While there’s no shortage of school board candidates in the high school district, Forest Park’s K-8 board of education will likely need to appoint two members following the April elections.
In District 91, three four-year terms will be up for grabs on April 17. Also, two two-year terms will be on the ballot. At the close of the candidate filing period on Monday, the district fielded four petitions for the three longer terms but none for the two shorter terms.
Incumbents Sean Blaylock and Francis Mott were appointed to the board to serve out the remainder of previous board members’ terms. Both of those candidates, according to a district spokesperson, have filed for four-year terms.
Incumbent Glenn Garlisch and newcomer Mary Win Connor also filed for four-year spots on the board of education.
Two incumbents up for re-election, Steve Johnsen and Catherine Denham, did not file for re-election. Johnsen, a former lieutenant with the Forest Park Police Department, said he opted not to run out of concern that controversies surrounding his retirement from the police force would follow him to the school board. Prior to the filing period, Denham cited her family as a motivating factor in any decision not to seek re-election.
Win Connor is not a stranger to District 91, and currently holds a seat on an advisory committee, according to Mary Ann Spratt, administrative assistant to the superintendent. For several years, Win Connor has served on a citizen advisory committee to the board of education. She also has a child in the district, Spratt said.
In Proviso Township High School District 209, Forest Park presently has no direct representation on the board of education. Robert Cox, a Marengo Avenue resident whose son attends Proviso West, is running for one of three seats on the five member board. All told, 10 candidates have filed for three seats in District 209.
Also vying for a spot are newcomers Terrase Craig, Robin Foreman, Ralph Harris, Carla Johnson, Janice Johnson, James Boyd, Johnny Perryman and Kevin McDermott. Incumbent Theresa Kelly is also seeking re-election.
Incumbents Gary Marine and Shirley Madlock did not file for re-election.
A lottery to determine the order in which several of the candidates’ names will appear on the ballot is scheduled for Feb. 7. Cox is one of the eight candidates whose ballot position will be determined in the lottery.
Local board of education elections will be held on April 17.