I was truly excited to hear that Venus was running for the District 97 Board of Education. She is ready to go! Like effortlessly merging into high-speed traffic, her candidacy is a natural progression of a long history of service in our schools and community. She is thoughtful, smart, brings folks together, navigates brave conversations and gets the work done.

Venus was a wonderful PTO president at Mann Elementary and continued to inspire as a founding member of the D97 Diversity Council (DivCo), with the purpose of coalescing diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging efforts within all of our schools. The robust equity policy that was passed for our district included her guidance and input. She went on to lead the D97 PTO Council, which consists of presidents from all 10 schools, plus liaisons to the administration and the board.

Venus excelled in these leadership roles, all of which are partnerships, and I’m confident she’ll continue her manner of collaboration at the board table.

One conversation we had was particularly memorable, as we sat in the car after a meeting. Venus shared insights from the book Beyond the Bake Sale, about meaningful discussions yet to be had in our schools, and the importance of supporting learners with disabilities and unique abilities. She takes the time to cultivate relationships and empower others, which goes an incredibly long way in Oak Park.

Venus Johnson is a dedicated pillar of our community with the deepest level of commitment, and I endorse her candidacy without reservation. Please vote on April 6.

Dot Lambshead Roche, Longtime community member, D97 parent

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