Even though the race is uncontested, retired Haven Middle School teacher Claudia Garrison held a campaign kickoff Friday evening at Evanston’s Fireplace Grill, with many teachers in attendance.
She told the prospective voters she plans to establish a “teachers cabinet” to advise her on matters coming before the board that affect the classroom.
“I need to have a group of teachers that I know and trust who I can call on to identify the pros and cons of proposed actions that will have an effect on the students,” she said in an interview.
Garrison is one of four candidates that are virtual shoo-ins to claim the four spots opening up on the Evanston/Skokie District 65 School Board in the election that will be held on April 9.
The only incumbent on the ballot is Tracy Quattrocki. The other two challengers are Candance Chow and Suni Kartha.
Garrison turned to teaching relatively late in life, after serving as a bank vice president, small business owner, computer projects manager, journalist, and public television producer, including 12 years abroad in Hong Kong, Singapore, and London.
Returning to the United States, she obtained a Masters in Teaching degree from National-Louis University and taught reading, language arts, and social studies before retiring after 11 years at Haven.
In her remarks Friday, she said she feels the district is too centrally driven and hopes to see more ideas and decisions emanating from teachers and parents in the individual schools.
In her campaign literature, formatted as a bookmark, Garrison said she believes District 65 can be a model school district for Illinois and the nation.
“I envision a district where all students achieve their full potential with the guidance of creative teachers, supportive administrators, caring community organizations, and involved parents,” she wrote.
Top: Candidate Garrison at campaign kickoff at the Fireplace Grill.