At least two of the three incumbents on the Oak Park and River Forest High School board whose terms are expiring next year will not run for reelection. With the filing period for school board candidates beginning in less than a week Sara Dixon Spivy and Ralph Martire said last week that they will not run again and will leave the school board next year. Gina Harris, the other board member whose term is up next year, did not respond to an email asking whether she will run for another term.
Dixon Spivy has served on the OPRF school board for the past eight years and was the president of the board for two years from May 2020 until April 2022.
Dixon Spivy said that while she will be leaving the school board next year she will continue to be involved with the school.
“Maybe I’ll try to get on some committees just as a parent.” Dixon Spivy said.
Dixon Spivy encouraged Martire to run for the OPRF school board four years ago.
Martire, the current vice-president of the school board, is stepping down from the OPRF board after one term. Prior to being elected to the OPRF school board Martire served on the River Forest District 90 Board of Education for eight years including a stint as president of that board.
Martire said that he had three objectives in mind when he ran for the OPRF school board: establishing clear policies on racial equity, establishing a rolling five and 10 year capital facilities plan and reestablishing board oversight of policy.
He said that all three goals are either in place or well on their way to completion by the end of his term in April.
“Literally everything I ran for has been accomplished,” Martire said. “If the only things you said you were going to do when you ran you got done give someone else a seat at the table.”
Martire is particularly proud of OPRF’s new racial equity initiative.
“Now we have not only what we’re going to measure but how we’re going to measure it and what sort of initiatives the administration is going to bring to the table and they all have to be evidence based,” Martire said. “That was a big deal, no other district has that, we’ve got that.”
The school board election is in April. The filing period for school board candidates begins on Dec. 12 and ends on Dec. 19. School board candidates must file nominating petitions with at least 50 valid signatures from registered voters in the school district.
The school board will have big decisions to make over the next year, most notably whether to go forward with and how to finance Project 2, the next stage in the school’s effort to modernize and upgrade its facilities.