Carolyn Newberry Schwartz must be re-elected to the District 97 board. How can one of seven board members make that much difference? The next school year will start with a new superintendent, a new assistant superintendent, and the other top administrators averaging less than two years in their current roles in District 97. If Carolyn, the current board vice-president, is not re-elected, then the school board members would average less than two years experience, and both the president and vice-president would be without board leadership experience. I have met the new superintendent, Dr. Connie Collins, and I am confident that she is up to the job, but the transition will be much smoother and quicker with Carolyn’s experienced and effective leadership on the board.

I first met Carolyn in 2001 when she first ran for the District 97 board. Never having met Carolyn, I was surprised by the commitment of Carolyn supporters in 2001. Four years later, after attending and participating in hundreds of meetings with Carolyn, I’m no longer surprised. Carolyn is intelligent and hard-working; an independent leader, an empathetic listener, and a passionate advocate for all children?#34;the perfect combination of traits to be a successful school board member. Carolyn’s effective leadership has been demonstrated throughout her first term; for instance she helped form and served on the Finance Task Force, the Legislative Advocacy Committee, and the Collaboration for Early Childhood Care and Education.

On April 5, I urge you to use one of your three votes for the District 97 board to re-elect Carolyn Newberry Schwartz, because Carolyn will continue to bring the integrity, experience, and leadership that Oak Park and District 97 expects, needs, and demands.

Bob Spatz
Oak Park

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