I am disappointed, but not disheartened, to see that Wednesday Journal did not endorse my candidacy to join the District 200 school board.

As a woman of color, I am all too familiar with being underestimated. Raised by a single mother, I went on to be the first in my immediate family to attend a four-year university, and I graduated with honors from both college and law school. Many did not expect a poor, black girl to amount to much, so I used these low expectations to ignite a fire in my belly to succeed.

When I became an attorney, I moved to Oak Park because I wanted better for my daughter, and I believed in Oak Park’s promise of diversity and inclusion. It came as a surprise to me (and motivated me to run for the school board) to learn that despite our community’s reputation for offering an excellent education, it is not readily accessible to all students. 

I had to advocate for my daughter to be held to high expectations, and as a board member, I would do the same on behalf of all parents who choose to call Oak Park and River Forest home so that their children can receive a world-class education.

I invite voters to learn about my candidacy for themselves on www.electjennifercassell.com. And I am proud to note that I received the endorsement of the OPRF High School Faculty Senate, a group I have tremendous respect for since, after all, it is the teachers who are the school’s educational experts.

I am grateful that Wednesday Journal has provided me with additional motivation to thrive as a D200 board member. I hope that the voters will afford me the opportunity to prove the Journal wrong — just as I have so many others.

Jennifer Cassell

D200 school board candidate

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