Local News

Scariano running for another term on H-F High school board

Jody Scariano will be seeking re-election to the District 233 school board in the April 2, 2019, election.
She believes her “record and proven leadership” over the past 20 years puts her in a position to continue the excellent work the board has done for Homewood-Flossmoor High School.
“I’m just really excited to be running,” she said. “I think H-F is amazing.” 

She said her campaign will share with voters the good things the school, students and faculty have accomplished, as well as its outstanding fiscal policy that has given it balanced budgets the past 15 years.

Four seats are open in the upcoming election. Scariano and member Debbie Berman are seeking re-election. Newly appointed member Gerald Pauling said he is seeking election to a full four-year term. Member John Farrell is not running for re-election.
Scariano served as the board’s president for nearly eight years from November 2003 to May 2011, and has served and chaired the Personnel, Planning and Finance Committees, in addition to working on specially tasked committees working on human resources, technology and special education issues.
Scariano is running on a record of missing just one board meeting and one committee meeting during her 20 years of board service. She says she has great institutional memory. She prides herself on attending numerous school functions throughout the school year,
During her tenure, the school board renovated the H-F stadium, renovated the North Building and built a new fieldhouse, added a new green house, updated the science labs, built a new front entrance, made major improvements to the VTV broadcasting suite and just updated the pool area.
And, Scariano said its record of balanced budgets helped earn District 233 a AAA bond rating from Standard & Poors.
“I want to reaffirm that I have and remain 100 percent committed to meeting the needs of our students, our faculty and our district,” she said. “I never waivered. I won’t take no for an answer.” 
At the same time, Scariano recognizes “it involves seven people (on the board) making the decision and their thoughts, their ideas, their thinking counts and that takes time and you want to take time when you have a challenge.”
In the past three years, the H-F board faced one major turmoil when it released Ryan Pitcock from his principal’s position, and has faced a major disagreement about a fine arts project.
Scariano prefers to call these issues challenges rather than problems. The question for her is “how you work through those challenges.” She can’t discuss the Pitcock decision because it deals with personnel. 
On the fine arts issue, Scariano points to the work she’s done the past 10 years to get the district to the point that it is actually considering these improvements.  The push for a better experience for H-F arts students came from former member Jeanne McInerney-Lubeck when Scariano was board president. 

She credits Superintendent Von Mansfield for listening to the ideas and helping to work with faculty on how H-F could bring the ideas to fruition, including developing the new Media, Visual Arts and Performing Arts (MVP) curriculum.

And now Scariano is ready to vote for a fine arts expansion proposed in September 2017 that will improve facilities for students in theater, music, choral, band and fine art. A third vote by the Finance Committee in September 2018 did bring the project before the full board, but a decision is still pending.
She recently met new families in the area who told her they moved to the H-F community because of the schools.
“We have everything to offer. We want the students to experience whatever it is that they need or want. We want to fill in the gap and then they need to take off and spread their wings,” she said. “That’s how it really, truly works if you’re a good school.”

Editor’s note: The Chronicle plans to seek interviews with other District 233 candidates to preview voters’ choices in the April 2019 election.


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