Advocating for all stakeholders in District 208

Opinion: Columns

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By Bill Durkin

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My name is Bill Durkin and I am a candidate for RBHS 208 board. First, it is important to note that there are six qualified candidates running to be elected to the four open seats on April 2. I commend them all for their willingness to serve. 

 My wife, Erin Flanagan Durkin, and I have lived in Riverside for nearly 20 years. We are proud parents of Jack, Molly and Joey. Molly is a junior at RBHS and I have three nieces there as well. I need to mention, as well, I am proud of my wife in so many ways – one of which is her occupation as a school teacher. I deeply respect the role and influence that teachers serve in the development of our children. 

 Public service and improving the communities we live and work in has been in my family for generations. My grandfather, Patrick Durkin, emigrated from Ireland at the age of 15 and eventually served in the Navy during World War I. He and his wife, Mary, stressed education to their three children despite neither having more than a fourth-grade education themselves. 

 My parents, Tom and Colette, raised our family of eight boys in Westchester. My father served in the Army during the Korean War. He and my mother worked tirelessly to make sure that all eight of their boys had college degrees. 

In 2018, my parents were honored by the village of Westchester for their lifetime service to the community and beyond. In addition, several of my brothers have, or are currently, serving in prosecutorial, judicial and legislative roles. To our family, it's an honor and privilege to serve the many communities we live in. 

For almost 30 years, I have been in the insurance industry. I currently serve on my firm's executive and budget committees and am one of three partners charged with overseeing operations for our 190 person privately owned firm. 

Every day in my role as an executive I negotiate, compromise, listen to needs and seek solutions. I am part of a group that works on creating a balanced budget and to live within our firms means. 

My role with my clients is to provide the best possible protection and broad-based offerings at a sustainable affordable cost. Advocacy for the good of my clients' best interests is something I have always worked hard for. 

When elected to the RBHS 208 board my role will be as an advocate for the students, families, taxpayers, teachers and staff in providing the best educational experience at a sustainable financial level. 

 As your elected member of the RBHS 208 board, I will be an approachable and objective listener to all stakeholders. On April 2, I sincerely ask for your support and vote. 

Bill Durkin is a candidate for the Riverside-Brookfield High School District 208 Board of Education.

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