For the District 200 Board of Education, I will vote for a fine leader, who I have seen for 17 years in action with financial responsibility in a local not-for-profit organization. Ralph Lee is reasonable, pragmatic, frugal and a leader with good values, compassion, insight, thoughtfulness, kindness and good humor. He has a genuine concern for our community and the education of all our children. Furthermore, his vast professional experience in education will be a valuable asset for our high school as he is highly qualified. He can understand and communicate with students, parents, teachers, administrators, property taxpayers and board members because he has been in each of these roles.

Ralph and Charlotte Lee have lived in Oak Park for nearly three decades with three of their four children graduating from OPRF High School.

Besides having served on the governing boards of many non-profit (and a couple of for-profit) organizations over the past 40 years, Ralph Lee has hands-on experience in elementary, secondary, community college and university level education. He has worked as a teacher, school administrator and consultant for many years, including 16 years as a full-time teacher of chemistry and physics at OPRF. A substantial part of his experience has been specifically with African-American children and adults. He also has considerable experience in institutional financial management.

In his retirement, he has the time, the energy, desire and devotion to serve in the many ways demanded of school board members. While he appreciates the many strengths of OPRF, he is very aware some changes are needed. Here are three areas where he would make changes:

1) Eliminating the built-in set of lower expectations of black students that I have personally observed to exist in our three-tiered tracking system.

2) Involving and engaging all adult employees in the discipline system of the school, rather than the relative handful of deans of discipline and security personnel in the existing system.

3) Keeping the rise in taxes from District 200 nearer the annual increase in cost of living. (Are you aware of the 53 percent increase in the total Oak Park tax levy over the past six years?) …by putting in place a clearly stated and well understood procedure for determining what our real priorities are, and by doing this in a transparent public forum.”

Please vote for Ralph H. Lee for the Dist. 200 board.

Leslie Roberts, Oak Park

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