Stacey Williams New D90 school board member

As a member of three vital River Forest District 90 committees, Stacey Williams has been engaged in local school issues. Now she will work on all aspects of district policy from the perspective of a member of the board of education. 

A former independent marketing consultant, Williams was sworn in Monday evening to complete the term of Pat Meyer, the former board president who resigned earlier this year. The vote to seat her was unanimous.

Four people in all applied for the post. All were highly qualified candidates who could have added value to the board, board President Ralph Martire said.

“But Stacey Williams stood out,” Martire said. “She’s a valued individual who provides invaluable input. She’s uniquely positioned to hit the ground running and adding the value to the District 90 board right away.”

Being on the board is definitely a chance “to get involved in a lot of stuff,” more than the three District 90 committees that Williams been a part of. 

A resident of River Forest since 2006, with two children at Roosevelt Middle School, Williams was on the panel that helped craft the district’s strategic plan. She also is on the inclusiveness advisory board and the district’s equity committee, two initiatives working on different aspects of closing the district’s minority achievement gap. She told Wednesday Journal before the vote that she will remain on the latter two committees.

As she continues those assignments, the self-described “newbie” said first on her priority list is learning how the board works. Up there on her to-do list is finding out what it does and how the board moves things along. 

“It’ll be a challenge, but a good one,” Williams said. “District 90 is as successful as it is because of a strong school board. It’s a challenge I look forward to and I welcome it.”

Unless there’s some unforeseen reason, it’s safe to assume, Williams said, that she will run for a full four-year term in the spring 2017 consolidated election. 

Williams’ community engagement is a real asset to River Forest and Oak Park, said District 90 Superintendent Ed Condon.

She is vice chairwoman of the board of directors for the Oak Park River Forest Community Foundation, is on the school committee for IMPACT, which raises awareness of youth drug and alcohol abuse. She also is on the education committee for the Woman’s Board of the Art Institute of Chicago.

The other candidates for the board vacancy included Cristin Duffy, who last year was among a group of Lincoln Elementary School parents who strongly objected to a proposal from Pine Grove Centrum Partners to construct an 80-unit luxury apartment building at Lake Street and Park Avenue. She was on a team at Lincoln Elementary School who in 2015 chose the successor for longtime Principal Pam Hyde.

Eric Isenberg, an education policy researcher, became engaged in District 90 when discussions on all-day kindergarten started anew last year. He also has helped develop teacher evaluation systems and served as a consultant for the Illinois Association of School Boards.

An active member of the Willard and Roosevelt PTOs, Barbara Stoldt is on the District 90 Equity Committee. She volunteers with the Oak River Forest Infant Welfare Society and PADS and donates her time as a marketing consultant for various area other nonprofits.

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