February 8, 2023 Local Stories in and Around St. Joseph, Illinois

SJO School Board Candidate David McDermott Q and A

There are five candidates running for four open seats on the SJO School Board.

Why are you running for school board?
I am running for re-election because I want to continue to see the successes from the last four years continue. The last four years our district has seen great academic, instructional, and facilities improvements and there is more to do for the students in our district.

What is the biggest challenge facing school districts?
The biggest challenge our district is facing is reduced enrollment. As enrollment drops so will our state funding and this will lead tough decisions on how to continue to offer the same programs with less money. Saint Joseph is such a great place to live but we need growth so that new young families can move into our district and allow their children to have the same advantages that the previous class was offered.

What is SJO’s greatest strength?
The biggest strength of our district is the academic opportunities we offer are as good as districts twice our size. Also, our extra curricular programs are the best in the area and provides our students for opportunities they won’t get in a large school district.

What do you think your biggest strength is regarding serving on school board?
My biggest strength as a board member is that I make decisions only after I look at all sides of the issue and seek input from others. I listen to those in the community and use their input in my decision process as well as I am not afraid to ask tough questions. In the last 4 years I have never missed a meeting.

Tell me about your family.
My wife Lori and I chose to move our family from Danville to Saint Joseph in 2012 because we wanted more for our kids. We have three kids, Tony (graduated from DHS), Andrew who recently graduated from SJO and our daughter Katie who will be a freshman at SJO this year. My wife is a teacher and I am a chemical sales engineer and adjunct professor at Illinois State University. I come from a family of educators so it has been a great pleasure to be a part of the SJO High School Board.

For information on where to vote click here.

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