Jen Kovar is exactly what the District 97 school board needs. She is a longtime teacher with deep knowledge of education. She has taught middle school in Riverside for 15 years. In this year of the pandemic, she has been in the classroom since September 2020, teaching her students in-person and over Zoom simultaneously.

We don’t have a professional teacher on the current D97 board, and Jen is the only candidate running who will bring that important voice. When decisions are being made at the board table, she will know how students and teachers will be impacted by them. Her knowledge and expertise in schools will be a huge asset to D97.

Jen is also a big believer in building strong community engagement for all families in D97. She doesn’t just believe it, she’s done it. I know because my daughter and I benefited from an initiative Jen helped spearhead at Lincoln that was immensely helpful to families just starting out in D97. While serving on the Diversity Committee, she co-created a mentor program to pair families like ours who were new to Lincoln with those who already had children in the school. We all know that families who are “connected” have informal access to valuable information from peers to navigate the system and advocate for their children. Jen took steps to ensure that those “insider” insights were available to all families and that everyone had an opportunity to contribute their voices.

I served on the Ascension Catholic School Board. While Ascension and D97 operate differently, the ingredients for being a successful school board member are the same. I am confident that Jen has what it takes. She has a positive attitude, a passion for excellent education and a deep knowledge of how schools work, grounded in her many years of experience in the classroom.

Be sure you show up to vote on April 6 and when you do, choose Jennifer Kovar for D97 school board.

Erin Fitzgerald, Oak Park

Join the discussion on social media!