Below are candidate-submitted answers to a survey Forest Park Review sent out to all candidates running in this year’s elections.
Age: Lady’s Privilege
Years in Proviso: Lifetime
Are you a Proviso graduate? Yes, Proud Pirate
Do you have children who have, are or will be attending Proviso Township high schools? What are their ages?
I have three adult sons of whom two are proud Proviso graduates who went on to college working to complete degrees.
Why are you running for this office?
In his 2009 State of the Union address, President Barack Obama said, “In a global economy where the most valuable skill you can sell is your knowledge, a good education is no longer just a pathway to opportunity–it is a prerequisite. And yet, we have one of the highest high school dropout rates of any industrialized nation. And half of the students who begin college never finish. This is a prescription for economic decline.”
I wonder if he realizes that it is not always the students who are the dropouts but also the schools and the communities. I am blessed to have been a member of this community all of my life, to have graduated from Proviso East, to have sons graduate from the Proviso schools, and to continue to live in this community. I do not just live in this community, I try to make it better.
For more than fifteen years, I have, with others and alone, been relentless in the pursuit of making our schools what they should be. For example, I led the fight to include opportunities for parents to visit their schools several times a year. I led the fight to include AP classes at Proviso Math & Science Academy. I led the fight for an eight-period school day at East and West when the board agreed to cut their education to seven-period days.
I am running for re-election for the lives of our young people: for their rights to have an the education which prepares them for college or careers.
Have you ever run for or served in a local political office before? If so, when and which office?
Yes, I have had the privilege of serving the community as a member of the School Board for fifteen years.
Are there individuals or groups which actively encouraged your interest in running for the D209 board?
The Proviso Township community has continued to support me as they know I have many times been the solo advocate for our students and our community. Proviso Township students, staff, teachers, and neighbors have encouraged me to continue the pursuit of excellence for our public high schools.
What do you consider to be the greatest strengths of Proviso Township High School District 209?
Our greatest strength is the people of Proviso Township. It is the diversity that exist in our communities. Our communities consist of individuals and families from various races, ethnic groups, religions, and social-economic backgrounds. The diversity of our township provides a broad cultural and intellectual base from which our children can learn how to be successful citizens of the world and leaders in our communities.
What are your strongest concerns about the district at this time?
My strongest concern is that there are people who have not made our students their number one priority and who do not set high expectations for their education. I am concerned that our schools are not servicing the whole student. Our students are more than just test scores. Yes, we want academic excellence; however, we must be aware of their social and emotional development. We need to do a far better job preparing our students for college and careers.
How many District 209 school board meetings have you attended in the past two years?
I have missed only one meeting in the last two years. Actually, I have missed fewer than three meetings in the fifteen years that I have been on the Board. I make every effort, whether I am sick or even busy, to attend every meeting. The District 209 school board meetings are my highest priority.