Original questions in black. Responses in blue.
1. Who are you and why did you decide to run?
My name is Kader Sakkaria, and I’m a father and husband who’s been a Naperville
resident for more than two decades. My wife is a substitute teacher in District 204, one of my
children has graduated from the district, and another is a current student. I decided to run
because from my professional background, I know that higher education in the United States is
developing rapidly to open up new pathways towards success. We need to prepare every
student to achieve success after graduation, however they define it, which means we need to
incorporate these new higher education pathways into our K-12 curricula. In order to do so, we
must address the systemic inequities present in our district, by allocating resources based on
need, and by empowering students and families to get involved and advocate for themselves.
I’m running for the school board because it has the unique ability, in the right hands, to address
these issues in a transparent, effective manner.
2. What is/are your top issue(s) and why?
First, the board must strive to address the inequities present in the district. In the short term, the
board must formulate reopening policy with the recognition that remote learning
disproportionately impacts marginalized students. Now, in the longer term, we have to retain
talented educators in our schools through improved professional development, support systems,
and incentives, because their professional expertise is critical in allowing the board to act on the
areas which need attention. The board must also examine potential changes to curricula and
school zoning to determine if such changes could lessen inequities in the district. I believe there
is a strong promise in both of these avenues, and the board should investigate accordingly.
Second, the board must increase its transparency and communication with the community. The
board should expand public forums, public interviews, and public comment. It should also
conduct and publish an easily readable, top to bottom review of district budget and revenue.
Third, the board should increase involvement with the community at large, beyond the
transparency of its own processes. The board should engage existing parental advisory groups,
and empower less involved parents to increase their involvement. It should also develop
partnerships with local and public organizations to help identify potential new curriculum
modules and hands-on experiences. The board can look to successful examples elsewhere,
such as innovation labs and programs in magnet schools. Furthermore, the board should build
partnerships with local businesses to develop programs for students, as well as resource and
time donations. Finally, the board must develop strong relationships with city, county, and state
commissions which determine school budgets.
3. What is something that people might not know about you? (Fun fact!)
When I was a university student in India, I was a representative on our Student Council.
It was my first taste of the administration of an educational institution. It was an enjoyable
experience because I was able to work with other students who were similarly passionate about
making sure everyone had a better time in school, which could be quite competitive and