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.”
High School Football: Rice tops Marist as both powers eye playoffs
By Jeff Vorva Correspondent The buzz and postgame emotions from Brother Rice’s 40-21 victory over Marist on Friday was abbreviated. Because the heralded game was played on the final regular season weekend of the year, these area and state powers and bitter rivals quickly turned their attention to the playoff pairings announcements, which came less…
Last home game a winner for Red Stars
By Alison Moran What a way to end a season at home. It was a perfect night for a cool game of soccer, with temperatures in the upper 50s and no rain dampening the field. In front of 4,488 of the Red Stars’ faithful at SeatGeek Stadium in Bridgeview, the Chicago Red Stars defeated KC…
Marie Vachata gets a fond farewell from Lyons
By Steve Metsch Pat Wideman will never forget the first time she met Marie Vachata. “When I first moved to Lyons 50 years ago, she was the very first neighbor who welcomed me to Lyons,” Wideman said while sitting on a bench outside the village hall. Vachata resided two doors down on 46th Street when…
Bridgeview rents out former golf dome site for parking
By Steve Metsch The village of Bridgeview stands to make nearly $5 million by renting out space to park trucks where the golf dome formerly stood. The village will be paid $45,000 per month in an agreement that runs through September 2030. That comes to $540,000 per year and $4.86 million over the nine-year contract.…
High School Football: Mustangs buck Spartans into offseason
By Steve Metsch Correspondent Coming into the regular-season finale, Evergreen Park knew Oak Lawn needed a victory to possibly make the playoffs. The Mustangs, most likely already in the tournament but with a chance to improve their seed, had other plans. “Not on our watch,” senior wide receiver Elijah Matthews said after Evergreen Park defeated…
New map leads to nowhere
By Ray Hanania Chicago politics is a politics of race and ethnicity. It always has been. It’s one reason why in Illinois, race means more than good ideas. Every 10 years, based on a flawed U.S. Census that excludes some races while exaggerating others, states redraw congressional district boundaries. Illinois will lose one seat, reducing…
Boys Soccer: LW Central tops Reavis on PKs for regional crown
By Steve Millar Correspondent Reavis experienced the exhilarating highs and excruciating lows of overtime playoff soccer in the same week during its own IHSA Class 3A regional. After rallying for a thrilling 3-2 overtime over Thornton co-op in the regional semifinals Oct. 19, the Rams dropped a heartbreaker by the same score to top-seeded Lincoln-Way…
High School Football: Richards tops Reavis, wins SSC Red title
By Steve Millar Correspondent A shortened spring season with no playoffs, a 3-3 record and losses to District 218 rivals Shepard and Eisenhower brought some new perspective to a Richards program that is used to dominating the South Suburban Red. The Bulldogs have a new appreciation for accomplishments like the outright SSC Red championship they…
High School Sports Postseason Roundup: Maia, oh, Maia — Sandburg soph finishes in top 8
By Jeff Vorva Correspondent It was cloudy. It was windy. It was rainy. Many people might describe it as a lousy day, but Sandburg sophomore tennis star Maia Loureiro wasn’t complaining. She was playing tennis. In the state tournament. She opened her state career on that crummy Oct. 21 day at Barrington High School with…
UPDATED: Senate passes Parental Notice of Abortion Act repeal amid faith leader, GOP opposition
By JERRY NOWICKI Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Senate advanced a measure to repeal the state’s Parental Notice of Abortion Act early Tuesday evening amid staunch opposition from Republicans and religious groups. The repeal bill passed the Senate Executive Committee on a 9-6-1 vote Tuesday shortly after 5 p.m., and passed the…
Parental Notice of Abortion Act repeal passes committee amid faith leader, GOP opposition
By JERRY NOWICKI Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Senate Executive Committee advanced a measure to repeal the state’s Parental Notice of Abortion Act early Tuesday evening amid staunch opposition from Republicans and religious groups. The repeal bill advanced to the full Senate, which could vote on it as early as Tuesday night.…
Latest congressional maps draw more criticism
By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – The latest draft of a new congressional district map for Illinois met with much of the same criticism as the first draft during a House committee hearing Tuesday. The latest proposal from legislative Democratic leaders was released Saturday. It divides the state into 17 congressional districts,…
CAPITOL RECAP: New congressional map draft unveiled
By CAPITOL NEWS ILLINOIS SPRINGFIELD – Democratic leaders in the General Assembly released a second draft of proposed congressional district maps over the weekend as they prepare to head into the final three days of their fall veto session. Like the first set of maps that were released Oct. 15, the latest draft would create…
Pritzker urges child vaccination as changes to Health Care Right of Conscience Act emerge
By JERRY NOWICKI Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – An amendment to the Health Care Right of Conscience Act that allows an employer to fire a worker for noncompliance with COVID-19 vaccine or test requirements surfaced Monday ahead of the final three scheduled days of legislative action this year. That bill language was introduced in…
Democrats unveil 2nd draft of congressional maps
By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – Democratic leaders in the General Assembly released a second draft of proposed congressional district maps over the weekend as they prepare to head into the final three days of their fall veto session. Like the first set of maps that were released Oct. 15, the latest…
CAPITOL RECAP: Major action expected in veto session’s second week
By CAPITOL NEWS ILLINOIS SPRINGFIELD – The legislative action was light during the General Assembly’s first week of fall session, and lawmakers in both chambers left town a day early after leadership canceled the Thursday session. That means bigger items, such as a vote on congressional maps and potential changes to the Health Care Right…
Pritzker mandates vaccine for day care professionals
By JERRY NOWICKI Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – Gov. JB Pritzker announced an executive order Friday that will add day care personnel to the list of professions that must either be vaccinated against COVID-19 or submit to weekly testing. The governor’s office said it expects the order to affect 55,000 individuals in the state,…
Illinois Supreme Court strikes down Cook County tax on guns
By JERRY NOWICKI Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Supreme Court ruled Thursday that a Cook County tax on gun purchases is unconstitutional, but it left the door open for a more tailored tax that specifically goes toward mitigating gun violence and its effects. The Cook County gun tax, which took effect in…
Public speaks out on proposed congressional maps
By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – Members of the public got their first chance to speak directly to state lawmakers Wednesday about a proposed set of new congressional district maps, and most of those who did were critical of the plan. Democrats in the General Assembly released a proposed new map Friday…