I am thrilled that Jennifer Kovar is running for District 97 school board. I have known Jen since our oldest kids started kindergarten together eight years ago. From the beginning, she struck me as a kind, open and generous person with boundless positive energy. She says that, as a D97 school board member, she wants to bring out the best in all of us in Oak Park, and I believe it.

Jen is an experienced educator, which is a voice we greatly need on the school board. I have a special interest in our middle schools. My oldest daughter is in seventh grade, along with Jen’s oldest son. As a middle-school teacher herself, I know Jen will bring some much-needed attention to our middle schools, which often get overlooked.

As important, Jen has also been actively involved in our community. In D97, she serves on the school board’s Committee on Community Engagement, advising the district on how to better communicate and collaborate with Oak Park families. She serves on Lincoln Elementary School’s Diversity Committee, part of D97’s district-wide efforts on diversity, equity and inclusion.

I had the great opportunity to serve with Jen on the Disability Access Commission, which advises the village board on policies to ensure our community is fully inviting and inclusive for people of all abilities. During her tenure, Jen helped create the Disabilities Access Awards, which recognizes local businesses and organizations that go above and beyond in making access a priority. Inclusion has been a consistent priority for Jen. In Riverside, she founded her school’s chapter of Best Buddies, the international volunteer program that creates opportunities for one-to-one friendships for youth with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Jen has a terrific blend of deep experience in education and great passion for community service. Her experience, vision, and commitment are exactly what we need on the D97 school board. She will bring out the best in all of us.

Scott Kozicki, Oak Park

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