Posted Online: Feb. 27, 2010, 9:26 pm

Conrad brings teaching experience to Silvis post

Comment on this story

By Seth Kabala,

Photo: Seth Kabala
Tom Conrad
SILVIS -- Silvis' newly appointed 4th Ward alderman, retired teacher Tom Conrad, brings 30-plus years of classroom experience and a willingness to serve to the job.

Formerly of suburban Chicago, he moved with his wife of 32 years, Kathleen, to Silvis five years ago to be closer to his son, David, 25, who was born with cerebral palsy and lives at Heritage 53 in Moline, and daughter, Kimberly, 28, a Davenport kindergarten teacher.

In addition to family time, he has kept busy in retirement through substitute teaching, serving as president of the East Moline/Silvis Exchange Club, summer work at the Arsenal Golf Club and attendance at Our Lady of Guadalupe in Silvis.

He replaces Dan Grafton, who resigned in December to take a job as a police officer in Iowa.

Q: Why did you want to be an alderman?

A: In my retirement, I have a chance to give of my time to both the community and volunteer organizations. I felt the aldermanic position would allow me to become more involved in the community and hopefully have an effect on the quality of our city.

Q: Where did you teach and how has that background prepared you for this position?

A: I taught for 34 years, 30 of them in the Wheaton school district. My teaching subject was technology, which included graphic arts, drafting and woodworking.

As a teacher, I continuously had to educate myself on constantly changing technologies and information as well as deal with all types of students and their families. I hope these experiences will benefit me in understanding issues and peoples' concerns for our city.

Q: On what committees will you serve?

A: The negotiations, personnel and Insurance committee. I also serve on the parks, building and grounds committee. I chair the municipal services committee.

Q: An angry resident calls at 2 a.m. What reaction can they expect?

A: I'm a pretty calm person. It's one of the things that benefited me during all my years teaching and dealing with teenagers. I hope when dealing with people, they feel I have some common sense and the good of the community at heart.

Ald. Conrad can be reached at (309) 792-3301.