GK Spotlight: Lisa Havener, New School Board Vice President
At this small town school, we build big-time pride by creating deep and lasting bonds within our community. With our #GKSpotlight series, we’ll shine a spotlight on members of the GK community so we can get to know each other and share what makes us #GKProud.
Name: Lisa Havener
Where you grew up: Kaneville, IL
Occupation: Regional Sales Manager
Educational Background: Associate of Science degree in Business from Waubonsee Community College
Why did you want to join the GK Board of Education?
I’ve lived in Genoa for 19 years and have a 15-year-old son that is a Freshman at GKHS. When I heard that there were positions opening up on the school board, I felt that it was a good time to get more involved with our schools as a parent, a professional, and as a long time community member. My father spent most of his life as a teacher and just finished 14 years on the Rochelle Township High School school board. It is my turn to carry the family torch!
What are 3 things you hope to accomplish or bring to the table while serving on the Board?
While serving on the board, I intend to be a strong voice for our students, educators, and the Genoa-Kingston community. Since I can remember, I have always had the traits of an advocate for those whom are unable to or don’t know how to advocate for themselves or their children. I hope to bring my educational, professional, and parental experiences to the table with a focus on mental health, special education, and safety. The mental health and safety of our educators is just as important to our children. There are so many resources available, and I hope to be a part in expanding on what those before me have accomplished.
Many years ago, I was a police officer in Sycamore. I was involved with starting the very first school resource officer program within the Sycamore school district. It was an amazing experience and allowed me to get a front row view of what goes on in the day and life of students, teachers, staff and administrators in elementary and secondary school environments. There are many, many things that take place behind the scenes to keep everyone safe in our schools. In conjunction with working alongside local law enforcement, I hope that my experience as a former school resource officer will help in continuing to keep everyone safe at our GK schools.
Genoa-Kingston is very blessed to have so many amazing teachers in our district. In order for our children to have the best education possible and to become successful adult community members, it is important that the school board supports our educators. I appreciate the excellent group of people we have educating our children, and I want to make sure they know that their adaptation to this “new” way of educating is not taken for granted. Retaining everyone that has worked so hard, especially over the last 14 months during COVID-19, is vital to each child’s success. Communication with the Genoa-Kingston Education Association is important, and I want to understand what our educators need to be successful and to feel appreciated. Educators chose a teaching career because they obviously have a passion for helping our children learn. Not only are our educators teaching core curricula, they are also helping teach our children to become people with character that are trustworthy, respectful, take ownership, are fair, caring, and develop into amazing citizens. Thank you to each and every one of you!
My favorite thing about the Genoa-Kingston school community:
Our large community support in our athletic programs and Booster Club. Our kids are lucky to have so many parents, family members, and community members supporting their events at HOME and AWAY, driving over an hour away in many cases. We have amazing parents and community members are dedicated to making sure there are funds available for each and every student to participate in a variety of extracurricular events.
A challenge I look forward to addressing is:
I look forward to the challenge of being involved in putting a safe full in-person return to learn plan in place for the upcoming 2021–2022 school year. Even with the many constantly changing aspects in play regarding COVID- 19 protocol, this challenge is a high priority.
The vision I see for the future of GK schools is:
Moving into the future, I see our GK schools as a place where we continue to hire, develop, and retain amazing talented teachers….a place where teachers leave other teaching jobs or strive to work after graduating college…a place where they settle down, teach for many years, and eventually retire from.
Continued improvements in technology are also vital and should be strategically utilized, especially in areas where it helps STEM students excel, and where it may help our students excel in their chosen areas of study or focus after high school. Our vocational programs continue to be extremely important and very necessary for a large number of GK students. I’d like to see continued support and advancements in those areas, while I’m on the GK school board.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
We have an almost 3-year-old female red/white Siberian Husky that I love to go on walks with. Family is important to me, and I love when we all get together. I love seeing my son play in his favorite sports (football, basketball, and baseball), while enjoying the camaraderie between parents and family.
A fun fact about me is:
My mom and dad have been married for almost 56 years. I am one of 13 children….#3 in line. There are 21 years separating my younger brother and I. I currently have 20 nieces and nephews, with another one on the way. Talk about family gatherings! It’s the equivalent of filling two to three classrooms each time there’s a birthday or holiday celebration…it’s the best…loud and crazy!