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Opinion: Letters to the editor

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Rodney Alexander

Board president, Proviso Township High School District 209

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.

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Reader Comments

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Liz Gibbons  

Posted: November 11th, 2020 10:30 AM

Upcoming board meetings: December 8, 2020 Proviso West High School January 12, 2021 Proviso Mathematics and Science Academy February 9, 2021 Proviso East High School March 9, 2021 Proviso West High School April 13, 2021 Proviso Mathematics and Science Academy I read about the work Ms Medina and others had done to turn around Proviso 209. I intend to start going to meetings to help provide citizen oversight.

William Dwyer Jr.  

Posted: November 6th, 2020 1:16 PM

What a load of garbage. Rodney Alexander needs to take a quick look back to five years ago and he'd realize (and I think he already knows this) that it was Claudia Medina and a whole lot of fair minded Forest Parkers, along with coverage by the Review- that started all the progress he purports to value so much. I think the real problem here is that some people on the board have begun to listen to some of the same old powers behind the throne that dragged down D209 for decades. In short, I don't believe a word your saying, Mr. Alexander, and I sure don't trust your motives.

Rina Petersen  

Posted: November 6th, 2020 6:52 AM

I have read FPR for 17 years and never I heard people called it "fake news" and "tabloid". Now I understand why you ambush your own member in public media. You have made me question everything you do. You pick a wrong town and paper, Sir.

Kate Nolan  

Posted: November 4th, 2020 8:01 PM

I find it telling that Mr. Alexander does not have any co-signers from the other Board members, though he claims they stand with him. The Board meetings I have watched provide evidence that differs significantly from Mr. Alexander's claims here. Troubling as well is Dr. Henderson's insistence that teachers must teach virtually from school buildings rather than from home as Proviso Covid cases are on the rise, coupled with his very questionable mask practices. Add to that this inflammatory charge that the FPR, a pillar of our community, is a "tabloid" fomenting "fake news" and I find myself questioning who exactly has lost focus. I voted for a slate of Board members that could bring Proviso forward. Mr. Alexander does not seem to me to be focused on that. As for Biblical principle: Matthew 7:5..."First take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye." As Board president, do your job and heal this rift. Stop blaming Ms. Medina, who is a long time stalwart for positive change throughout Proviso...including sending her own child to PE.

Rogelia Lily Ibarra  

Posted: November 3rd, 2020 3:27 PM

An important article to read bilaterally: https://www.forestparkreview.com/News/Articles/11-3-2020/Fake-news%3F-Not-nearly/

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