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Paul Guerino Brings 45 Years of Teaching Experience, Wants to Restore a Positive Attitude to the District, Community

Guerino is one of eight candidates vying for four seats on the Elmhurst Unit District 205 Board.

  • Elmhurst District 205 Candidate: Paul Guerino
  • E-mail: PguerinoU205@aol.com
  • Family: wife, Gerri; son, Greg, 38;  daughter, Julie, 35; grandchildren, Trevor, 4, and Noah, 1; daughter-in-law, Jen, 37; and son-in-law, Ed, 35
  • Education: Bachelor's degree in education, CTC, master's degree, urban geography, NIU
  • Occupation: Teacher, science fair judge, Field Museum Volunteer, manufacturer of microscope strew slides for geology workshops in, at this point, six states, and geology workshop presenter
  • Previous office:  Republican committeeman
  • Applicable experience: 45 years teaching experience, high school science department chairman DOD school in Taipei, elementary science coordinator in Unit District 205 schools, past president SCB Catholic School Board

None of my answers are theoretical. They are based on my experiences.

What is the primary reason you are running for School Board?

I want to restore the positive attitude in this community that existed when I first started teaching here in 1967. We have the ability to raise this district to the same level of excellence it held in the period of 1930-1960, when York, Proviso, Oak Park-River Forest and New Trier were the four best high schools in all of the state.

What will be your priority if elected?

To re-establish the positive relationships and honest communication between all the stakeholders in this community.

What sets you apart from the other candidates?

I  am the only candidate that has 45 years teaching experience. I can bring a perspective that can see through the educational jargon that keeps on popping up with new vocabulary for old  ideas. I am not impressed with paper credentials. My father used to ask people who boasted of their boxing skills, "Who did you fight? Who did you beat? Who did you train?"  Ask Jim Ryan about that quote. It translates to, "Talk is cheap."

How long have you lived in Elmhurst?

I have lived in Elmhurst for 40 years. I built my home in 1969 on the highest lot I could find, according to the Army Corps of Engineers map, that would not flood according to the 100- and 500-year floods. It was an advantage to have been a geology TA in college.

What's your favorite thing about Elmhurst District 205?

The fact I have been able to watch  my students grow into successful adults with their own families. I have seen my students graduate from West Point, work in New York on the Stock Exchange and even teach at Elmhurst College. I even have a student that employs  her father in her funeral business.

What is the biggest problem in Elmhurst District 205?

"A failure to communicate." Going back to the swimming pool fiasco, the property at 162 S. York and the necessity to keep on adding classrooms piecemeal to Emerson in a flood area, the taxpayers have become very skeptical.

Do you think morale among teachers and staff is low, and if so, how, specifically, do you plan to improve it?

Morale will only be restored when the superintendent leaves the comfort of a corner office at 162 S. York and spends time in the classrooms, teachers' lounges and PTA meetings, listening  and responding to what is heard and seen in a positive manner.

Do you think District 205’s reputation has been eroded over the past couple of years? If so, what caused that and how, specifically, do you plan to improve it?

The reputation is low because the press only talked about all the really wonderful things that were going on and ignored as cranks the people who complained. Teachers that complained had their lives made miserable by principals that didn't want the apple cart upset. Two of the last three superintendents took things really personally. One had really thin skin and was vindictive in the way employees were treated. The list goes on. Talk to a teacher that trusts you.

What “best practices” would you like to incorporate, either from previous District 205 administrators or from other school districts, to improve curriculum and student achievement?

Best practices come from within. When a mill finds a new way to get more boards out of a log, that technique can be applied to every lumber mill.  Children are people, not lumber. Students at Providence St. Mel High School all graduate and go to four-year colleges. Go to their Web site. Would you want York to be run their way? Best practices means the best for everyone. Teachers know what has worked for them, their students and their parents. Let the teachers do what they do best—teach. Be honest. Every school and class is different.

Do you think budget cuts are going to solve the district’s fiscal problems for the long term? What else can be done going forward to maintain a healthy budget?

The after-school fee plan that has been enacted translates into pay-to-play. We are facing continued shortfalls from the state but are bound to support all things that are mandated. Economic plans that are proposed in the future must be made with the unpleasant knowledge that Springfield will be of little or no help. We have to improve our housing occupancy. I have already suggested a partnership with banks, brokers, the schools and the city to make loans available so these employees can live and spend in town.

Jsullivan March 16, 2011 at 02:35 PM
PG- In all of your postings here-you have been called out by many pople as being rude and offensive. You deflect any real feedback by criticizing people’s name. Yet you deny your rudeness. So I have signed my name and I have copied actual statements that you have written. Your Patronizing Quotes: Be careful when you quote the Constitution. Many of the comments on this site are fictitious All I ask is a real name. You are using a real name and I respect you for that. I would ask Ms. Ebner if she would be willing to sub in a basic level math class or science class at York or Churchville. Your Baiting Comments: I do not think anyone else that is running for the BOE will speak up. here are two other candidates running for the BOE. One is a lawyer. The other is seeking reelection. Will they comment? Be careful when you quote the Constitution. This current batch of candidates is very well educated, and very well intentioned, but I don't think they really know what the schools are like now.
Jsullivan March 16, 2011 at 02:36 PM
Your Rude Comments: I am also assuming that he hasn't voted yet. since you probably don't understand my last comment, I will try again. Merlo sounds like the name of a wine. you should sign your real name. Otherwise it is like a crank call. Did that makes sense? Your Im superior Quotes: I assume that you have spent most of your life north of the Mason Dixon Line. I have taken a stand. Where are the other candidates? I think they follow the "Golden Rule, Silence is golden." I only mentioned two of the other candidates because only two of them would have any credibility. The others are citizens who don't practice law , sit on on the BOE, or have classroom teaching experience. An educated population knows the difference between theory and reality Your You are stupid and Im smart quotes: Does my choice of words make better sense now? Students before you get involved with the SDS read about that leftist ( Communist) group. I don't think it is something you wish to be associated with. Your Deflecting Comments: Jason. I just went to the on line white pages, Jason Merlo is not listed in the white pages. …a whole host of others who for whatever reason are not signing their real name Chicago was a riot zone. I think the SDS was involved. Who is ArtsyMom? Who is Tim Jenkins?
Paul Guerino March 19, 2011 at 02:25 AM
Jsullivan, I enjoyed your comments and thank you for signing your name. Is anything I wrote a lie? If there is a lie I will correct it and apologize to the person offended. I did apologize to Mr. Merlo when he assured me that that was his real name. By the way today a candidate for an elected office in Elmhurst came to my door as I was on my way out to put up more signs. I asked that candidate to make a comment on the walkout. That candidate did not want to comment one way or another. So,someone not even running for the BOE didn't even want to make a comment. Were the students right or wrong. All I want to know is where people stand. Remember, I said, after the day ended was fine, or at a school sponsored event where there would have been supervision.I defended the right to protest. I was concerned about the liability that the district could have faced. Where do you stand on the walkout and why? Remember, parents do sue if a student is injured. As I said in the past I am not rude, but I am very blunt. If you grew up on the Westside dealing with the people my family and I had to deal with you would be blunt too. My family fought along side Florence Scala to preserve the Taylor Street Italian community when Mayor Daley wanted to build the U. of I. that was eventually created there. Believe me it was very blunt all the way around. The kind, smiling, R.M.D. was a tough old bird, he was south side Irish and as tough as any man. He called things the way he saw them too.
Paul Guerino March 19, 2011 at 02:26 AM
I am to bed now. I have to judge a science fair in Lombard tomorrow.
Paul Guerino March 20, 2011 at 01:40 AM
It was the late R.J.D. This morning,in Lombard, at the science fair, my table of teachers and scientists thought the students were wrong, the teachers that let them go were wrong, and the principal was wrong. When I went to the Field Museum in the afternoon five Chicago public school teachers had the same feelings towards the walkout. I haven't found anyone that agrees with the way it was done. That is probably because they are looking from the outside in and have no personal stake in the problem. I have also been called refreshing. As I walk the streets gathering votes and I talk about the walkout there is support for the act, but not the time it was done.

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