My vision for OPRF is an environment in which all students receive the necessary resources and support for success. As a board member, I will prioritize the following:
Equity – All students must have the opportunities and resources to reach their full potential. If we commit to fully implementing District-200’s Racial Equity Policy and Strategic Priorities, we can address many of our high school’s long-standing racial inequities. The end goal is for each student to achieve their unique level of success without race or economic status being a determinant.
Fiscal Responsibility – I will respectfully and responsibly manage the finances of the residents of Oak Park and River Forest. We can find creative and frugal ways to meet the needs of the student population without continuous tax increases. Holding the line on property taxes is critical if we value racial and economic diversity in our communities.
Mental Health Support – The pandemic has brought the issue of mental health and self-care to the forefront. There’s an uptick in anxiety and depression arising from stress and isolation. Students, teachers, and families are under a lot of pressure to survive and succeed. This issue even predates the pandemic. The stress and rigors of trying to be the best academically, adjusting to a new environment, dealing with macro and microaggressions, and deciding your future in an ever- changing and uncertain world is a lot for students to hold and handle. We need to foster connections and support, while staying attuned to changing needs, to prevent any student from slipping between the cracks.
Stakeholder Engagement – It’s imperative that all community voices are included in decision-making. Oak Park and River Forest are racially, ethnically, and economically diverse communities. We must especially, and deliberately, ensure that we include the voices of those most marginalized. I believe most residents share a love and desire to make OPRFHS a pinnacle of excellence for all students. This can be the starting point for collective dialogue and finding more common ground.
Excellence and Success – Each should be given full and fair opportunities to be the best versions of themselves. This will look different to each student and their family. Each graduating student should be fully prepared for success, whether they are pursuing a 2- or 4-year degree, trade school, a gap year, or going directly into the workforce or military. Together, we can build the will and the way, for all students to succeed.