About Maria Owens
I am thrilled and honored to be running to be the Illinois State Representative for the 95th District. Here is my story.
The Early Years
I was born in Chicago to immigrant parents. My father was a very intelligent, musically gifted factory worker who worked tirelessly to perfect his English. My mother was strong, tenacious and handicapped. I learned from an early age to value family and country, to care for the sick and share with the less fortunate, and to love life, music and people. I also learned to contribute to my community and to be an advocate for those in need. I am sure these values led to my long standing career as an educator.
Family and Community
My first teaching assignment was on the west side of Chicago in a very impoverished neighborhood. This assignment further committed me to teaching. With large class sizes, too few books and deplorable facilities, I became an advocate for children and school reform.
My husband, Bob, and I met at Northern Illinois University. We married in 1969, relocated to West Chicago and began teaching. Bob taught and coached at West Chicago Community High School, his alma mater, while I taught in Elburn, IL. When our son, Aaron, was born in 1974, followed by our daughter, Rachel, in 1975, I left teaching to become a "stay at home" Mom. During those years I initiated a Community Childcare Co-op, taught a "tot lot" at the West Chicago Park District and taught Sunday School at St. John's in Winfield. In 1979 I began the first ever kindergarten and pre-school program at St. Mary's in West Chicago. In 1981 I began teaching in Naperville and continued there until my retirement .
Bob and I were very active in the community while raising our family. Bob coached many sports at the high school level as well as club and park district programs. I continued to be active in the community and was elected to two-4 year terms on the West Chicago Park Board, with two of those years as president.
Following my tenure on the Park Board I was elected to three 4-year terms on the West Chicago High School District 94 School Board. For two of those years I served as president. It was both fulfilling and enlightening to see the educational process from all angles: parent, teacher, administrator and school board member.
Now and Forward
Now retired, I am convinced I can be the people's voice in guiding our State government back on course. Our elected officials need lessons in fiscal responsibility, ethics and education reform. Sadly, they have let us down. They need to work to restore trust and confidence in our state government. The people are angry and they need to be heard. I do not propose to have all the answers, but I know that our state has intelligent, competent and resourceful individuals that can bring us out of this abyss. With a history and experience in problem solving, leadership and team building, I know I can make the voice of District 95 heard in Springfield.