Blankemeier will take D97 to the next level

Opinion

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Julie Blankemeier, M.D., is running for District 97 School Board, and I urge anyone interested in excellence and accountability in our schools to vote for her.

As the mother of two bi-racial sons at Holmes Elementary School, I am deeply invested in improving the ability of Oak Park schools to create an environment for all children to achieve their best and reach their full potential in every way. Julie is the candidate who has the drive, passion and integrity to spur the district on to accomplish this. Julie is the mother of four children at Holmes, and I have known her since our oldest sons were in first grade together. She is a devoted mother, fearless crusader for human rights, deeply intelligent, and committed to honesty and compassion.

She (and I) believe that this community should expect and appreciate excellence from our school system?#34;from the board, the administration, the teachers, the teachers' aides, the custodians, and the lunch and playground staff. There is no reason why Oak Park should not have the finest school system in the state. We have in our midst some of the finest educators to be found, and we can model success at every level by learning from and emulating them. Julie would bring a depth of experience to this board that would enrich our district. Not only has she worked as a family care physician, she has founded and directed a community health center to serve the Latino population in Chicago, directed a program for tutoring and mentoring Cabrini-Green youth in academic, gym and other skills, and spent a year in Nigeria on a medical fellowship for international health.

We have the opportunity to take our schools to a new level. A new superintendent and curriculum director take over next fall. Three seats are available on the school board. This is the right time to use these opportunities to really challenge our school community to become the absolute best that it can be. Julie Blankemeier is the best candidate we can vote for. Please do!

Diane Zimmer Fascione
Oak Park

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