Allison Vonderheide believes her exposure to corporate America sets her apart from other candidates for a seat on the Stewardson-Strasburg Unit 5A Board of Education.
"We're all taxpayers and we're all concerned citizens," Vonderheide said. "But the corporate culture and my work experience in that corporate culture gives me a different perspective on how finances can be looked at."
Vonderheide, 34, is seeking a second term on the board. She said she's running for that second term to wrap up some unfinished business.
"All small schools are facing budget constraints," she said. "I would like to help finish out the correction of our budget and put the district back on the right path.
"Four years isn't a lot of time to make progress," she added. "But I will be comfortable with passing the baton after next term."
Vonderheide said maintaining a balanced budget for Stew-Stras schools is her top goal for the next term. But she also wants to reinstate some academic programs, including art, that have been cut in recent years. Moreover, she would like to keep applying creative thinking skills on the board.
"I want to continue to think outside the box," she said.
Finally, she would like to look into a cooperative effort with other school districts that would enable Stew-Stras students to take Advanced Placement courses.
Vonderheide believes that everyone should take an interest in their school district, whether through serving on the board or on school committees.
"Not many people do it, but I've always been an outgoing person, so serving on the board has been a natural fit for me," she said.
Vonderheide, a Stew-Stras grad, earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Illinois in agricultural finance. She is the accounts payable and payroll manager at Midland States Bank in Effingham. She is also a member of Community Organization Working for Stewardson (COWS), and St. Paul's Lutheran Church in Strasburg.
She lives in rural Mode with husband Bryan and their two children.