Two vie for one open seat on St. Louis Community College board

Two vie for one open seat on St. Louis Community College board

Two people with a close connection to St. Louis Community College are running for the Subdistrict 3 seat on the St. Louis Community College Board of Trustees in the April 2 election.

One candidate, Paula Savarino, 69, recently retired as auxiliary service manager at St. Louis Community College-Meramec. The other, Anne Adams Marshall, 56, of Glendale, said her father, David Marshall, was part of the original faculty of St. Louis Community College – Florissant Valley.  

The winner will replace Joan H. McGivney, who decided not to run for another six-year term. 

The subdistrict includes south St. Louis and the Maplewood-Richmond Heights, Affton, Bayless, Brentwood, Kirkwood and Webster Groves school districts. 

Savarino said her experience and her passion qualify her for the trustee position. “I love the college,” she said. “I love everything about it.”  

She attended St. Louis Community College-Meramec from 1968 to 1970 before going on to get her bachelor’s degree in fine arts from St. Louis University. She started working part time at the community college in 1983 and began full time in 1993.  

Savarino retired as auxiliary service manager at Meramec at the end of last year.  Her duties included supervision of the campus bookstore, food service, printing and vending. She also assisted at the South County Campus. She was in charge of the school’s commencement exercises for 18 years. 

Savarino considers the community college to be an important part of the area’s economy.  

“You’ve got to learn the mission when you come in, how they take these students of all ages and how they work up them and develop them,” Savarino said. “I am fortunate enough to see all the massive success stories that they have.” 

An associate’s degree at St. Louis Community College can bring a starting salary of $45,000 to $56,000. A certificate as an electrician, in mechanics or as a cross country trucker can also bring a sizable salary.   

Savarino also spoke of the benefits of the allied health building now under construction at the Forest Park campus. 

Marshall graduated from Webster Groves High School in 1980 and attended the community college and the University of Missouri St. Louis. She has worked for Neiman Marcus for 34 years. She attended college full time while she worked full time and raised a son as a single mother. That helps her understand the challenges students often face in seeking an education, she said.   

“I want to be an independent voice for the community,” Marshall said. “I want to be a voice for students, and I want to be a voice for faculty and staff and the students.”  

“We should be very transparent with the decisions we make, and we should really listen to the community,” she added. The community college is “such an incredible resource that we have in St. Louis for so many people.” 

 The trustees should make decisions based on the needs of the students, faculty and staff, Marshall said.  The trustees should protect the rights of faculty and staff,  provide support systems for students and offer equitable opportunities for all students in the area, she said.   

Marshall is the founder of Indivisible St. Louis, an organization that works on issues from minimum wage to racial justice. It is a local unit of a national organization. She was a Neighborhood Team Leader for Obama for America. She has the support of numerous labor organizations and Democratic politicians.