*EDITOR’S NOTE: Candidates submitted their own biographies
Tracy Jennings was born and raised on the South Side of Chicago, Illinois in 1968. Today, Tracy resides in Westchester, Illinois, a place he has called home for more than 20 years. A product of the Chicago Public Schools system and avid supporter of public education, Tracy is a graduate of Morgan Park High School and Northern Illinois University, where he earned his Bachelor Degree in Psychology. He also has a Bachelor degree in Telecommunications Management from DeVry University.
Tracy Jennings is married to Cynthia and celebrated 27 years of marriage on September 11th, 2020. They have two adult children, Reggie and Traci. Reggie currently works at Texas Christian University and is pursuing his MBA. Traci is a graduate of Marquette University Law School and recently took the Illinois Bar Exam. As parents, Tracy and Cynthia firmly believe that, “it does not matter where you start, it’s where you finish that counts,” a motto they have instilled in their children and applied to their own lives.
In addition, Tracy has a diversified professional background that has afforded him the opportunity to serve in various arenas. Here are some of the sectors that he has worked and had an impact in:
• Recently ran for Congress in the Illinois 7th Congressional District as an Independent candidate in the 2020 Election.
• Is a proud Veteran of the United States Army.
• Worked in the corporate sector as a high-level manager for over a decade with a telecommunication corporation.
• Founded and owned a real estate appraisal company.
• Founding Pastor and currently serves as the Pastor of Total Christian Life Ministry. • Worked for the State of Illinois as a Public Service Administrator for 5 years.
All in all, Tracy has a background that gives him the ability to connect with people from all walks of life. His faith and family help keep him rooted in his values and his passion for community service has been seen in the work he does around his church but also his local community.
What is your understanding of the role of a board trustee?
My understanding of the role of a board of trustee member is to first have a mindset that is focused on serving our stakeholders. In addition to serving our stakeholders, the role of a board of trustees is to work collaboratively with his or her fellow board members with a foundation based on integrity and trust. Lastly, understanding that taxpayers hard earned dollars support Triton College, it is the duty and responsibility of the board of trustees to act and manage all financial matters appropriately.
Do you believe that Triton College adequately serves the needs of its Black, Brown and otherwise disadvantaged students? Please explain.
Yes. Triton College has several support services that are specifically created to ensure all students can be successful in pursuing higher education. Programs such as TRIO/Student Support Services (SSS) serve as a one-stop-shop for students who are either low-income, have disabilities and/or are first-generation college students. While Triton does have programs like these, I am confident that Triton will continuously seek out ways to best serve black, brown and other disadvantaged students.
Does the Triton College administration have a healthy relationship with its various bargaining units? Please explain.
Currently all Labor Unions representing employees of Triton College are fully under contract. To my knowledge and from an outside vantage point, there are no disputes or strikes in motion which gives me the impression that there is a healthy relationship with the various Labor Unions.
Is a Triton College education affordable? Please explain.
From my personal experience, yes Triton College provides an affordable education. My wife, children and I have all taken classes at Triton College at some point in time during our academic journey’s . Currently, in-district students will pay close to ⅓ of what it would cost to attend various public, in-state institutions. Triton College not only adds value in its affordability but also provides value in its ability to give students credits that transfer fairly well to Four-Year Universities.
Is Triton College sufficiently engaged with its feeder communities? Please explain.
Triton College has a presence across all major social media platforms and mails out a wonderful catalog of classes offered for college credit and personal development. However, in my twenty-five years of living in district 504, I cannot recall ever meeting members of Triton College Administration or Board of Trustees. There is plenty of room for growth in this area and if I were elected, I will make community engagement a top priority.
Does the college have adequate COVID-19 mitigations and protocols in place? Please explain.
Yes, Triton College has done an adequate job in putting into practice appropriate protocols to ensure the safety and well-being of its students, faculty and staff. On campus there are signs that require mask wearing and social distancing when conducting business in person. As we are all aware, COVID-19 has shaken the world and our health care professionals continue to provide us with the tools and resources to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Triton College has made it clear that it will follow all guidelines provided by the CDC to protect the students, faculty and staff.