Proviso Township High School District 209 President Emanuel “Chris” Welch will give up his seat on the school board next year, he told the school board at a meeting Tuesday night at Proviso Math and Science Academy.

“No matter what happens in November, win or lose, I will not be a candidate for Proviso school board in 2013. At this time next year, I look forward to passing the gavel to my successor,” he said.

Welch won a four-way Democratic primary on March 20 to replace Illinois state Rep. Karen Yarbrough in the 7th District by 37 votes.

Welch also criticized the school district’s Financial Oversight Panel and refused to attend a board retreat in the summer, saying “I have better things to do with my summer than spend time with some of the people up here.” 

At the school board meeting, Welch publicly congratulated his niece, Stacey Welch, for being named Valedictorian of Proviso East High School.

Other top students were Proviso East salutatorian Margarito Diaz, Proviso West valedictorian Daniel Rodriguez, Proviso West salutatorian Isabel Becerra and Proviso Math and Science Academy research scholars Sreejith Nair and Ryan Neff.

Also at the meeting, Finance Director Romaneir Polley apologized to the board for neglecting to send Cook County Treasurer Maria Pappas a completed district audit in January, when it was requested.

Pappas, as part of a project to disclose the extent of debt owed by each taxing body in the county, sent 63 FOIA requests to local taxing bodies who had not responded to her initial request. Pappas threatened to sue non-complying bodies for $5,000. The story was picked up by Crain’s, the Chicago Tribune and even the Wall Street Journal.

“I would just like to personally apologize for the article that was written in the Chicago Tribune and the Wall Street Journal,” said Polley. “The work was done. It was an omission of the business office [not to send the report to Pappas] and I take full responsibility.”

Polley said she had since sent the audit.

Jean Lotus

Jean Lotus loves community journalism. She covers news, features, two school boards, village council, crime, park district and writes obits for Forest Park Review. She also covers the police beat for...