Highland Park resident Marjie Sandlow is following in her father’s footsteps. Her dad was an active member on the school Board in their hometown of Skokie. Sandlow is currently the vice president of the District 113 Board of Education.
“I think it was a combination of wanting to continue my own community service and remembering my dad had done that too,” Sandlow said about her reasoning behind joining the Board. Sandlow was originally appointed to the BOE after another member moved out of the community. She’s been re-elected to the position twice.
Sandlow received a MBA from Harvard in 1979 and spent the next decade as a marketing consultant for various companies. She moved to Highland Park with her family in 1994 and immediately started volunteering for the public school system. “I got very involved,” she said, while her three children worked their way through Highland Park schools. She’s got experience serving on elementary, middle and high school organizations including her stints as president of Lincoln Elementary PTA , treasurer of the Edgewood Middle School PTO, and vice president of communications for Highland Park High School PTO. She’s continued freelancing as a marketing consultant as well.
Sandlow walked into the Board of Education seat in 2006 confident in District 113, “I think we have a fabulous staff and we have a great reputation as a school District,” she said, and commented that all three of her children had positive experiences at HPHS. “We excel academically; we graduate well rounded students; we provide all these extra-curricular activities and do a good job at getting students placed in colleges, technical schools and jobs.”
Sandlow stated her goal was to “make a good thing even better” while on the Board which has resulted in tweaking the system during her six-year stretch.
While she doesn’t think the District is currently facing any “crisis” situations, there are issues. “The budget is a challenge,” she said, but applauded the District for its financial planning. “Each year we get a AAA bond rating which is excellent.”
Sandlow added that aging facilities is another issue the District must confront. Last May, when District 113 called on community members to sit on study groups to analyze and prioritize the needs of Deerfield and Highland Park High Schools, Sandlow volunteered for three. She was a member of the Building Systems Study Group, Market Research Study Group and the Leadership Team. Now she is a member of the Steering Committee, working with the architects to develop the long range facilities plan.
Besides her work as a Board member, Sandlow is most gratified by her work with the District’s Equity in Excellence Program. Sandlow was one of the initial 100 members to develop the program and is delighted by its progress, “Over the last seven years we have done an excellent job at narrowing the achievement gap which is really the goal of that program coupled with improving achievement for all,” she said. “It’s one of those things that I would say I am proudest of as a member of the school Board.”
Sandlow encourages residents to stay active in the local high schools and remain updated on their happenings. “I think there are parts of the community that know what’s going on, then there’s another segment that knows some of what’s going on and then there are people who don’t know anything that’s going on,” she said.
“I wish that broad group could hear our story and all the great things that are going on in the District.”
District 113 will be releasing Board member profiles in the following weeks in an attempt to familiarize community members with their elected school officials. Upcoming Board member profiles will all be posted on Dist113.org.