Wednesday, May 29, 2024

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Candidate info: District 158* School Board

*Lansing residents living north of 186th vote for this Elementary School District.

About the position

What they do

Members of School Board 158 establish vision, adopt budgets, set calendars, approve curriculum, and hire the Superintendent, who oversees the five elementary schools in this district, all located in Lansing.

What they’re paid


Terms and meetings

School Board 158 consists of seven members elected to four-year terms. The usual meeting schedule is once a month.

About the 2019 candidates

Lansing voters can vote for 3 of these 4:

  • Abimael Durán
  • Mary Kelly
  • Denise Jones Williams
  • Jencelyn King-Witzel

Abimael Durán

Resumé highlights

  • Financial Analyst for Horizon Pharma
  • Parent Liaison with School District 158’s Strategic Planning Committee
  • Volunteer soccer coach with Lansing Park District, then Lansing Soccer Club
  • Volunteer youth leader and sound technician at Grace Church

Abimael Durán: “My wife, Cindi, and I have been living in Lansing since 2002. We have two children: Mateo (16), who is a junior at TF South High School, and Isabel (13), who is an 8th grader at Memorial Junior High School. This last year, I was appointed to a vacant position on the District 158 School Board. It has been a pleasure working with the community, and I would love the opportunity to continue serving our children in this capacity.”

Mary Kelly

No information provided

Denise Jones Williams

No information provided

Jencelyn King-Witzel

Resumé highlights

  • Purdue University Northwest 2005-2010 Political Science, President of the Purdue Northwest Democrat 2008-10, Senator of LASS
  • Married to Joshua, with three children: Jocelyn-Mackenzie (9), Jordynn-Alexandria (7), and Joshua-Fitzgerald (3). The oldest two are currently enrolled in public school.
  • PR and Marketing Consultant

Jencelyn King-Witzel: “I am running for School Board because I want to give a voice to our teachers, strengthen community involvement, and ensure our school system gives students the best chance for success. I will use my experience and strong community relationships to add grant- and business-funded programs and better utilize our school system’s budget, trimming the fat to bring tax relief to homeowners while making sure teachers get the funds they need to stock their classrooms.”

Melanie Jongsma
Melanie Jongsma
Melanie Jongsma grew up in Lansing, Illinois, and believes The Lansing Journal has an important role to play in building community through trustworthy information.