I hope every Oak Park voter will join me in support of Venus Hurd Johnson’s candidacy for District 97 Elementary School Board. Venus has lived here with her husband and two sons for over 15 years.

Venus “threads the needle” in what is needed in a school board member: she develops strong bonds of trust and partnership while simultaneously holding decision-makers accountable when needed.

Working with Venus in her role as co-president of the D97 Diversity Council (which was created to advance a culture of equity and equity initiatives throughout the district), I experienced firsthand her gifts of leadership and collaboration. In that role, she partnered with the district in their efforts to support all families and teachers, and at the same time, she identified unmet needs of families and worked with the district to fill those gaps. 

Venus is often one of the first to challenge the administration to think differently and propose new options, which ultimately get adopted and implemented successfully.

Through her work as Mann School PTO president and as co-president of the larger more extensive D97 PTO Council, Venus has forged deep and lasting partnerships with parents and teachers throughout the district, and created and implemented community-building initiatives that support and advance teachers and families. And she exudes a warmth and spirit of partnership in all her efforts — which is sorely needed in today’s exceptionally challenging and often unnecessarily critical times.

All of these values, traits and experiences are exactly what makes her a highly qualified addition to the D97 board. She will hit the ground running; she will be able to leverage her deep existing relationships with parents and teachers from every D97 school on Day One. Please join me in supporting Venus for D97 school board.

Andrea Kovach, D97 parent and 15-year Oak Park resident

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