Gregory Garcia served for six years on the board of directors at private Catholic St. Mary's High School, an experience that has some in the pro-public education camp questioning his candidacy. Garcia has met with both voucher king Steve Schuck and the recall organizers, and has been endorsed by Keep D11 Reform Alive, a new group committed to fighting the recall and keeping "reformers" on the board. But he says he will maintain an independent campaign.
"It doesn't matter where the money comes from," he says, adding that he has raised $1,000 so far. "What matters is that people know I am not philosophically on one side or another. I want to solve the problems of D-11."
Garcia has worked for 14 years as a financial advisor at Merrill Lynch, and has volunteered with local youth sports programs.
As a board member, he says he would work toward a common vision for the group, not ruling out school vouchers as a way to improve the district.
"I think we need to look at them. That does not mean we are going to implement them. We need to ask, "What will vouchers do for success?'"