SD103 Election: 40-year veteran leads Putting Students First slate
By Steve Metsch
Four candidates, led by a 40-year veteran, are running
together on the Putting Students First slate in the April 2 election for the
Lyons School District 103 board.
The slate’s goals are keeping the students the first
priority, continue to spend wisely, to prevent political hiring, and provide
resources needed by students to excel.
Joanne Schaeffer, who has been on the school board for four
decades, leads the ticket.
Joining her are Tom Weiner, named to the board earlier this
year to complete the term of a former board member; Connie Esparza, formerly on
the board, and newcomer Jacquie Magsaysay.
Schaeffer has lived in Lyons for 53 years. She has two adult
children, two grandchildren and a great granddaughter in third grade at
“I smell the chalk and pencils when I go past the schools. I
love our kids. They’re worth every ounce of work that we do, as board members.
I’ve worked hard on this board along with many other good board members,”
In campaign materials, Schaeffer said that “all children can
learn,” with parents, teachers and students working together.
She wants to see the district “continue to be conservative
with finances,” adding “we have not been in negatives spending for the past 18
years and have kept our promise of staying in the black as well as providing
safe schools for our children.”
Magsaysay and her husband have lived in Stickney since 1998,
Their son is a student at Washington Middle School.
Magsaysay has been active in community groups like the
Stickney Forest View Little League, and the Boy Scouts, and has served on the
parks and recreation committee for the village of Stickney.
“The best thing a parent can do is provide an education for
their children. That’s why I want to get involved in the school board,” she
“I would like to serve on the Lyons District 103 school
board in order to help provide our teachers and educators with the tools they
need to ensure that our children get the best education going forward and
provide for their futures.”
Magsaysay said she’d re-evaluate the system of getting
students help from social workers. She also likes summer school “to get some
students the help they need.”
Esparza has lived in Lyons for 10 years, and formerly served
on the school board.
“I believe our values need to be heard and met,” Esparza
She thinks it’s important to provide programs for the
students who may need remedial education. “We have to always go back to our
budget,” she said.
Esparza added that board members have one purpose: To best
serve the students.
“Personal agendas. Political agendas. They need to stay at
the door. We come here to fulfill a role,” Esparza said.
Weiner, a 24-year resident of Lyons, has a son at Costello
School, where he is president of the PTO.
“I started coming to board meetings about two years ago
after the last election. I saw what kind of a mess it was back then and how
this board moved it forward,” Weiner said.
“Did they make mistakes? Yes. Everybody makes mistakes. Is
there room for growth and continued moving forward? Yes. That’s why I’m here,
trying to help move it forward for the best interest of our students, staff and
community,” Weiner said.
Schaeffer remains hopeful that the future board – whatever
it may look like – is one that gets along.
At last week’s candidate forum, she addressed that: “When
you leave that table, the work stays at the table, and you remain friends. When
board members can no longer be friends once they leave that table, the board is
lost. The kids have lost.”
Gov’t. needs to embrace, not hinder innovation
By Quill Robinson President Joe Biden has pledged to cut America’s greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2030. He intends to meet this ambitious target through a wave of new federal spending and government programs. Yet, our best hope for reducing carbon emissions isn’t new government spending. It’s a technological sea-change–one that can only come…
America needs to center itself
By Ray Hanania Some people define those in the “political center” as hopelessly optimistic because having common sense has no meaning in today’s world. I call them Reagan Democrats, people who embrace the best of Democrats and Republicans advocating a common-sense middle ground. When you are in the middle, though, you are attacked and vilified…
Need funds, not wands, to fight crime
By Rich Miller Catholic priest and Chicago community activist Michael Pfleger has now twice called on Gov. JB Pritzker to declare a “state of emergency” over his city’s notorious gun violence problems. The first time was this past July, when Fr. Pfleger demanded that Pritzker issue a similar emergency declaration to the one announced by…
Football Forecast: Week 8
With two weeks remaining in the regular season, Millar has a three-point lead over Vorva and Wally. All three picked Argo over Oak Lawn in this week’s GOTW and there is little variation in their picks overall, so the current leader is guaranteed to still be ahead come Week 9. Maholy and Whalen are lurking…
Sheriff Dart, State Sen. Collins propose legislation to ban ‘ghost guns’
From staff reports Cook County Sheriff Thomas J. Dart and Illinois State Senator Jacqueline Collins have proposed legislation to ban “ghost guns”–homemade, untraceable weapons that are increasingly being found by police fighting Chicago area violence. “The rapid proliferation of these weapons is alarming, and they are intentionally being used by individuals who want to thwart…
Two elderly men killed in Brighton Park Two elderly men were shot and killed in an apartment building in the 4400 block of South Campbell at about 1:40 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 7. Police said Juan Alvarado, 80, was found in a hallway with gunshot wounds to his chest and head. He was transported to Mount…
Pushback against vax
Some city workers say ‘No’ to shots By Tim Hadac As the Lightfoot Administration announced that all City of Chicago employees must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by today—or face disciplinary measures—some workers pushed back. One of the most public was 23rd Ward Ald. Silvana Tabares, who signed a letter of concern to the mayor–with…
FBI hunts ‘Bicycle Bandit’
Robbed banks in Bridgeport, Brighton Park, McKinley Park, Back of the Yards By Tim Hadac FBI agents continue to hunt for a serial criminal who has robbed four Southwest Side banks in recent months. Last week, the FBI’s Chicago Office reissued a community alert regarding a man they have dubbed the Bicycle Bandit because he…
Police warn of armed robberies on Archer
By Tim Hadac Police issued a community alert last week regarding two armed robberies that occurred last month in Garfield Ridge, in the parking lot of the Chase Bank branch at 5687 S. Archer. One crime occurred at 3:37 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 15. The other was at 9:50 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 29. The bandits were described as black…
Burglars hitting Chicago Lawn
From staff reports A cluster of burglaries in Chicago Lawn has prompted police to issue a community alert. Some of the places burglarized were businesses, while others were garages behind people’s homes. Crime scenes include: 6300 block of South Kedzie on Sept. 26. 5900 block of South Kedzie on Sept. 28. 6400 block of South…
CAPITOL RECAP: New congressional maps unveiled ahead of veto session
By CAPITOL NEWS ILLINOIS SPRINGFIELD – Democrats in the Illinois General Assembly released a proposed set of new congressional district maps Friday, just days before lawmakers return to the Statehouse for the start of their fall veto session, which begins Oct. 19. All states redraw their congressional districts following each decennial census. The proposed new…
UPDATED: New congressional maps unveiled ahead of fall veto session
By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – Democrats in the Illinois General Assembly released a proposed set of new congressional district maps Friday, just days before lawmakers return to the Statehouse for the start of their fall veto session, which begins Oct. 19. All states redraw their congressional districts following each decennial census.…
Tax summaries show Pritzkers made $5 million last year – not including family trusts
By JERRY NOWICKI Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – Gov. JB Pritzker’s campaign released summary documents of his 2020 tax returns Friday, which showed the first family reporting $5.14 million in adjusted gross income, all from taxable interest and dividends. The campaign released seven pages summarizing the governor’s and first lady MK Pritzker’s returns, which…
Democrats release draft congressional maps
By JERRY NOWICKI Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – Illinois lawmakers released the first draft of new congressional maps Friday, the latest step in a process that occurs every 10 years after the U.S. Census and could impact the balance of power in the U.S. Congress. The new maps are only a draft and will…
Report: Nursing homes in crisis with staff shortages
By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – A new report released Wednesday says staffing shortages at nursing homes in Illinois have reached crisis proportions and that people of color are most at risk of suffering the consequences. That’s because those individuals are more likely to live in understaffed facilities or in “ward” rooms…
Springfield transportation hub to relieve rail congestion
By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – A railway improvement project intended to greatly improve traffic congestion between St. Louis and Chicago reached a milestone Tuesday as work began on a multimodal transportation hub in the capital city. Gov. JB Pritzker was joined at a groundbreaking ceremony by U.S. Sens. Dick Durbin and…
CAPITOL RECAP: Congressional redistricting hearings begin
By CAPITOL NEWS ILLINOIS SPRINGFIELD – The process of redrawing congressional district maps in Illinois got off to a slow start Thursday when only one person showed up to testify at the first legislative public hearing, which was held in Chicago. Ryan Tolley, policy director for the advocacy group CHANGE Illinois, urged the House Redistricting…
Task force considers changes to qualified immunity for Illinois law enforcement officers
By JERRY NOWICKI Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – A new state task force continued discussions Thursday as to what changes could be made to the way state law approaches qualified immunity for law enforcement officers. Qualified immunity is a court doctrine granting protection for law enforcement officers and other government officials from certain civil…
Only one testifies at first congressional redistricting hearing
By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – The process of redrawing congressional district maps in Illinois got off to a slow start Thursday when only one person showed up to testify at the first legislative public hearing, which was held in Chicago. Ryan Tolley, policy director for the advocacy group CHANGE Illinois, urged…
Plaintiffs: New legislative maps dilute Latino vote
By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – Plaintiffs in two lawsuits challenging the state’s legislative redistricting plan have filed new complaints in federal court charging that the district maps that lawmakers approved in August dilute Latino voting power and thus violate the U.S. Constitution and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The Mexican…