Proviso High School Dist. 209

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Katherine Ryan

Occupation: Assistant Cook County State's Attorney

Education: Ryan is a graduate of Marquette University, where she obtained a bachelor in arts in English literature. She is also a graduate of the Thomas Cooley Law School where she obtained a juris doctor degree.

Involvement: Ryan is a trustee with the Westchester Library Board, serving from 2003 to the present. She is also a member of the Chicago Bar Association, the West Suburban Bar Association, the Prosecutors Bar Association, the Southwest Suburban Bar Association and the Westchester Friends of the Library. In college, she did volunteer work through Marquette University at a retirement home in Milwaukee and, while in law school, she volunteered as a reader for a blind executive at the Michigan Commission for the Blind as well as with senior citizens.

Issues to Address: Getting the schools off the academic watch list, as 75 percent of Proviso students are currently below the state minimum requirements for math, reading and science. Demanding accountability from the superintendent, administrators and teachers by setting short term and long term goals in an effort to save our schools from a state takeover. Working to understand more about the problem caused by the $40 million magnet school project
and trying to salvage it, if possible. Working with Proviso Township Supervisor Kathy M. Ryan, State Senator Dan Cronin and State Treasurer Judy Bar Topinka to abolish the township school treasurer's office.

Charles A. Flowers

Occupation: Educational Administrator

Education: Flowers has a bachelor of art in secondary education from Concordia Teachers College and, a masters in art in criminal justice and administration from Chicago State University.  He has a masters in science in special education from Chicago State University, a certificate of advanced study in educational administration and supervision from Concordia College and an educational doctorate degree in educational administration and supervision from Roosevelt University.

Involvement: Flowers is a former board member and president of School District 89 from 1999 to 2003 and an active block club member and volunteer in Maywood. He also has a background in elementary and high school teaching and administration, having worked in the field for 25 years.

Issues to address: Complying with the mandates of the No Child Left Behind Act by developing a school improvement plan that addresses the needs of all students, especially the 75 percent of students that currently do not meet the state standards. Calling for fiscal responsibility on the board by balancing the budget and conducting a financial audit. Developing staff and aligning the curriculum with state and national standards by conducting an educational audit and developing a curriculum that adheres to high standards and high expectations.

Emanuel "Chris" Welch

Occupation: Attorney at law

Education: Welch is a 1985 graduate of Roosevelt Junior High in District 88 and a 1989 graduate of Proviso West High School. He also received a bachelor of science degree in speech from Northwestern University in 1993. He returned to Northwestern and graduated from the John Marshall Law School with a juris doctor degree in 1997.

Involvement: Welch is vice president of the Proviso Township Regular Democratic Organization, a member of the Hillside Independent Party and a past vice president of the Proviso Township High School District 209, from 2001-2003. In 2003 he became president of the board and serves as its current president. He has also been the chairman of the Hillside Human Relations Commission since 2001. Welch is the assistant secretary of the Des Plaines Valley Mosquito Abatement District Board and is a past recipient of the Operation Uplift Achiever Awards in 2005. Welch also worked for WGN-TV, Channel 9; the Department of Children and Family Services, the Cook County State's Attorney's Office and the Cook County Public Defender's Office.

Issues to address: Maintaining stability and effective leadership on the board, giving the programs enacted in 2002, 2003 and 2004 an opportunity to continue working before being discarded. Working with feeder schools to better prepare students for high school as Proviso is receiving far too many students not reading at grade level. Welch plans to continue working towards an articulation committee and a superintendent's panel as well as exploring a school board president's panel and joint meeting with feeder school boards. He also wants to provide a unified curriculum in all feeder schools for Proviso township and to improve the financial status of the district by establishing an alumni foundation with tax exempt status.

Guillermina "Tina" Alcaraz

Occupation: Business administration

Education: Alcaraz graduated from Primary Gregorio Torrez Quintero and from Sor Juana Inez De La Cruz High School. She is a graduate of the Kelsey Jenny Business School, with a bachelor in art in business administration. Alcaraz also attended Truman College.

Involvement: Alcaraz is the secretary for the Bellwood Zoning Board and a member of the Bellwood Planning Commission. She is also a member of the Bellwood First Party and an advocate for Latino parents in School District 88. Alcaraz is a member if the Illinois Association of Municipal Management Assistants and a member of the Illinois Public Employers Relations Association. She is also a former employee of the year at Children's Memorial Medical Center and is an active member of St. Simeon's Church, where is the secretary to the Minister's Committee.

Issues to address: Maintaining stability, diversity and effective leadership on the board by sharing a common vision with the present board and accomplishing the goals set as a team to upgrade schools. Working with feeder schools to better prepare students for high school by meeting with board members of the feeder schools in an effort to integrate the districts. Working to improve the financial status of the district by establishing an alumni foundation and continuing to aggressively seek out grant money.

Reatha "Sue" Henry

Occupation: Certified paralegal

Education: Henry graduated from Was-hington Elementary School in district 88 and from Proviso East High School. She also attended Malcolm X College, Triton College and Harper College. She has an associate in science degree in paralegal studies and a certificate approved by the American Bar Association. Henry also attended Secretarial Training School.

Involvement: Henry is the treasurer for the Des Plaines Valley Mosquito Abatement District and is president of the Proviso Township Regular Democratic Organization. She is also a member of the John C. Vaughns Scholarship Committee and  of the Advisory Board for Operation Uplift. She is a benefactor-member of the Chicago Women in Government Relations and an active member of the Rock of Ages Baptist Church. She is a former member of the West Suburban Association of Realtors, the Chicago Board of Realtors and the DuPage County Board of Realtors.

Issues to address: Maintaining stability, diversity and effective leadership on the board, by sharing a common vision with the present board and accomplishing the goals set as a team to upgrade schools. Working with feeder schools to better prepare students for high school by meeting with board members of the feeder schools in an effort to integrate the districts. Working to improve the financial status of the district by establishing an alumni foundation and continuing to aggressively seek out grant money.

Daniel J. Adams

Occupation: Pit trader

Education: Adams is a graduate of Stevenson Elementary School in School District 89 and a graduate of Holy Cross High School. He also attended Triton College.

Involvement: Adams has been a member of the Proviso Township High School District Board since 2003 and is a member of the Melrose Park Planning and Zoning Board. He is also treasurer of the Our Lady of Mount Carmel Feast Committee, a member of the Knights of Columbus and of the Sons of Italy.

Issues to address: Maintaining stability and effective leadership on the board, giving the programs enacted in 2002, 2003 and 2004 an opportunity to continue working before being discarded. Working with feeder schools to better prepare students for high school as Proviso is receiving far too many students not reading at grade level. Adams plans to continue working towards an articulation committee and a superintendent's panel, as well as exploring a school board president's panel and a joint meeting with feeder school boards. He wants to provide a unified curriculum in all feeder schools for Proviso township and to improve the financial status of the district by establishing an alumni foundation with tax exempt status and by seeking out grants.

Kenneth Leggin

Occupation: Social worker

Education: Leggin is a 1982 graduate of Lane Technical High School. He earned a bachelor of arts degree in sociology from Northern Illinois University in 1986 and has a masters in social work from the University of Illinois Chicago Jane Adams School of Social Work.

Involvement: Leggin is a youth coach for football, basketball and baseball and is a member of the Broadview Baptist Church. He volunteered for the Council of Accreditation, a national organization that accredits social service agencies and has worked in social services for over 18 years, holding various administrative positions.
Issues to address: Increasing public awareness by creating programs that go outside the school's walls and into the community. Increasing test scores and removing the district from the academic watch list. Establishing an outreach program designed to work with feeder schools at the third grade level. Eliminating unnecessary spending and putting more money into the classroom for books, teachers, computers, etc.

John Perryman

Occupation: Ordained elder

Education: Perryman is a graduate of Proviso East High School

Involvement: Perryman is an ordained elder at Miracle Revival Center Church in Maywood. He has been a youth mentor for 17 years and worked with the Mayor's Office of Special Events, Maywood Youth Commission.

Issues to address: Put children first by helping children achieveā€"an achievement that goes beyond academics. Teaching responsibility and respect by setting consistent rules and establishing consequences and rewards. Empowering teachers through training and mentorship programs. Making time for tutoring during the school day through "snack and chat" sessions with teachers and parents. Enhancing the educational programs in the district by helping teachers develop other methods of teaching. Addressing the safety methods used by the schools. Coming up with a structure for student attendance and encouraging parent involvement and volunteerism.

Gwendolyn Crayton

Occupation: Educator

Education: Crayton is a graduate of Westinghouse High School in Chicago. She has a bachelor in science in business education from Illinois State University, two masters in science in adult education and educational administration from Northern Illinois University and a masters in science of special education from Chicago State University. She also has an educational doctorate degree in education administration from Northern Illinois University. She has three type 75 certifications as a principal, superintendent and director of special education (pending). She is also a certified teacher.

Involvement: Crayton is an experienced business education teacher and an adult education instructor; has been a dean of students and is a divisional, special education. She was also assistant director in alternative programs for Proviso and was an assistant principal at Gifford Street High School, for Alternative Programs. She was a summer school principal. For Proviso Township she was director of auxiliary programs, the Alternative School Center, and coordinator of Education to Careers. She was also director of adult education, community education and principal of TALENTS Alternative High School. She has been an instructor at Elgin Community College and at Northern Illinois University, as well as being adjunct faculty at Olivet Nazarene. She is a motivational speaker for community organizations, a grant writer, real estate broker and travel consultant.

Issues to address: Attendance: parental, community and court process involvement to encourage students by using engaging and motivating instructional strategies to inspire students to attend. Academics: data driven assessments to identify individualized strengths and concerns and design a curriculum and instructional strategies to meet students' needs. Attitude: role models to create a culture of positive mental attitude, habits of mind and behavior that builds a legacy of learning.

Arbadella "Della" Patterson

Occupation: Teenage Parenting Intervention Service Programs  Coordinator for Proviso West High School

Involvement: Patt-erson has been a resident of Maywood for 25 years, she has educational experience dealing with students at Proviso and has experience working with behavioral and learning disability students. She has been a member of a Crisis Intervention Team for 13 years. She is a Proviso West Teens Need to Talk Groups Tour Coordinator and a Teenage Parents-Post Secondary Schools Coordinator. She has also worked as a Proviso West College Tour chaperone, a High School Teenage Mothers Support Base delivery coach, Band and Flag Corps/Majorettes volunteer and as a cheerleader coach. She is a member of the Rock of Ages Baptist Church, the National Organization on Adolescent Pregnancy, Parenting and Prevention; the National Alliance of Black School Educators; the National Safety Gang Intervention; the Child Welfare League of America and the Loyola University Medical Center Women's Advisory Board.

Issues to address: Increasing parental involvement. Conducting a superintendent and board of education retreat, working with the entire staff to come together and working on a strategy to help improve Proviso. Working effectively with feeder schools. Listening to the community and opening channels of communication.

Thomas D. Dunne, Jr.

Occupation: Business owner

Education: Dunne is a graduate of St. Joseph High School and has a marketing degree from Elmhurst College.

Involvement: Dunne is president of the Westchester Chamber of Commerce and a 32-year resident of Westchester

Issues to address: Testing, especially given that only 20 percent of the students are exceeding the state standards. The Proviso Math and Science Academy, which doesn't seem to have a curriculum and has obscure finances. Putting more money into programs and less into brick and mortar. Working with feeder schools to help secure the future for Proviso. Openness in the system, letting people know exactly where their money is going.

Note: Tucker J. Ramos did not return a candidate questionnaire or come in for an interview.

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