Elections ’11: Thomas J. Matya, Candidate for District 428 Board of Education

    Thomas J. Matya, Candidate for District 428 Board of Education

    Thomas J. Matya, Candidate for District 428 Board of Education

    Background: My wife and I moved to DeKalb in 1986.  We have five children, four whom have graduated from DHS and have earned their college degrees. Our son is a Junior at DHS.  I attended college at the University of Nebraska, earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Ag Ed and Ag Econ. For twenty years I worked at DeKalb Genetics in sales and business management positions.  Over the past eleven years I have worked at Zea Mays Holdings, LLC in Sycamore, managing the firms community development and philanthropy efforts.

    Over the past twelve years I have served on several non-profit boards in our area.  Boards that I have served and chaired include; Kishwaukee United Way, Sycamore Chamber of Commerce, Opportunity House, the DeKalb County Community Foundation and the Barb Boosters.  Other Boards I am currently serving on are; Kishwaukee Health System and Kishwaukee Health Foundation.

    Why should people vote for you?

    The most important asset to the communities of Cortland, DeKalb and Malta is our school district.  My promise is to listen to the residents of the district for their input, as well as making sure parents, students and teachers have a voice as well.  Specific area’s I will focus on as a Board member include:


    • Improved use of technology to both engage and enhance the performance of students.
    • Review current school and department standards.  Examine what are the targets for our students to achieve and what methods are being used.
    • Focus on communciation.  Administrator to teacher to student/parent.  Insure that all involved in the educational process understand the goals and tools available.  Our common goal is to make sure every child succeeds.


    • Annually establish a thorough review of each individual school budget.
    • Create an open dialogue with parents and residents to establish funding priorities in the district.


    • Engage businesses/employers to assist educator’s in what are basic skill requirements for future employment. Let’s retain our graduates and help them find jobs locally.
    • Develop interaction between residents/businesses and students to reinforce that they are the future of our communities.  Find meaningful ways to engage our citizens that will add value to the education experience.
    • Expand relationships with both Kishwaukee College and NIU to develop solid career tracks for all students.

    My only motivation in running for this position is to offer my talents to make our schools in District 428 become the best that they can possibly be.  I salute all of those who have served and have offered to serve in this important role for our District.  Your vote would be very much appreciated.

    Thanks for the forum to participate.


    1. Mr. Matya:

      While I am impressed with your track record in philanthropy and community affairs, I am at the same time very concerned should you become one of our school board members. As your bio points out, you currently sit on Kishwaukee Health System’s Board of Directors. (For those who don’t know, Kish Health Systems is the number two employer in DeKalb County, following Northern Illinois University as first and District 428 as third largest employer in the county.)

      In my view it is NOT beneficial to society for power and authority of more than one influential entity in the county to be vested in any one person at the same time. If successful in the upcoming 428 school board election, Mr. Matya, you would hold more than one powerful director’s position at the same time.

      Mr. Matya, will you step down as a Kishwaukee Health Systems Board Director and Kishwaukee Health Foundation Director should you win the School Board seat?

      Please respond to this question. While I respect your contributions to the community in general, and value your role on the Kish Boards, I cannot support your candidacy as school board member until this potential conflict is resolved.

      Thank You.

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