*EDITOR’S NOTE: Candidates submitted their own biographies
Sarah was born and raised in River Forest and returned with her family six years ago for the beautiful community and top rated schools. She has identical twin six-year-old boys and a three-year-old daughter.
In her professional life, Sarah is a graduate of Resurrection University and the University of Georgia. She earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology, and graduated in Psi Chi, the national honor society for psychology. She was the recipient of the academic Lion’s Club Scholarship, Hope Scholarship, and Presidential Scholarships. After completing her BS in psychology, she transitioned over to the nursing field, specializing in Family Lifespan Nursing. Sarah graduated Cum Laude and is part of the Sigma Theta Tau Honor Society for nursing. Sarah also has experience as adjunct faculty sharing her knowledge and expertise with undergraduate nursing students. She currently provides patient care as a nurse practitioner.
Sarah takes pride in working with people from all different cultures, settings, and job backgrounds to problem solve and create an idyllic work and community environment. She fundamentally believes in teamwork and that everyone can offer valued input to create an optimal result.
Describe how your background and experiences will bring value to the District 90 school board.
I have three young children and my husband and I both typically work outside of the home. We have to balance the needs of our financial obligations and personal career goals with the necessities of our children and family.
My background as a nurse practitioner has given me the opportunity to learn how to work collaboratively with others. I work with a diverse team to keep people healthy, happy and alive! Every team member has a unique role and strength, which is needed to problem solve together. Our school board is similar in the way that board members work with teachers, staff, administrators, parents, and community members to create the best possible outcome for our district.
What motivated you to run for a position on the District 90 board of education?
I am running for the school board because I have a vested interest in how our schools operate and community runs. With three small children and our family setting up roots here, we want progress in a positive direction. Having seen so much turmoil this year I am hoping to bring the many different needs of the community into focus and work to create a consensus on a way to move forward.
Equity has been a focus of District 90, with both the Inclusiveness Advisory Board and the Equity Committee addressing different aspects of equity relating to public schools in River Forest. How effective do you think these groups have been? What are the most important areas that need to be addressed by the district moving forward?
Equity is an evolving issue. Mitigating inequities should be, and is, the forefront of our district. We need to refine our focus on how to get all of our students to do their personal best. In the past few years there have been a number of committees to address and improve inclusion and foster growth, understanding and a sense of belonging. They are not perfect, but they have been aggressive in identifying issues and moving forward to promote equity amongst all students.
Something that needs to be addressed is anti-racism, implicit bias and different ways to combat it. It needs to be addressed in a healthy way that it fosters growth and change in a positive direction. We have the resources as a district for all of our children to thrive and be successful.
What do you see as the biggest challenges currently facing District 90?
Getting back in school full time safely is the biggest challenge at the moment. All children need it, parents need it, and our teachers need it. However, there needs to be a level of community responsibility. If a child doesn’t contract covid, they cannot spread it. If everyone is safe, considerate and just practicing being a good human and neighbor, we should be able to move forward together. If not, we could have an outbreak and be back to square one.
In your assessment, how effective do you feel District 90’s response was t to the COVID-19 pandemic?
Our response was good, but looking back, it could always have been better. We had an e-learning plan in place right from the beginning and resources to work out the kinks and improve education throughout the year. Though it was not perfect, it was a great start. Our goal was to keep our kids and community safe.
What do you see as the most urgent concerns in terms of student achievement in District 90?
Along with equity and tough curriculum, the social emotional toll this pandemic has had on our students needs to be addressed. Truly it needs to be at the forefront of our plans moving forward. We need to be flexible, adaptive and highly aware of the different and changing needs of our students. I have total confidence in our teachers that they can and will be able to tackle any concerns or issues coming our way.