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Candidate info: District 171* School Board

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

About the position

What they do

School Board 171 responsibilities include directing the Superintendent, overseeing the budget, approving curriculum, evaluating the educational program, and communicating the schools’ activities to the community. The two schools in this district are located in Lansing and serve families in Lansing and Lynwood.

What they’re paid


Terms and meetings

School Board 171 is composed of seven members elected to four-year terms. Usual meeting schedule is once a month.

About the 2019 candidates

Lansing voters can vote for 4 of these 5:

  • Dennis J Altgilbers Jr.
  • Desiree Ambrose
  • David M. Lilly
  • Cozette Y. Pettigrew
  • Jesse Michael Terrazas

Short bios of the candidates appear below.

Dennis J. Altgilbers Jr.

No information provided

Desiree Ambrose

Resumé highlights

  • Masters Degree in Public Administration; BSN-RN
  • President of Chamberlain University Student Nurse Association (2016–2017)
  • PTA member
  • Volunteer with Ronald McDonald House Oak Lawn, Special Olympics, Feed My Starving Children

Desiree Ambrose: “Communication is key to helping take the district to the next level. I believe that I can bring some fresh ideas to Sunnybrook 171. I am willing to do the work necessary to make us the best! I know that this is not an easy job because there are so many stakeholders, but we should be able to work together for the greater good—the students.”

David M. Lilly

No information provided

Cozette Pettigrew

Resumé highlights

  • Six-year School Board member, current President
  • IASB Master Board Member, 2017 and 2018
  • School Board committee service: Policy, Teachers Contract Renewal, Strategic Planning (two consecutive terms), Second-Round Administrators Interview and Hiring
  • Director at Large of South Cook’s Division Governing Board

Cozette Pettigrew: “My love for children is why I continue to serve on the Sunnybrook 171 School Board. I have encouraged fellow Board members to increase their learning in matters concerning our board work, enhancing our district, and engaging our community. I work with our superintendent and advocate with all stakeholders to always do what’s best for our kids.”

Jesse Michael Terrazas

Resumé highlights

  • Awarded “Lansing Special Volunteer” in 2018
  • Lansing Soccer Club coach
  • Telecommunications technician (20 years)
  • Bilingual (Spanish and English)

Jesse Michael Terrazas: “I am very involved in my children’s education. I am a strong believer in after-school programs such as sports, STEM, IMSA, and Civil Air Patrol. I want to be part of important decisions that affect all children in District 171. I want to be an advocate for all children, parents, teachers, and community. I want to make a difference.”

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.