December 1, 2022 Local Stories in and Around St. Joseph, Illinois

SJO School Board Candidate Susan McLain Q and A

There are five candidates running for four open seats on the SJO School Board.

Why are you running for school board?
Running for a position like this starts with the commitment to and interest in serving the community. In the past, I’ve served in a variety of roles I feel have prepared me to serve well in this capacity. I was on the Prince of Peace Community Early Learning Center board for multiple terms, and over the years I’ve served in many volunteer roles in my local church including council member/officer, Vacation Bible School Co-Director, Sunday School teacher, and Ministry and Resource Development committee member.

This past fall, I was appointed to fill a vacancy on the SJO high school board, and it’s been an amazing opportunity for which I’m very grateful. There are so many exciting things going on in the district, and I still have a great deal to learn, so with the community’s support, I’d welcome the opportunity to continue to serve on the board.

What is the biggest challenge facing school districts?
I think the biggest challenge facing school districts is that districts are expected to balance resources to meet very diverse, and potentially competing, needs  – things like making the learning environment one in which all students feel safe and can excel; engaging, developing, and retaining talented faculty and staff; offering diverse extra-curricular activities; planning facilities improvements; understanding and responding to what matters to the community; etc. – all in the face of potential budget impacts over which we have little direct control.

What is SJO’s greatest strength?
I’d say there are two equally awesome strengths of our district: (1) community support and (2) an amazing team (administrators, faculty, staff, students) who care deeply and work tirelessly and intentionally to set a positive culture for SJO. The level of investment and shared responsibility/accountability is noteworthy!

What do you think your biggest strength is regarding serving on school board?
I’m deeply engrained in the community, of course I graduated from SJO, and my identity is rooted in this community – I’ve lived in St. Joe for nearly 50 years (49, but who’s counting). Our kids have also gone to school in our community (one is a current SJO student, the other graduated in 2017), so we have first-hand experience with the positive impact. I believe that’s an important message to share! My professional roles at the University of Illinois over the past 34 years have provided background, experience, and collaboration opportunities beneficial to a board role as well. A couple cool things I get to focus on in my current job are employee engagement and organizational culture – basically, providing an environment people want to be part of so they can make their best contribution every day. The Board and the district understand and value these things, too. Board members are recognized for their unique backgrounds, experiences, personalities, and the things they do well, and the district offers a positive environment that infuses learning with humanity and humility. It’s all about heart, and I totally want to be part of furthering that impact in the community.

Tell me about your family.
I work in Administrative Information Technology Services (AITS) at the University of Illinois as the Director of Strategic Human Capital. I graduated from SJO in 1984, and I have a BS in Communications/Advertising and an MBA from the University of Illinois. I’ve been married to my husband, Marty, for 23 years. He attended the University of Illinois, has a BS in Aeronautical Engineering, and he also works for AITS. Marty and I have two children. Mira is a 2017 graduate of SJO. She’s at UIUC, majoring in Biology and minoring in Chemistry and Spanish. Mason is a junior at SJO. He is an absolute sports nut, and he’s on the varsity baseball team. Go SJO!

For information on where to vote click here.

Banner
Related Posts

Van Buskirk’s love of St. Joseph inspires service

October 28, 2020

October 28, 2020

Jeff Van Buskirk loves St. Joseph. He loves the people the schools, the parks and the traditions and the local...

Lewis wants to give back to hometown

April 5, 2021

April 5, 2021

Brandon Lewis has one goal as trustee—give back.  Lewis is running for Ogden Village Board on April 6.  “I want...

Wakefield wants to serve community

April 5, 2021

April 5, 2021

Allison Wakefield knows Ogden.  Wakefield has lived in the community for more than 18 years and is now raising her...

Get to know Ted Myhre candidate for Champaign County Executive

November 8, 2022

November 8, 2022

Ted Myhre who is running for Champaign County Executive took the time to answer some questions for us. What motivated...

SJO School Board Candidate David McDermott Q and A

March 30, 2019

March 30, 2019

There are five candidates running for four open seats on the SJO School Board. Why are you running for school...

Vickers looks to the future of Ogden

April 5, 2021

April 5, 2021

Sonja Vickers considers Ogden her forever home.  “I just want to see good done for the village for now and...

Cunningham wants to help Homer grow

April 6, 2021

April 6, 2021

Ray Cunningham feels he has unfinished business.  Cunningham is running for reelection as Homer’s mayor on April 6.  “I am...

Election Results April 2, 2019

April 5, 2019

April 5, 2019

Village Trustee VILLAGE OF BROADLANDS Vote for three Logan Jeffers 31 Mary Garrett 29 Pamela Propst 26 Village Trustee VILLAGE...

‘Wanting to serve this community has been my passion’

December 7, 2020

December 7, 2020

Mayor Tami Fruhling-Voges cares about St. Joseph. It is why she is running for reelection tonight at the Republican Caucus....

Cooper looks to make a difference in Ogden

April 5, 2021

April 5, 2021

Kelly Cooper wants to make a difference in Ogden.  That is why she ran for village board in 2017 and...

Haan hopes to help Ogden grow

March 31, 2021

March 31, 2021

Jim Haan wants to help Ogden grow.  “Ogden is a safe, affordable, and friendly town and I want to keep...

Unofficial County Election Results

November 9, 2022

November 9, 2022

COUNTY WIDE RESULTSNo races are called because mail-in ballots will still be counted for the next 14 days. COUNTY CLERKR-Terrence...

Heritage School Board Candidate Surveys

April 1, 2019

April 1, 2019

Three candidates are running for three seats in the Heritage School District Zach Wells Why are you running for school...

Voting information for Consolidated Elections

March 29, 2019

March 29, 2019

You can early vote Saturday, Sunday and Monday at these locations. Brookens Early Voting 1776 East Washington Street, Urbana •...

SJO School Board Candidate Kathy McCormick Q and A

March 30, 2019

March 30, 2019

There are five candidates running for four open seats on the SJO School Board. Why are you running for school...

Comments
Leave a Reply