We are all very fortunate that Carolyn Newberry Schwartz is running for re-election to the Oak Park Elementary School District 97 Board of Education. I have worked with Carolyn for the last year in my role as parent co-chair of the Gwendolyn Brooks Middle School School Leadership Team (SLT). The SLT is a committee of parents, teachers and the principal that works together to chart improvements in the school. This past year has been busy as we planned and implemented the Critical Issues Process, a major change initiative. Carolyn has been the liaison between the Board and our SLT, attending meetings and workshops and working behind the scenes to help all stakeholders embrace meaningful school improvement.
I have found Carolyn to be responsive and committed. She does not shy away from difficult situations or complex issues. She has an uncanny 360-degree vision that enables her to see how a situation is perceived by all stakeholders. She then uses tremendous tact to share her understanding and bring all closer together.
Over the past four years, Carolyn has supported SLTs across the district as a way to give parents and teachers a voice in their school while allowing the district to be responsive at the school level. Her efforts demonstrate her dedication to community involvement and finding constructive solutions. While it has been a learning process for everyone, we at Brooks have found that open dialog among all stakeholders creates the shared understanding of our problems and vision for their solution that enables us to make lasting improvements. I believe Carolyn will foster this spirit in her second term on the School Board and urge you to vote for her on April 5.