It is good news that the strike is over in Proviso Township High School District 209. But the dysfunction at both the school board and administrative level which led to this unnecessary rupture in the school year remains.
That is why we are glad to see a new political organization rising up across Proviso Township with a sharp eye on the critical school board election now just one year out. Proviso 209 Cooperative is led by three women rooted in Forest Park, Maywood and Westchester. Their Facebook page, launched just last fall, already has 1,100 members. That’s a good start on soliciting a slate of candidates which assures a competitive election in 2023 when the current terms of Theresa Kelly, Claudia Medina and Ned Wagner expire.
So far Medina has announced she plans to seek a third term.
Those three board members – Medina and Wagner from Forest Park – made history in 2015 when they were powered by the grassroots Proviso Together coalition of frustrated families across the township. Their reform strategy began a slow reclaiming of the failing district. But political and personal fissures on the board have returned D209 to an era of division, retribution and political nonsense.
We need better days.
Parks big plans
This week’s Review carries a lot of news about the Park District of Forest Park. All of it is positive, resourceful and reflective of a new ambition in this long popular institution.
As spring presages summer, the district is pushing for completion of its new splash pad at the pool facility. This will add new interest and added space to the always improving pool. The parks are also working on the fly to make improvements this summer to two of the pocket parks it now manages on behalf of the village government. Always overlooked while under village auspices, the small Remembrance Park, 7341 Randolph, and Popelka Park at Adams and Thomas will get updated play equipment and possibly a water spray feature.
And in an interview with our editor, Andy Viano, the district’s chief Jackie Iovinelli clarified that the pending purchase of new property on Harrison Street has shelved, for the moment, expansion plans for the Roos Rec Center. Instead the district’s focus and fundraising efforts will go toward construction of a new day camp building on the site of the old Pines Restaurant.
It’s a lot and it is all good.