My name is Jody Wadhwa, and I am writing this letter to endorse Laura Saret, who is running for the Highland Park City Council seat vacated by Paul Frank.
Although I do not live in Highland Park, I have known Laura for more than 30 years as a friend. During her entire career at Oakton Community College, I served on the College’s Board of Trustees.
One of the best decisions I made as a Board member was recommending that the College hire Laura. She was initially hired to teach computer technologies, but when the demand for computer courses declined, as department chair and faculty president, aura worked with the College to ensure that faculty with credentials to teach in other areas and for which there was demand for other faculty, were able to change departments. At that time, Laura moved to the business department where she taught management and business for the rest of her career at Oakton.
Most of my interactions with Laura occurred as a result of her role as Faculty Association (IEA/NEA) President and her job of representing the faculty to the Board of Trustees. We met for breakfast periodically to informally discuss issues that might come before the Board and to provide information I might find useful in decision making.
Even when we disagreed, Laura was never disagreeable. She made her case, carefully listened to my point of view and corrected me when I was wrong (as I did her). From these conversations, our friendship grew. Laura is an advocate of interest-based negotiations, and she understands that decision don’t have to be “either-or,” and that when people work together, they can come up with solutions that may be better than what either of them could have created alone.
Laura treated everyone at the College with respect and regarded her colleagues’ problems as her own. She volunteered when help was needed, and served on many college committees. During her 15-year tenure as faculty President, 100% of the faculty joined the union because of her caring and leadership. She earned the respect of faculty, staff, administrators, and the Board.
Laura was the “voice” of her students and her colleagues at Oakton for more than 30 years. Since retirement, she has been actively involved in Highland Park and volunteers to help her neighbors by being their “voice” on various boards, organizations and commissions. You can learn more about her by visiting her website http://www.LauraSaret.com. You will see, as I already know, why she is the best candidate for Highland Park City Council.
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