If there is a perfect candidate for the District 97 school board, it is Rupa Datta. I know her as an active member of the Beye School Community. Our sons are in the same grade and I have come to know her through interactions in the classroom, on the PTO and other  school functions.

At first, I was struck by how dedicated she was as a parent, always walking her children to school and always engaged in conversation. They were sometimes in a morning rush, but it always seemed to me she was genuinely interested in what they had to say. That quality is so crucial to possess when serving in a position influencing a child’s education. Rupa understands kids and continues to try and learn more from them. 

While this was my first impression of Rupa, another quality that quickly stood out is her willingness to help the school community. Unlike most new families at the school, who tend to feel things out before becoming involved, she jumped at the chance. Rarely would she say no to a job that needed to be filled. In fact, she was so passionate about Beye School’s after-school program that she volunteered to co-chair it, this after she gave many hours to the program in a support capacity the previous year. 

Rupa and her co-chair worked diligently to reinvigorate the program to much praise from the school community. Both students and parents were happy with the thought and care that went into choosing the programming options. All were so delighted that they were awarded the Volunteers of the Year from the Beye School PTO for their efforts.

Finally, I only recently discovered all of Rupa’s credentials. She never mentioned the two committees she chaired for D97, nor did I realize she has such extensive knowledge and work experience with education, particularly grades K-8. It now makes sense how she so easily navigated one of the most difficult volunteer jobs at our school. 

When I heard she was running for the board, I was not surprised as I find her level of commitment hard to match. Rupa sees an opportunity and will seize the chance to make her mark. Not only is she an involved and loving parent, she has all the educational and professional qualifications to become a successful board member. 

I have only touched on her accomplishments. Take a moment to read for yourself how she is so well suited to serve D97. www.rupaford97.com.

Kandy Shapiro

Oak Park

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