The Forest Park Review sent questionnaires to each person running for public office in 2023. The Review’s questions are in bold and the candidate’s responses are below.
Name: Monica Angelo
Age: 48 years old
Previous Political Experience: Parks Board Member 2020-2021
Previous/Current Community Involvement: Forest Park Cub Scout Pack 109 Leader 2018-2021, Forest Park Boy Scout Troop 107 Leader 2021-present
Occupation: Park District of Forest Park Roos Recreation Center Desk Staff
Education: DePaul University 2002
1. Why are you running for the school board of District 91?
The short answer is, everyone, including my dad, said I should join the school board. When the opportunity presented itself with Ms. Cross’ departure, I decided to try. Thankfully, Mr. Brooks was chosen instead of me and that gave me the time to learn what the school board really does. Now I feel more ready to run.
2. What experience and perspectives would you bring to the position and how would they be valuable as an elected official?
My husband and I have lived in Forest Park for over 15 years. In that time we have learned a lot about our local community. We have also learned that an IEP is, and have had to explain it to friends and neighbors who haven’t had kids in the school system. Not everyone in Forest Park has kids in District 91, but all residents should care and know what is going on. We may need more community involvement. While volunteering for Boy Scouts of America, I have learned that there is not one right way to teach kids. Some kids may learn by doing, some by watching videos of the process.
3. What do you believe are some of the greatest challenges facing the district?
There are many challenges; the dwindling student population, negativity surrounding Proviso high schools, and lack of community support. I bought into all the Proviso negativity until I had a child in private school and one at Proviso East. There are many positive aspects of Proviso. There are a lot of inspired and hard working teachers and staff. Unfortunately and mostly due to the antics of Proviso leadership, our high school has a bad reputation. I hope that we can not only challenge public opinion about Proviso, but also change it.
Additionally, I would like to see more mental health resources and more outdoor, community benefiting projects. When my eldest was young, the band played for Veteran’s day activities. I would like to see more events that benefit the community like that.