Election 2013: Gary Clarin

Gary Clarin is one of five candidates running for three open seats on the Community Consolidated School District 181 Board of Education.

Name: Gary Clarin

Position sought: Community Consolidated School District 181 Board of Education

Email address: meilahn1@aol.com

Residence: Clarendon Hills

Family: Wife Janet; son Dan, 30; daughters Julie, 28, and Becca, 24.

Education: Bachelor's degree from Governors State University, MBA from Keller Graduate School.

Occupation: President/Owner of Meilahn Mfg. Company

Years in District 181: 25

Previous elected offices: None

Applicable experience qualifying you for the position:

  • President – Clarendon Hills/Oak Brook Little League – 1993-1994
  • President – Notre Dame Church Parish Council – 1999-2003
  • Board Experience: President – Edgewood Valley Country Club – 2010-2011; Board Member – Xurex Corporation (Kansas City, MO.) — Current; Board Member – Florsheim Shoe Company – 1986-1988; Board Member – Clark Shoe Company – 1988-1990.

What is the primary reason you are running for this office?

The primary reason that I am running is my three children have benefited from the education they received, not only in District 181 but also in District 86. Now that they are out of college and each successful in their own way, I want to give back to the community by serving on the board, helping to advance what is one of the best school districts in Illinois.

What will be your single most important priority if you get elected?

My single most important priority is working TOGETHER with the other board members, the administration and the teachers to continually advance the learning of the students. I have no agenda other than this.

What sets you apart from the other candidates?

I don’t believe I am unique from the other candidates, but I do believe that my previous and current tenure on several boards, both community and business, my ability to work together and listen to solve issues and advance common goals, and my willingness to take leadership roles, when asked, has provided me with the skill set necessary to be an effective board member.

What do you believe is District 181’s biggest strength?

I believe that the greatest strength of District 181 is being an integral part of a community that places a high value on education.

What do you believe is District 181’s biggest weakness?

If there is a weakness, it would be having to allocate limited financial resources in a community that expects to have the highest level of educational programs, and which programs get the resources.

Do you support the district’s approach to curriculum changes since the January 2012 report by gifted program consultant Dr. Tonya Moon? Why or why not?

I am just getting up to speed on the gifted program and the study by Dr. Tonya Moon. If the board determined that this was a strategic goal and asked the administration and teachers to evaluate it, which I know they did, then after proper research and review it is the responsibility of the board to move forward with it.

Do you support continuing the @d181 Initiative? What is your stance on iPads in the classroom?

I am a firm believer in technology and its use to promote student problem solving. At the February board meeting, I recently attended, D181 was awarded the Apple Distinguished Program, recognizing D181 for its exemplary use of computers in the learning process. The world in which we live continues to expand and the use of technology allows us to meet the accelerated learning it presents. I promote technology and if it means the use of computers or I-Pads in the classrooms, then I would be for it.

In terms of a school district, how would you describe a board that is fiscally responsible? Does District 181 currently have a fiscally responsible board?

A board that is fiscally responsible would require its administration to prepare a budget that balances revenues with expenses, allow the administration to allocate funding to advance the initiatives that the board strategy set out in the plan, approve the budget, and then hold the administration responsible for the implementation of the budget. This would be with the understanding that everything, including a budget, may change due to circumstances beyond the school districts control. Again, not having the background into the budget and how it was prepared, I would have to say that the current board is doing its job.

Related pages:

  • Election 2013: District 181 Board of Education
  • Jill Vorobiev
  • Mridu Garg
  • Richard Fitzgerald
  • Sarah Lewensohn


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