MAPLE PARK – Meg Junk works with young adults right after they come out of the school system.
Now, as someone who can recall her own excellent public school education experience, the newest member of the Kaneland Board of Education will play a role in trying to ensure Kaneland kids have a similar positive experience.
Junk has replaced Peter Lopatin as a Kaneland board member. Lopatin resigned in August because he took a new job on the East Coast. Junk will serve Lopatin’s term through April when it expires.
“I’m just getting settled in,” she said. “For a first meeting, I was learning a lot of new acronyms.”
Junk has worked at Waubonsee Community College (WCC) for the past three years where she currently serves as the student life coordinator. Before relocating to the area she was employed at Wichita State University in Kansas for five years.
She had previously lived in Illinois two other times, but this is her first time making Sugar Grove her home.
In total, Junk has spent the past 11 years working with college students which she says has afforded her the opportunity to find out how much of an impact a student’s K-12 years have on their development as individuals.
“My perspective as a community member who is invested in our district is very much informed by these 11 years, the stories and experiences of my students and my volunteer roles throughout the community in ongoing partnerships and annual events,” she said. “Additionally, as a tax-payer and employee of a community college, I am very invested in the allocation of our tax dollars and making sure that quality education for our children and community is a top priority.”
Fellow board member Aaron Lawler also works at WCC.
“I think that Aaron and I see what students come out of the K-12 experience with,” she said. “He sees it in how they answer academic questions and I see it more in how it applies to a real world setting.”
As the parent of a four-year-old son, Junk also brings the perspective of a young mom with a child who will soon enter the school system and be a part of it for the next dozen or so years.
“We’re not in the system yet, so we’re getting ahead of it,” she said. “I was at a neighborhood gathering with mostly neighbors and they all had great things to say about where their kids go to school. It’s all been very positive.”
During Monday’s meeting, the board approved the 2018-19 budget for the Fox Valley Career Center and the 2018-19 budget for the Kaneland school district.
A tentative operating budget of $59.4 million has been adopted with a total tentative budget of $73.2 for the district. Revenues in the operating budget are projected to exceed expenditures by about $261,000. In addition, the operating revenues for Kaneland are expected to be $59.7 million, which is approximately 5.3 percent more than what was budgeted in 2017-18.