Blake Harvey

Four candidates filed petitions for the District 91 school board downtown at the Cook County Clerk’s office Dec. 15.

Incumbent Kimberlee Rostello submitted her paperwork last week. Rostello took the place of Mike O’Connor, who stepped down earlier in the year.

Three other candidates waited until Dec. 22, the final day, to submit their petitions.

These candidates are incumbent Nora Bowker, who was appointed this year to replace Heather Cianciolo; Garfield School parent Blake Harvey; and Forest Park resident Corrissa Smith. 

Chicago software engineering manager Blake Harvey is the parent of two Garfield School students in first grade and pre-K. He has coached T-ball and soccer in Forest Park, and is married to Sue, who is vice president of the Northside Parent Teacher Council.

Harvey said major educational changes such as the Common Core and increasing job competition in a global economy are challenges schools will have to face. He considers it the school board’s role to align and organize district resources to support the efforts of teachers and administrators.

“As a board member, I will always keep the educational achievement of our children foremost in my mind,” he said.

Corrissa Smith is the parent of grown children. She is employed as a staff member in the law office of the Cook County Public Defender, 4th Municipal District, in at the Maybrook courthouse. Smith did not respond to bio and statement inquiries by deadline. 

Park district board

Park District of Forest Park board President Eric Entler was the lone candidate to submit petitions for the single race for the park board by 5 p.m. Monday, park staff confirmed. The board’s six-year terms are staggered every three years with two candidates twice and then a race with one candidate, said Executive Director Larry Piekarz. This spring, the park board will oversee the building of the new rec center on the former Roos factory site. 

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...