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As an Oak Park resident, the complex issues addressed by the District 200 school board are always important, but with kids fast approaching their high school years, those issues are becoming increasingly salient to me. As the community and board grapple with these matters and engage in healthy debate, I am encouraged by the dedicated, talented slate of candidates running for the available D200 board seats. The background and experience of many in the group can only portend good things for OPRF. There is one candidate, however, I am particularly excited about: Steve Nations.
I first had the opportunity to meet Steve through a father/son program that we both participated in for several years with our boys. Like others who have written letters to WJ in support of candidates, I have gotten to know Steve and his family over the years, and can attest to the fact that he is a good guy.
I was truly excited to learn of his candidacy for others reasons as well. He has that rare combination of sharp intellect balanced by an even-keeled temperament and empathy for others. What appeals to me about Steve's candidacy is his thoughtful, disciplined approach to problem-solving, honed by his education and background as a mechanical engineer.
He is none of the things that cause people to become cynical about their elected officials (those who are too aloof and disconnected from the community around them, too haughty and disdainful of others' views, too agenda-driven or concerned about singular issues, too self-serving, etc.). On the contrary, Steve is down-to-earth, open-minded, capable of self-reflection, and brings a practicality that lends itself to getting things accomplished responsibly.
While he may seem like a "newcomer" compared to some of the others in the cast of candidates, Steve's combined skills and attributes generalize well to settings where there is an immediate need for careful analysis of information and data, balanced by sensitivity, reason and what Steve would call "common sense."