At D97, Walsh will not run again, Beye father mulls bid

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Recent candidate packet pickups at offices of local school districts have introduced some new names to the school board elections, although no official declarations for candidacy have been announced.

At District 97, Peter Barber and Glenn E. Brewer have picked up packets.

Barber has not decided whether to run, saying he wants to talk with some people about running before making a final decision in the next few weeks.

Barber and his wife, Tracy Dell'Angela, have daughters in fifth and second grade at Beye Elementary School. Barber is an account director for an advertising agency in Chicago. The family has lived in Oak Park for five-and-a-half years.

Barber joined the Beye Parent-Teacher Organization this school year, serving as its co-vice president of special events. The experience has made him realize he could do more, and he saw a bid for school board as a good opportunity to get more involved.

Barber said sending his kids to public schools in Oak Park was a "no-brainer," and that he wants to "help make sure that opportunity and perception is fulfilled for others who choose to come to Oak Park in the future, as well as the current residents."

He said he would bring to the board a drive to communicate better with the community.

"People in the community have an interest and a right to get information on a timely basis and to feel their concerns are being acted upon," he said.

He also identified the minority and low-income achievement gaps and fiscal responsibility as major concerns.

"Ensuring that each tax dollar is used as effectively as possible is of great importance to me," Barber said.

Glenn Brewer said in a voicemail message that he has "not made any decisions about running...and more than likely if I am involved, it would be working with someone else's campaign as I did before."

Brewer was a campaign manager for Michelle Harton, who was elected to the Dist. 97 board in 2003.

Incumbent Bob Walsh announced last week that he would not seek a second term, while Ade Onayemi, board president, has said for months he would not run. Board vice president Carolyn Newberry Schwartz said last week that she was "not ready to make a statement" about seeking re-election, but that she likely would have something to say after the holidays.

Newberry Schwartz was the highest vote-getter when she was elected four years ago, and historically Dist. 97 vice presidents rise into the presidency.

At Oak Park and River Forest High School District 200, history teacher Mark Vance has picked up a packet, although the board clerk said in an email that she did not think Vance picked up the packet for himself.

Vance did not return requests for an interview.

?#34;Drew Carter

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