Former Triton College Trustee Jay Reyes, of Riverside, is back on the community college’s board, after being appointed to fill the vacancy left by Forest Park Village Clerk Vanessa Moritz. In a special meeting Aug. 4, the board interviewed eight potential candidates for the empty seat.

Reyes is a familiar face. He was appointed to fill a vacancy on the board in Jan., 2010, but then lost his seat to Brookfield resident Elizabeth Potter in 2011.

A loyal lieutenant of the late Judy Baar Topinka, Reyes served as deputy Republican committeeman in Riverside Township under Topinka and also served as deputy comptroller when Topinka held that state office. He’s since stepped down from active Republican politics, he told the Forest Park Review.

Reyes’ relationship with Triton governance and politics goes back to his student days. He served as senator, treasurer and finally president on the Triton College Student Association in 1994. He transferred to University of Illinois in Springfield, where he graduated and then attained a law degree from John Marshall Law School in 2004.

Reyes also served as a Triton employee as a college relations associate. He also served on the Triton College Foundation Board.

His wife, Gretchen Jorndt-Reyes works at Triton as a business instructor. The couple has three children. Jorndt-Reyes’ father, George Jorndt, served as Triton College administrator for 29 years, retiring as the college’s president in 1998.

The other, unsuccessful, applicants for the board seat were:

  • Cheryl Anderson, of Melrose Park, a former juvenile officer who ran for the Proviso Township High School District 209 board in 2015.
  • North Riverside Village Trustee Jason Bianco.
  • River Forest resident Jacques Conway, who served on the Oak Park and River Forest High School District 200 board.
  • Dr. Mary “May” Larry, of Maywood, who served as Maywood liquor commissioner and ran unsuccessfully for mayor in 2013.
  • Jesse Martinez, of Melrose Park, administrator of fair employment practices for the State of Illinois.
  • Oak Park resident Dr. Marshall Paley, a retired eye doctor, who served for many years on school boards in his home state of Pennsylvania.
  • Reggie Wright, of Oak Park, who coaches wrestling at Proviso District 209 and is married to Oak Park and River Forest High School District 200 board member Jennifer Cassell.

Triton College serves 25 communities, including Forest Park.

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...