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Editor’s note: The Review’s response to this letter can be found here

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We are living in unprecedented times. We have a tremendous opportunity, right now, to reassess our practices, revisit our goals, and put structures in place that will help us change the trajectory of Proviso District 209.

There are things that we must do. We must monitor, maintain and ensure the safety and health of our community. We must assess our teaching climate and ensure that our teachers and staff are given the support they need to be successful. We must work to build community engagement. And we must work to ensure every student in our classrooms is equipped with the tools that will lead them into the futures they envision for themselves.

When I took the oath of office to serve our students in 2017, I was laser-focused on building bridges between the community and the schools. I take my oath very seriously. As I often say, we have a shared responsibility to hold one another accountable to build strong partnerships and improve the educational experience for all students who come through our doors. Unfortunately, we have one board member — Ms. Claudia Medina —who continues to show the community that she is not capable of holding true to the oath of office she took.

Let me be clear. Ms. Medina is the voice behind the divisive rhetoric that has been drummed up in the media concerning our new superintendent. The claims that she is making — and, frankly, having others make against him — are baseless and irresponsible. We are talking about a man who has a clear record of forging formidable change within school districts. We are talking about a man who has impacted the lives of students, from all walks of life, all across this country. And we are talking about a man that we hired, unanimously, to lead this district into the next phase of success.

We must trust the decision we made. We must support the new superintendent, Dr. James L. Henderson, and trust the insight he has as an educational expert to move our students, teachers, staff, and community forward.

While we must hold him accountable, we cannot meddle in the process. That, unfortunately, is what Ms. Medina is doing. And she is out of line. 

To all the parents of PTHS D209 students, and the members of the Proviso community: I want to assure you that there are six members of the board of education who are standing as one, unified in supporting the new superintendent. We are confident that he will work to ensure your student has every opportunity for academic success and a solid financial future.

We will not allow fake news, shared by Claudia Medina, in our local newspaper to tear our community apart. This is our community newspaper not a tabloid newspaper.

We will not play her game. Ms. Medina does not speak for the board. We will not appease her selfish ambitions. Your child’s future is too valuable for that. We, the other six board members, have not lost sight of the fact that we are charting the course for real, live, young adults. Their best interests are above our own.

We have made significant strides in Proviso Township over the past few years. We have a long way to go. Let’s stay focused.

As many of you know by now, I am a man who believes in the power of Biblical principle so, I will leave you with this: Ephesians 4:16 — From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.

We each have a role to play, whether as parents, teachers, janitors, security guards, secretaries, cafeteria staff, legislators, mayors, commissioners, pastors and business owners. When we walk in the role that we are purposed to walk, we will build this community in love and we will thrive.

Rodney Alexander is board president of Proviso Township High School District 209.