In recent years the bar has been raised for membership on the District 91 school board. This has evolved into a strong, innovative and cohesive leadership team for our schools. The most critical function of any elected board is the hiring of its chief executive. A clear indication of the strength of the D91 board was its choice of Lou Cavallo as its superintendent in 2009. This was the action of a confident and determined school board.
As we credit them, it is also essential that voters return the incumbent team of Frank Mott, Sean Blaylock and Rafael Rosa to new terms of office. We enthusiastically endorse their election.
Since Cavallo’s arrival, the district’s schools have undergone many positive changes. Long overdue, decades actually, the district’s curriculum is quickly being overhauled. New technology is being added to teaching methods. Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) is an evidence-based program aimed at teaching students how to act in positive ways, rather than scolding them. There is a new focus on collecting and using data to assess student accomplishment and in all forms of decision-making. The elementary schools have been reconfigured into grade centers that add flexibility and support diversity efforts. The district’s board meetings are actually goal-oriented, its members always discussing new ways to monitor student progress. This is a far cry from the many years when board meetings were merely rubber stamps of recommendations from the superintendent.
The incumbent board members are not kidding when they talk about leading good schools on a determined path to becoming great schools.
Challenger John Tricoci is an appealing candidate with clear dedication to the schools and a family tradition of service on the school board. However, he does not bring enough new ideas to justify breaking up the current board team.
District 91 is in a good place and the momentum is palpable. We hope Forest Parkers will reelect these three bright and proven incumbent candidates.