I am writing to endorse John Phelan in the upcoming District 200 Board of Education election. I’ve known John for eight years and see in him the attributes which constitute an effective board member — preparation, perspective and temperament.

Preparation demands a board member consume and synthesize hundreds of pages of reading material before each meeting, sometimes five meetings per month, in order to advance an informed discussion. John has demonstrated this trait in previous board service for both the Way Back Inn and Oak Park and River Forest Youth Football.

Perspective requires a willingness to actively listen to divergent views. District 200 board members are at-large representatives and do not represent a specific geographical constituency. John attended Oak Park and River Forest High School (class of ’83), returned from college to raise a family in River Forest and has coached OPRF Youth Football for years. He has deep ties to each community and will serve all constituents, if elected.

A balanced temperament is essential for constructive engagement at the board table and with the community. By seeking consensus, not conflict; subsuming ego to evolution; and adhering to process, not pandering, John will contribute to a richer dialog, and our children will benefit from this. Seven minds truly are better than one, but only if the right seven are at the table.

The vigor of the OPRF discourse requires a special soul. John Phelan is such a man; I’ll support him on April 5, and hope you will also.

Kristen Coe
River Forest

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