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Voter Guide: April 4, 2023 – District 215 Board elections

Background: The Lansing Journal made efforts to contact all candidates in the April 4 Municipal Election to gather information to share with Lansing voters. Using a “candidate info form,” we asked the same questions of each local office seeker. Answers were prepared and submitted by the candidates. We will be sharing the info race by race in a series of “Voter Guide” posts.

LANSING, Ill. (March 16, 2023) – The Thornton Fractional Township High School District 215 Board oversees TF South in Lansing, TF North in Calumet City, the Thornton Fractional Center for Academics and Technology in Calumet City, and the Thornton Fractional Center for Alternative Learning in Calumet City. The district serves families in Lansing, Calumet City, Burnham, and Lynwood and is governed by an elected seven-member board.

The District 215 Board is responsible for establishing a vision, adopting budgets, voting on tax levies, setting calendars, approving curriculum, establishing student behavior policies, communicating school activities to the community, and directing the Superintendent, who oversees the schools in the District. Dr. Sophia Jones-Redmond is the superintendent of District 215.

This year three candidates are running to fill three open positions.

District 215 Board – three four-year terms – Uncontested

District 215 Board
Dominique Newman (Photo provided)

 Dominique Newman

Residence: Lansing

Education: Master’s of Communication and Creative Arts – Purdue University Northwest

Occupation: Public Information Officer, Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice

Resumé highlights:

  • Thornton Fractional School District 215 Assistant to Superintendent and Board of Ed./Public Relations Officer (2019-22)
  • Adjunct Professor of Communication- Prairie State College (2018-19)
  • League of Women Voters Homewood-Flossmoor Board of Directors (2016-2021)

Goals and promises:

  1. Quantifiable progress on achieving equity for all students in all things. This may require some policy change but will more so require a method for ensuring adherence to current policies and method for measuring progress.
  2. Elevation of student voice and parent feedback to Board of Education. This will require commitment to diligently and consistently educate students/families on current opportunities for communicating with Board. It will also require creation of new and innovative opportunities that invite feedback (such as formal student and/or parent representation at Board meetings).
  3. Improvement of academics and extracurriculars. This will require collecting and analyzing data and making decisions accordingly. This will also require soliciting the expertise and experience of staff, students, parents, etc. and implementing policies and practices based on data and feedback.
  4. Rigorous examination of current data, policies, and practices related to student discipline as measured against other Illinois school districts. This will require an in-depth look at current practices and will need to include students’ experiences and voices.
  5. Improvement of school culture. This will require substantive input from staff and students and measurable goals for which administrators are responsible.
District 215 Board
Patricia Stepp (Photo provided)

Patricia Stepp

Residence: Lansing

Education:

Occupation:

Resumé highlights:

  • 2017–2021 District 215 Board of Education Member / Secretary / Chair of Finance Committee

Goals and promises: My desire to return to the District 215 Board Of Education, is to maintain and implement policies and procedures, to elevate the district. To ensure ALL our students reach their full potential while being entrusted in our places of learning. To be lifelong learners, prepared for their futures.

District 215 Board
Jackie Terrazas (Photo provided)

Jacqueline Terrazas

Residence: Lansing

Education: Associate Degree in Communications

Occupation: Bilingual Teacher Assistant

Resumé highlights:

  • Been in education since 2015
  • Proud SEA Union member
  • Executive PTA member since 2017
  • Lansing Special Volunteer Recipient 2016
  • Union Negotiating Team
  • Common Ground member

Goals and promises:

  1. Being the first Hispanic School Board member at District 215
  2. Committing to a vision of high expectations for student achievement and quality instruction
  3. Equity for all students
  4. Elevation of student voice and parent feedback
  5. Improved academics and extracurricular activities
  6. Increased cultural competency
  7. Having a collaborative relationship with staff and the community

More information about District 215 is available at tfd215.org.

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The Lansing Journal will continue to cover local election news ahead of the April 4 elections. To view all election coverage so far, view our April 4 Election category. To make sure you don’t miss any future coverage, sign up for our free daily newsletter today:

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.