As many know, Proviso Together, the organization that elected the current Proviso High School board, folded last year in part due to irreconcilable differences between board members, highly controversial and unethical decisions by the school board and lack of respect towards volunteers and the community.

We — some of the former volunteers of Proviso Together, including founders Connie Brown and Ken Snyder — are writing today because we don’t want you, the voters, to be fooled by candidates trying to imitate the colors and font of Proviso Together or brag about being the founding members of the organization.  Proviso Together doesn’t exist and the incumbents asking for your vote now are the very people who helped destroy it. 

We do not recommend any of the candidates running for re-election this year. We do, however, believe in the strength of our community and are not surprised that our towns have risen up and are demanding change. We want to share why we and so many of the former volunteers are so excited about the new team of Sandra Hixson, Jenny Barbahen and David Ocampo (HBO) running for the Proviso High Schools District 209 board. 

Sandra, Jenny and David have put their time into our communities over the years and have proven that they will put our students, schools and communities first. They show through their actions that they seek facts, will listen to students, teachers and residents. They understand that the district doesn’t just need a change in direction, but a change in attitude. They are the only candidates endorsed by Proviso teachers and community leaders across the district.  

Contrast that with the actions of the current board who now ask for your vote to be re-elected: racial polarization, dividing our district and pitting towns against each other, disrespecting and insulting each other and community members who merely disagree with them. Not to mention actions that deeply harm our district: proposing a charter school, provoking a teachers’ strike, giving a lavish contract to the superintendent without accountability, sending their children to schools outside our district, and making financial decisions without fiscal transparency. 

We cannot spare any more time waiting for the incumbents to do better.  Instead, we thank the current school board members for their service but vote for change to get District 209 back on track. The Proviso 209 United slate of Sandra Hixson, Jenny Barbahen and David Ocampo is a new legitimately grassroots team of parents backed by teachers, which builds on the movement that began in 2015..

We hope you will join us in supporting Hixson, Barbahen, and Ocampo on April 4.  

Connie Brown, Ken Snyder, Nick Ardinger, April Baker, Geoff Binns Calvey, Maria Maxham, Michelle Woehrle, Kevin Leonard