To recognize the outstanding efforts of the nearly 6,000 elected school board members throughout the state, November 15, 2017 is designated as “School Board Members Day” in Illinois. This is an opportunity to build community awareness and understanding about the essential role locally elected board of education members assume in a representative democracy. This year’s School Board Members Day theme is “Leading by Learning.”
The honorary day offers an opportunity to recognize the leadership provided by local boards of education and to build a stronger relationship between school board members, the community, faculty, and parents. The Illinois Association of School Boards is encouraging district personnel to contact their community leaders, business partners, local civic and parent organizations, and other area leaders to join in recognition efforts.
At the Oak Lawn Leaf, we recognize the work that school board members put into making the community a better place. Like other elected officials, they rarely hear from the public until it is time to complain.
Board members craft a vision, mission, and goals to accurately reflect the desires expressed by parents and taxpayers. If they are doing their jobs correctly, they take their positions seriously and view their roles as a way to create opportunities for all students to succeed.
When it comes to public service, school board members are some of the most selfless volunteers around. They are your coworkers, neighbors, parents, and everything in between. They are also the front-line advocates fighting for quality education opportunities for every child. They serve without the expectation of a paycheck in a position where they act as guardians of the community’s most precious resources—our children and our tax dollars.
Many people probably don’t even know that school board members receive absolutely no pay for their service. It is a total volunteer position that is necessary to run the school systems.
Everyone understands that school board members attend meetings, but those hours represent just a fraction of the actual time that they devote to the district. They attend extracurricular events to support schools. They participate in professional development opportunities to learn how to be better board members. They are often involved in other local events, representing themselves, their community, and their district. Many of these activities take them away from time that could be spent with their own family. Their sacrifice may be overlooked, but their work is of utmost importance.
Quality education opportunities are one of the largest drivers of successful communities. The work of school board members directly impacts the school district, students, and parents, but it touches the lives of nearly every resident in one way or another.
The seven member Board of Education serving Oak Lawn Community High School District 229 are Robert Loehr, President; Matthew Egan, Vice President; Judy Ott, Secretary; Timothy Burke; Margaret Nugent, Lenny Svoboda, and Safaa Zarzour.
District 218 has district representatives. The members are Mr. Thomas Kosowski, Mr. Randy Heuser, Mrs. Carol Kats, Ms. Cindy Bartczak. Mr. William Christian, Mr. Johnny Holmes and Mr. Robert Stokas.
District 123 board members are Brian Nichols, Theresa M. Roche, Jay M. Lurquin, Peter DeRousse, Julie Misner, Jennifer Fortier, and Jackie Lichter.
District 122 board members are Mr. David Lis, Mrs. Christine Glader-Wendt, Mrs. Norma Jean Werner, Mr. Thomas March, Mr. Steve Niceforo, Mr. Pat Pulver, and Mrs. Jean Reising.
District 125 board members are Christine Lantz, Daniel McDermott, Kathy Yanke, Jared Swiecicki, Candace Frech, Joyce Justin and Patrick Knytych.
District 126’s Board of Education includes Mrs Marigrace Sinnott-Snooks, Mr Joe LaChica, Mrs Lori Ann Pierce, Mr Brian McLaughlin, Mrs Kim Powers, Mrs Therese Zaker and Mr. Harry Tannehill.
Say thanks to each and everyone of these community volunteers.