Heather Cianciolo

There’s more turnover on the Forest Park school board as parent Kim Rostello was sworn in to a vacant position Aug. 14 and Heather Cianciolo announced her exit from the board — and the village — coming up in September.

Rostello, a 20-year resident of Forest Park, is mother of two children at the elementary schools. She joined the board after participating in the Citizen’s Advisory Council, according to Supt. Louis Cavallo.

She said building communication between parents and the board of ed was one of her goals joining the advisory council.

“It was a place I could constructively bring forth issues that were of concern to me and to the parents,” she said in a statement.

Rostello teaches Kinesiology at the College of Lake County. She retired from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 2012. She has a theological degree and is a volunteer at her church and helps distribute communion at the Oak Park Arms senior residences.

She said she considers the schools a foundation of the community.

“It takes a village to raise children,” she wrote. “I do think the community sees that the children in our schools are the future of our community.”

Rostello was appointed to take the place of Michael O’Connor who resigned for “personal reasons” July 1.

 

Cianciolo quits

Just as Rostello was being sworn in, Heather Cianciolo announced at Thursday’s board meeting that she was stepping down because her family was moving out of Forest Park.

“We are sad to leave our schools, our neighbors, our library, our restaurants and businesses, even our police department,” Cianciolo said in a statement.

“A public high school education is a priority to my family, and Proviso District 209 does not appear up to the challenge,” she wrote.

Cianciolo said she was moving to Oak Park because she got the chance to make a move that might not be available six years from now when her children are high school age.

Cianciolo was appointed to fill the place of John Tricoci, cousin of Mayor Anthony Calderone, who stepped down after serving for two years in Sept. 2013.

Trococi also left Forest Park before his children reached middle school age, leaving a multigenerational Forest Park family. Tricoci cited his family’s inability to pay for private high school as one factor in moving out of Forest Park.

Superintendent Lou Cavallo said interested citizens who would like to apply to take the vacant spot on the board could present a resume at the district offices, 424 Desplaines Ave., by Wednesday, Sept. 6.

Whoever is selected will serve until spring 2015, at which time they will have to run for re-election, Board President Frank Mott said.

Contact: jean@forestparkreivew

Twitter: @FP_Review 

Resignation letter from Heather Cianciolo

August 14, 2014

 

It is with sincere regret that I announce my resignation from the Forest Park District 91 school board at the conclusion of the September 11th's board meeting.  My family will be moving out of the district in October.

 

I would like to thank the School Board for giving me the opportunity to serve the community.  It has been an honor to work with all of you toward the continuous improvement of our district and board.  Your professionalism, the way you pursue student improvement independent of personality or politics, has made it enjoyable and worthwhile.  Not even I understood the amount of work involved when I stepped into this position, but being able to contribute to our district's success has made every moment worthwhile.

 

The reasons for our success ultimately go to the administration, staff and teachers of District 91.  I've treasured the opportunity to get to know you and appreciate your continuous hard work on behalf of all of our kids.  You are among the best anywhere. You are the reason my kids can't wait to get to school every morning.  Thank you for that.  You are one very compelling reason to stay in Forest Park.

 

I want to make very clear that our move has absolutely nothing to do with District 91, and we would love nothing more than to stay another six years and have our son graduate from Forest Park Middle School.  We are sad to leave our schools, our neighbors, our library, our restaurants and businesses, even our police department.  We're making this transition now because we have an opportunity that may not be available to us in six years.  An opportunity to significantly shorten our commutes, gain more living space, and move into a district with a viable public high school. 

A public high school education is a priority to my family, and Proviso District 209 does not appear up to the challenge.  Having taught in a district where there was a sharp disconnect between administrative action and student need, I know that it is a Herculean task to educate children in that environment.  And while I can't claim to know what happens behind the closed doors of District 209, I suspect that the finger-pointing and politics I see in the public sphere indicate a fundamental lack of genuine introspection that would lead to substantive change in Proviso.  My husband and I are not worried about our children being with the students of Proviso.  We are worried that the students do not seem to be the priority of Proviso.

 

And so we will move a few miles up the street.  You'll still see us around, because a piece of my family will always be stitched into the fabric of Forest Park.  It has been a privilege to serve you.

 

Sincerely,

Heather Cianciolo

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...

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