Filling a vacancy, the District 91 Board of Education, at a special open meeting on July 30, unanimously approved the appointment of Kyra Tyler to serve out an unexpired term.
Tyler, a Forest Park resident for four years, was selected to fill the vacancy left by Nora Bowker, who resigned last month after moving out of district to Oak Park.
Three people applied for the opening and went through board committee review, said board President Mary Win Connor, but Tyler demonstrated the most substantial background in education and the best attitude fit.
“One of the questions routinely asked of candidates is, ‘What do you plan to accomplish as a board member?’ Kyra’s response was that she wants to help the board move forward in the direction we are currently headed, which tells the board she is interested in the greater good of the district,” Connor said.
During the interview process, she added, Tyler showed a strong understanding of the current areas of concern the board is dealing with and expressed her commitment to continue living in the district.
“The fact that she has a child in first grade reduces the possibility of her leaving after a short period of time due to a move out of town,” she said. “Kyra is very enthusiastic for the work being done by the board.”
She lives in town with her husband and 6-year-old daughter, who will be attending first grade at Garfield Elementary School after having what Tyler described as, “a fantastic kindergarten experience there last year.”
She comes to the district with a bachelor’s degree in flute performance from Northwestern University and a master’s degree in higher education administration from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Since 2005, she has worked for College Coach, a division of the child care company Bright Horizons as director of educational consulting. Most of Tyler’s work is focused on helping students and families navigate through the college admission process.
When Tyler heard of the board opening, she applied because she wanted to help other Forest Parkers get the same positive experience she had with her child’s educational start in the district.
“While I’ve never been on a board of education before, I have a deep interest and passion for the field and am always looking for ways to learn something new,” she said. “Plus, I was familiar with a few members from my time on the Citizens Advisory Committee and was impressed by the way they seemed to work together.”
In her new role, Tyler said she looks forward to continuing the board’s good work of innovative thinking to help students and faculty grow academically and socially.
“The goal is to help our students become the best versions of themselves and I am thrilled and honored to be a part of that process,” Tyler said. “I’m also excited about the opportunity to help community members who may not have students in the district stay abreast of, and engaged in, what’s going on in our schools.”
Tyler is also aware that the road ahead with a school board may not always be easy and is prepared to face challenges, especially from the state level.
“In uncertain times, we want our students to still have access to the best resources and our teachers and staff to continue to have what they need to be successful.”
Connor was impressed with Tyler’s participation in the board self-evaluation and goal setting that took place at the special meeting.
“Her level of understanding and desire to move the district forward was thrilling,” Connor added.