (name, relationship and age): Married with 3 adult children, all products of District 200 Schools. Four grandchildren, 2 who reside in District 200 and one will begin Kindergarten in fall of 2014.

Education (degree and school): BS Economics from Benedictine University. MS Educational Administration Northern Illinois University.

Occupation: Retired

Previous elected offices: Board of Education Community Unit School District 200

Applicable experience qualifying you for the position: I began my career as a teacher in District 200. I feel I understand education and the importance of having exceptional schools in our communities.  College and career ready children are a high priority for me.

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

I want to continue the quality education of our children within the funding our district has available.

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

Continue providing excellent education for the children of our communities with a balanced budget and increasing our fund balance moving forward is my priority. 

What sets you apart from the other candidates?

My total understanding of education and the need to have quality leadership, teachers, and aides providing the highest quality education. School systems cannot be run and managed like a business, children come first.

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

Lived in Wheaton for 36 years. Been involved with District 200 for 43 years.

What's your favorite thing about Wheaton Schools?

I believe we have the highest quality of teachers working with our children. 

What is the biggest problem in Wheaton Schools?

Continuing financial cuts from the state for mandated programs forces us to find different ways to fund the quality programs we have in our schools.  We are making it work, but it is not easy. 

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

I support the referendum to build the program driven design of the Jefferson Early Childhood Center.


CharlesS March 09, 2013 at 04:07 AM
I have to comment on Mr. Knicker's recent statements at a Board meeting about the Jefferson referendum. When the issue of increased taxes was presented and Mr. Gambiani very clearly articulated the risks of taking on additional debt as a district, Mr. Knicker responded with "If I can't afford to live here, maybe I should move!" It is this exact attitude from a legacy board member that has left this district in financial shambles and lost the trust of so many citizens. If our only solution is to continuously raise taxes, then Mr. Knicker will continue to be able to afford to live here but many others will not. Maybe the voters should "move" Mr. Knicker off the board?
Mary Ann Vitone March 09, 2013 at 04:53 AM
MAV I tend to agree with Charles. Mr. Knicker had the arrogance to say "I can afford my taxes." "If I can't afford my taxes, maybe I should move." - Coming from an elected official who is supposed to represent the taxpayer. Coming from a board member, who had no business sitting on a board whose wife was a highly paid superintendent. Of course Mr.Knicker can afford to pay his taxes, his wife is collecting 2 pensions. A $113,000. plus pension from the TRS and another from the SURS in the amount of $31,000. plus (neither of which she is paying Illinois income tax -even though Illinois is broke from the pension system) - It is important to note that while Mrs. Knicker was a superintendent for District 200 she did not pay one penny of her own money toward her pension - the Taxpayers of District 200 footed the bill - we also paid her an $11,000. plus sick leave payout upon retirement. Mr. Knicker should have never sat on this board due to the conflict of interest - and after his statement at the Board meeting in December about if you can't afford your taxes maybe you should move- coming from a board member who has voted in favor year after year of taxing to the max at our expense -while he has lined his pocket with our money - Should be voted off of this board once and for all.
WheatonWisdom March 09, 2013 at 12:12 PM
And Mr. Knicker's conflict continues, in addition to the $144,000 pensions (which grow unlike private sector pensions) his wife, Linda Knicker, continues to work at the Dupage Regional Office of Education. Maybe someone can find out if and what she is paid there.


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