The Proviso High School district is in tatters. Put there by a variety of complex factors, there is only one which we as voters can directly impact and that is the abysmal board governance of this institution. Come April 9 Forest Park voters can begin what will be a long reclamation project in this post-Chris Welch era by voting for just two of six candidates for the Proviso school board.
Yes, we know there are four openings on the board. But we have found only two candidates worthy of a vote. Only two candidates who grasp the essential need to overturn and upset the pro-Welch, anti-student basis on which the current board has mismanaged this district over a decade.
Most specifically we recommend to you Kevin McDermott, an incumbent board member who swears he has the stomach to serve another term if chosen. McDermott is clear-eyed in seeing the obstacles this district faces and the self-made nature of many of them. He has been an ally of the state-appointed financial oversight board which now runs many aspects of this district. He sees the value in aligning the efforts of the school board, its administration and the FOP as the only path to real change in Proviso.
McDermott has chosen Arbdella “Della” Patterson as a slate partner in this uphill marathon. A long-time staff member with the district, Patterson has a perspective shaped by watching this train wreck from the inside and she has little patience for it. Like McDermott she has lobbied Springfield successfully to broaden the power of the FOP.
Remaking this school board is going to take time and perseverance. We are lucky to have McDermott and Patterson ready to serve.