Oak Park has many things to be proud of in the District 97 Schools but there are still some significant challenges to be addressed to make our schools the best they can be. On April 5th, we have the opportunity to choose some of the board members to face those challenges.
I have known one of the candidates, Peter Barber, for more than 17 years. I met him when I first started working for the Leo Burnett advertising agency in 1987. We had offices on the same floor and later worked on the same account. Peter left Burnett and our paths didn't cross for several years. Then on the first day of kindergarten for my older daughter, there was Peter. He and his family had moved to Oak Park and our daughters were in the same kindergarten class.
Over the years, I have known Peter in a variety of contexts. When we worked at Leo Burnett, I found Peter to be a strong and disciplined thinker. He was always an excellent speaker?#34;clear, engaging and thoughtful. Peter is adept at managing projects and at building consensus among divergent groups of people, critical skills to the success of an advertising agency executive (and a school board member).
As a fellow parent, I see Peter frequently. Our daughters have been friends, classmates and teammates for more than five years. Peter is a caring and involved father, attending concerts, soccer games and supervising play dates. For the past several years, he has been the bass player for the Beye-o-Rhythms (a parent/teacher musical band which plays at school special events). Peter is also a Co-Vice President on the Beye PTO Board.
Nearly four years ago, I remember Peter talking about running for the school board. I thought it was a great idea. Since then, he has become more passionate about the schools in Oak Park. I am even more convinced now that Peter will make a great addition to the District 97 School Board.