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To the Editor: 

While analyzing facts and statistics are definitely a good way to make decisions, I also rely on my personal impressions of people when trying to evaluate situations such as who should be elected to a public service position. 

So I’d like to tell you how I met Eileen Budde. I think it was 2007 that we were working on the first Dewey Library fundraiser, and I met Eileen & Shawn Budde as our Spring Fling was being finalized. They had just moved here from the East Coast (Shawn having been raised in Evanston), and immediately jumped right in to meeting people and volunteering. I was running the live auction at the Spring Fling, and the party was really cooking. We had a wonderful live auction item called “MK Culinary Adventure for Eight,” which included a Michael Kornick-designed seasonal tasting menu for eight adults at the chef’s table at MK, with wines paired by their sommelier. Bidding began and soon turned into a battle between one man and one woman. The price started at 60% of the considerable value, and rapidly moved up to nearly double the value. It wasn’t until halfway through the bidding that the excited whispers turned into laughter – because Eileen and Shawn Budde were joyfully bidding against one another. Naturally, they won the prize, amid surprised and friendly backslapping and teasing from the crowd. 

From that time on, the Buddes were not just involved in PTA events, but became crucial members of our school communities – from volunteering for thankless jobs such as school directory development to hosting meetings and running a variety of events to benefit children in the community. And of course, Eileen has worked as PTA co-President at Nichols Middle School, where their two eldest daughters are students. In addition to her community service, Eileen’s teaching background has led to not only a successful career tutoring many of our children in mathematics, but as a reliable advisor to many parents on guiding our children through the school curricula. 

You may have seen Eileen speak at one of the candidate forums or at one of many local coffees recently, but if you haven’t had a chance to speak with her one-on-one, you’re missing out. She’s not going to sell herself to you – her work ethic, calm demeanor, and quiet strength speak for her. Eileen is not intimidated by the considerable analysis required to evaluate the many streams of data the school board must follow. She isn’t going to be the loudest voice on any board – but she will always be a voice of reason, considering all sides of the issues, and ensuring that, as her vision states, every student in our schools receives what he or she needs to succeed educationally and beyond. 

Please join me in voting for Eileen Budde for District 65 School Board, and we will receive for our efforts a tireless, dedicated voice that will not only speak for her constituents, but truly hear our voices as well. 

Jodi Glenn Fox