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District 215 Board President resigns, Board seeks to fill seat

Michael Bolz resigns due to potential conflict of interest at new job

By Josh Bootsma

LANSING, Ill. (March 11, 2021) – On Wednesday, District 215 School Board President Michael Bolz presided over his final board meeting. Bolz, who was first elected to the board in 2011, has recently completed his Ph.D. and was offered a job two weeks ago. As a condition for his employment, Bolz was required to resign his position on the Board of Education so as to avoid any potential conflict of interest.

In a prepared statement shared during Wednesday’s Special Meeting of the District 215 Board, Bolz said, “It has been a tremendous honor to serve our students, families, staff and communities as a member of this Board for the last decade, and I’m incredibly proud of the work that has been accomplished in District 215 in that time.”

Bolz said, “I want to thank my fellow board members for allowing me to serve as President these last few years, and especially to [fellow board member] Rich Dust, who—despite our disagreements—has apprenticed me, served as a mentor to me, and more importantly, has become a dear friend.”

The outgoing president also thanked Superintendent Dr. Sophia Jones-Redmond for her service to District 215, adding, “I’m confident the leadership of our district is in excellent hands with you at the helm.”

Board Vice President LeeAnn Revis will step in as president until new board members are installed following the April 6 election.

Filling the vacancy

Bolz was reelected to the Board in 2019, meaning his four-year term expires in 2023. Residents of District 215 interested in becoming a board member are invited to share a letter of interest in the position.

Illinois law dictates that a school board member must be:

  • A United States citizen
  • A resident of the state of Illinois and of the school district for at least one year
  • At least 18 years of age
  • A registered voter

A document outlining a school board member’s duties is available here. Residents wishing to be considered are invited to send a brief letter of interest to Dominique Newman at [email protected] by March 25.

District 215 serves the students of Burnham, Calumet City, Lansing, and Lynwood at Thornton Fractional North High School, Thornton Fractional South High School, Thornton Fractional Center for Academics and Technology, and Thornton Fractional Center for Alternative Learning. District offices are located at 18601 Torrence Avenue, Lansing, IL.


Josh Bootsma
Josh Bootsma
Josh is Managing Editor at The Lansing Journal and believes in the power and purpose of community news. He covers any local topics—from village government to theatre, from business openings to migratory birds.