New District 401 School Board member brings fatherly perspective
Jason Fenlon, 42, was recently appointed to Elmwood Park School District 401 School Board. He replaces one of two seats on the school board that were recently vacated. | Photo courtesy District 401.
Updated: January 14, 2013 6:11AM
ELMWOOD PARK — Like any good father, Jason Fenlon wants his twin daughters to get a good education.
And as a new School Board member in Elmwood Park School District 401, Fenlon said he aims to make sure every district students gets that same quality education as well.
Fenlon, 42, is filling one of two seats recently vacated on the School Board. He and Cindi Stazzone were sworn in at the Nov. 14 board meeting.
The two seats were formerly occupied by Albert Fang, who left to fill a trustee vacancy on the Elmwood Park Village Board, and Patty Cleary, who chose to move on.
Fenlon, a salesman for a transportation company, said he applied for the board seat because he wanted to give back to the community.
He said he wasn’t sure he was going to be picked, but he just went for it.
“I thought there was a bunch of good candidates,” he said. “I put my hat in the ring, they (school district officials) asked me some questions and I was honest with them.”
Fenlon, his wife Jennifer, and daughters Reece and Sydney, have lived in the Elmwood Park for four years.
“I just wanted to get involved and keep the community moving forward,” he said. “I have two twin 7-year-old girls and I want to make sure they get access to every opportunity.”
He’s tried to do this for his daughters, who are very shy, by coaching their t-ball team and soccer team. He said it was his way of introducing them to new things and building up their confidence.
But he wanted to make an impact not only on his children, but others as well.
“I don’t have any set agenda, but to make sure the decisions we make are sound now and for years to come,” he said.
“I want to continue to make sure we do things right,” he added. “I want to have input to make things better.”
Recently, Fenlon shared a little bit more about himself.
Q: Where did you go to college?
A: I went to Illinois State University and majored in Occupational Safety.
Q: What’s your favorite sports team?
A: Chicago Bears
Q: Where did you grow up?
A: The majority of my life I lived in Hinsdale.
Q: Since you’re a salesman, what’s the secret to getting a sale?
A: Communication is key, knowing when to listen. Listening so you can meet the customer’s needs.
Q: What’s your favorite food?
A: Meatball subs. I could eat meatballs as an appetizer, for dinner and dessert.
Q: Who’s your hero?
A: My father. He passed away right after I got married 10 years ago. The sacrifices he made for me are amazing.
Q: Will you run to officially fill the school board seat?
A: Yeah, we’re getting the petitions together now for the election in April.