Gautam Bhatia to contest for school board

Gautam Bhatia

Ashok Nair

CHICAGO: Gautam Bhatia, a resident of Aurora, Illinois has announced running for the Indian Prairie School District (ISPD) district 204.

Gautam told India Post that the issues he planned to contest on were fiscal responsibility, teacher retention, educational equity, student safety, mental health assistance and special needs support.

The 204 school district has a large number of Indian American students.

Gautam grew up in India and came to the United States in 1990 as a student at Augustana College in Rock Island, IL. He has a BA in Computer Science, Math and Physics and an MBA in MIS and Operations.

Gautam has lived and worked in several parts of the US – Iowa, Tennessee, Minnesota and has been a resident of Aurora for the past 10 years with his wife Aparna, 12 year old son Vikrant and 6 year old daughter Nidhi.

Members of Gautam’s election campaign team stress that he has demonstrated a deep commitment to community service and driving citizen awareness for almost a decade. As a Founding Member and Chairman of Aurora’s Indian American Community Outreach Advisory Board (IACOAB), he has been positively impacting the Aurora community.

Gautam was confident that he stood a good chance of success. “I believe that I am the passionate, engaged candidate the IPSD 204 School Board needs. It would be an honor and privilege to serve our community as part of an organization that educates, inspires and nurtures our youth. They’re our future,” he said.

Among the many causes and foundations he has supported, Gautam has shown a deep interest in promoting diversity, driving awareness of current youth and senior issues through collaboration with non-profit organizations. Moreover, Gautam has led the several IACOAB’s events and community awareness seminars. They include:
• Public Awareness Civic Education (PACE) event “Unity in Diversity” with IPSD 204’s Parent Diversity Advisory Council (PDAC).
• Youth Challenges and Concerns – with Sanjeevani4U, Kids Matter, American Foundation for Suicide Prevention & IPSD 204 PDAC.
• Collaborating with Aurora Inter-Faith on: Get to Know Your Hindu Neighborand Get you Know Your Muslim Neighbor. He is also the Founder, Swami Vivekananda Scholarship and Aurora’s Festival of Lights (Diwali).

While planning these community events and seminars, Gautam said he has worked with many community organizations, non-profits, elected and appointed city government officials, IPSD operations, PDAC (Parent Diversity & Advisory Council) and high-school educators and administrators. This experience has given him the wide-angle perspective the community needs, he said.

“Should I be elected to the school board, my plan is to continue to build strong relationships throughout our community, always with a patient, listening ear and with the passion to do what our community needs. I can confidently say I will exceed the community’s expectations,” he said.

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