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Tom Paulsen

Bringing Experience to District 200

Election Day IS April 6, 2021!







Putting My Experience
to Work

Thank you for visiting my website.​​  You will find information about my professional educator experience and community service.  Also, I have highlighted several key issues that the Board of Education of Wheaton-Warrenville Community Unit School District 200 will be facing over the next four years.  I then describe the role of a board of education for a public school district. 


I practice servant leadership and, in doing so, try to put the needs of others before my own.  As a Board of Education member, this means listening to the points of view of all constituents on a given issue and collaborating with colleagues before making decisions.  I am asking for your support in seeking a seat on the Board so I can bring my experience to the table to address the issues facing District 200.


Professional Experience


I began my career in education as a​ history teacher and soccer coach at Maine Township High School North in Des Plaines, IL and at Maine Township High School South in Park Ridge, IL.  My first administrative position was as Administrative Assistant to the Superintendent for Maine Township High School District 207.  My first building level administrative position was as Dean of Students at Maine North.  I was Assistant Principal at East Aurora High School in Aurora, IL before being appointed Assistant Principal at Naperville Central High School in Naperville, IL.  I was at Naperville Central for 21 years as Assistant Principal and then as Principal.  Before retiring in 2007, I served as Associate Superintendent of Schools for Naperville Community Unit District 203.


Since retiring, I have remained in public education as a mentor to new principals, supervisor of student teachers for the University of Illinois and as a disciplinary and residency hearing officer for several school districts.  I served two years as Interim Principal at Hinsdale Central High School and one year as Director of Partners for Success, the alternative to expulsion program administered by the Regional Office of Education for DuPage County.  I have had the good fortune to work for many excellent boards of education during my career and have been impressed with the commitment of members to serve their communities in these very important roles.  I look forward to the opportunity to do the same for the community in which I have resided for more that 50 years.


Community Service

  • Citizens Advisory Committee for District 200

  • Referendum Committee in 2017

  • Council of Elders, Board of Christian Education and the Culture Impact Committee at College Church in Wheaton

  • PADS Volunteer through College Church

  • After-school tutor for immigrant children through College Church

  • Alumni Board of Directors for Wheaton College including two years as president





Based on my experience as a member of the Community Advisory Council and after speaking with several members of the community, I believe the following represent several of the key issues which the new Board will need to address.  A number of these issues fall under the category of meeting the teaching and learning needs as well as the social/emotional needs of all students.  I believe District 200 has worked well to foster an atmosphere of collective efficacy which is the shared belief that the combined efforts of staff and families can help students to learn.  The key issues:

  • Helping to heal the District 200 community following the impact of the pandemic.  The impact will include both learning deficits and social/emotional issues for students.  For staff, there will be social/emotional concerns to address.  District 200 staff and families can help to identify the needs for students and give staff information they require to provide appropriate supports.  Effective engagement with both the staff and community on this issue will be key.  Watching a recent Board of Education meeting, I was pleased to see a report on plans already being developed to address learning deficits and the social/emotional impact of the pandemic.

  • Engaging with administration in the negotiation of a new collective bargaining agreement with the Wheaton-Warrenville Education Association  (effective July 2022).

  • Entering into a new contract with the Superintendent of Schools (effective July 2022).

  • Addressing equity issues with the goal being to provide quality resources for all students.  These resources include staff support for the teaching and learning as well as the social/emotional needs of students.  In addition, the District must continue to address equity issues regarding programming and facilities.

  • Working with financial issues under the management of a new Assistant Superintendent for Business Operations.

  • Continuing a disciplined and strategic approach to meet identified facility needs.

  • Updating the District 200 Strategic Plan currently titled Vision 2022.

  • Revisiting the "Portrait of a Graduate" initiative which had just begun when the pandemic hit.



Before listing what I believe to be the role of a effective school board, I wish to make clear that boards of education represent the entire community.  Yes, a school board has the specific governance responsibility to oversee the functioning of a local school district.  However, a board is elected by all the members of a given district and has the fiduciary responsibility to represent those who have students in local schools and those who do not.  All of the residents of a district pay taxes to support the public schools and are impacted by the quality of the education provided. A board of education has a stewardship responsibility to ensure tax dollars are expended to maintain a high quality of public education.  Every district resident is positively affected when this occurs.  I pledge to the residents of Wheaton-Warrenville Community Unit School District 200 that, if elected, I will represent all district residents.  I believe the current District 200 Board has, for the most part, been a good steward of community expectations.  Therefore, our residents have enjoyed a high quality of public school education and have benefited from the result.  I look forward to being part of this ongoing stewardship.


The Illinois Association of School Boards has the following vision statement:

“The vision of the Illinois Association of School Boards is excellence in local school board governance supporting quality public education.”


My view is in line with this vision and with the following summarized elements which characterize an effective school board as listed on the Illinois Association of School Boards website (

  • Knows the difference between governance (the role of the board) and management (the role of the administration).

  • Encourages public attendance at meetings and keeps constituents informed of the district’s progress.

  • Enacts major policies after all sides of the matter have been studied and all affected groups or individuals have been consulted.

  • Attempts to reach decisions that all members can support.

  • Maintains efficient procedures to conduct business.

  • Works to provide quality education for all students of the district.  Decisions made in this regard follow studies of the needs of students and the community.


The IASB further lists six foundational principles (summarized below) which need to be applied for effective governance to occur.

  • The board clarifies the district's purpose for the community paying close attention to student learning and organizational effectiveness.

  • The board connects with the entire community by engaging in two way communication.

  • The board employs and evaluates a superintendent.

  • The board delegates authority to the superintendent to manage the district.

  • The board monitors performance and progress toward district goals and compliance with board policies.

  • The board takes responsibility for board activity and behavior.


I encourage the reader to visit the IASB website in order to become familiar with  the detail provided for the elements of an effective board and the principles of effective governance.  On the home page, navigate to “School Board Elections” and click on “Key Dates and Resources.”  Under “Interested in school board service?”click on “Gain insights into the functions of boards of education.”  I pledge to the residents of Wheaton-Warrenville Community Unit School District 200 that, if elected, I will work to adhere to the elements that characterize an effective school board and to the foundational principles on which they are based.

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