Five candidates face off for Hinsdale-Clarendon Hills District 181 Board
Who they are
School area: Elm; formerly Madison
Profession: attorney, labor and employment, Jones Day, Chicago
Experience: co-chairman, parent fundraiser, Madison School, 2009; co-chairman, Room Parent Committee, Madison School, 2009-11; member, nominating committee, Madison School, 2010; religious education instructor, St. Isaac Jogues, 2004-07, 2009-10
Residence: Clarendon Hills
School Area: Walker
Profession: owner/operator, Meilahn Manufacturing Co., Chicago; custom cabinetry, furniture millwork and trim work
Experience: president, Clarendon Hills/Oak Brook Little League, 1993-94; president, Notre Dame Parish Council, 1999-2003
School area: The Lane
Profession: Full-time parent. Ten years of experience with system and software development, project leadership and collaboration with customers, sales, and marketing within the telecommunications, insurance and financial industries.
Experience: chairman, PTO The Lane School; Science Olympiad; co-chairman, Social Emotional Learning for Academic Success Committee; member, 2012 Lane School Principal Search Committee; volunteer for several PTO activities
Residence: Burr Ridge
School area: Elm
Profession: commodity trader, Chicago Board of Trade
Experience: vice president of development, Ronald McDonald House, Maywood, 1999-2001; member, Elm School PTO Finance Committee; Hinsdale Swim Club meet director
School area: children attended Madison, recently moved to Oak
Profession: managing director, investor relations; PrivateBancorp
Experience: District 181 Board member since 2009, District 181 Foundation Board, volunteer at Hinsdale Middle School, Hinsdale Central
Updated: April 29, 2013 9:53AM
HINSDALE — Candidates for Hinsdale-Clarendon Hills Elementary District 181 Board see challenges ahead.
The next board will be charged with implementation of Common Core standards and the district’s new Advanced Learning Plan, along with a financial situation that likely will be challenged by increased pension responsibility, and negotiation of a new teachers’ contract. The current three-year deal expires June 30, 2014.
Five candidates are seeking three available four-year terms, including incumbent Sarah Lewensohn. The other four candidates are Jill Vorobiev, Gary Clarin, Mridu Garg and Richard Fitzgerald.
“It is critical that we maintain adequate flexibility with our revenue sources to address what is surely additional expense in the future,” Lewensohn said.
Garg is committed to making data-driven decisions that ensure the best use of tax dollars.
“I am committed to keeping an open mind, listening to differing points of view, and reviewing all available data to make informed decisions,” she said.
Garg also said it’s important to build confidence in the administration and board by addressing community concerns and increasing transparency.
Clarin agreed that transparency is very important.
“The board and administration must keep the best interest of the students as the top priority and inform the community what they are doing,” he said. “I believe that my experience in both local organizations and business will provide me with skills necessary to be an effective board member.
Vorobiev said several aspects of her experience have her well prepared to be on the board, noting her 15-plus years of legal experience managing and resolving complex issues, particularly in the field of labor and employment matters. She also cited her 15 years in the community, 10-plus years of experience with children in the district and her community involvement.
Fitzgerald said meeting the needs of everyone in the district must be a focus.
“Every child and family has different needs; some need an abundance of help, while others have become self-sufficient and require less guidance,” he said.
“I have the vision to see the big picture and the ability to address everyone’s needs, and not just focus on one or two subsets of the group.”