Wednesday, November 7, 2018 || By Micheal Romain || @maywoodnews
Proviso Together, the political party that accomplished a seven-member super-majority last February when all four of its candidates were voted to seats on the Proviso Township High Schools District 209 school board, held a campaign kickoff on Saturday for the party’s original three candidates elected in 2015.
Among the four newcomers, three — Rodney Alexander, Amanda Grant and Samuel Valtierrez — remain committed Proviso Together members while Arbdella Patterson has parted ways with the group.
The kickoff was held at the Forest Park home of board member Claudia Medina, who along with D209 board President Ned Wagner and member Theresa Kelly, round out the Proviso Together slate.
When reached by phone on Nov. 6, Wagner seized on a range of developments over the last four years to argue why he thinks he and his running mates deserve another term.
“The thing I’m most proud of as a board member is that we have been able to be disciplined in our spending,” Wagner said. “We’ve saved money that will be put toward the facility master plan. If we stick to this plan and continue to discipline our spending, we’ll be able to do a lot of really good work on these buildings so students can have great learning environments.”
Wagner also said he’s proud of the “foundational work we’ve put in at Proviso East,” adding that, despite the recent State Report Card data designating East a lowest-performing school, “every issue on that report card is being addressed very assertively and creatively.”
Proviso Together candidates Ned Wagner, Claudia Medina and Theresa Kelly. | Proviso Together/Facebook
During an interview on Nov. 7, Medina said that the focus of her first term, and one that she hopes to extend to a second, would be on equity.
“I’m focused on equitable practices in the district and to make sure we have a growing, diverse population,” she said. “All of our different communities have different needs and it’s important to address all of those needs.”
Medina cited the district’s new curriculum, new contracts for teachers and the superintendent, more professional development for educators and the ongoing facilities master plan as points of progress.
She said that she’s looking forward to seeing the results of an in-depth analysis of the district’s equity landscape that the board brought in. The consultant, Medina said, is working pro bono and evaluating everything from test scores to grade levels to assess the district’s equity needs.
“We are running as people who are very different, but who represent the breadth of our communities,” Medina said of the party. “We want to make sure that our schools are prepared not just for the 21st century, but for the 22nd century.”
According to the party’s latest D-2 quarterly report, Proviso Together $180 available at the close of the most recent quarterly filing period.
Sept. 18 was the first day to circulate petitions for independent and nonpartisan candidates, along with new political parties. The last day to file petitions for all candidates is Dec. 17. The election will take place on April 2, 2019. VFP
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