Blankmeier would bring badly needed checks and balances to D97

Opinion

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I feel strongly that Julie Blankemeier will be an excellent candidate for District 97 School Board. I have known Julie for two years, ever since we moved to Oak Park. She was one of the first parents I met at my children's new school?#34;Oliver Wendell Holmes. She was coordinating the Great Books Program for my daughter's class, was PTO Vice President and was very welcoming and helpful to me as a new parent to the school. As I have gotten to know her better?#34;her four children, twins in Kindergarten, a child in Second grade and in fourth grade share the same grades as mine?#34;and as a fellow parishioner at Ascension Parish, I have been impressed by her intelligence, humility and tireless work for educational excellence for her children.

Her passion for excellence does not stop with her own children, however. On more than one occasion, she has talked to me about one issue or another at school with our children and insisted that it is not enough for her to deal with the problem on a micro level and work with her own child at home. She has wanted to look at and address the problem on an institutional level so that all children can benefit. Julie does not only talk about these things, like so many of us tend to do, she will make phone calls, send e-mails, visit with those who can make changes and she works to do something about it. I have seen her active in this process many times dealing with issues at one District 97 elementary school. I am excited to see her in a position with the school board where she can do the same thing on a bigger scale for all of our children.

Julie looks at educational and social justice issues with a critical eye and is willing and ready to acknowledge and recognize when efforts are successful and is not afraid to talk about and address efforts that are not working. She doesn't stop there?#34;she is poised to remediate quickly when possible. Julie is a strong believer in checks and balances and from my experience with three children at Holmes School that is something that our school and others in the district badly need. She has clear expectations of excellence.

I will reiterate that she would be an excellent candidate for school board. I have high hopes for our new superintendent and look forward to Julie Blankemeier working with Dr. Collins.

Karen Crowley
Oak Park

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