Local School Council Election News

Chicago's Local School Councils are some of the city's most influential civic bodies. Elected every two years by parents, teachers and community members, LSCs hire and fire school principals, manage discretionary school budgets of in the hundreds of thousands of dollars, and guide individual school curriculums. An active LSC can make a good school great and a neighborhood desirable for new homeowners.

The 2012 elections will take place at all elementary schools from 6:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, April 18. LSC elections take place at all high schools from 6:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, April 19.

Here, we've put together a guide to local schools, a place to look up local candidates and an archive of our LSC coverage. Check back every day for updated candidate information and news on the elections.

Interested in meeting your local candidates? Come to our Center Square Journal LSC Candidate Meet and Greet on April 10 at 7:00 p.m. at the DANK Haus.

School And Candidate Guides

LSC News


Candidates! Submit your information here.

Alicia Haller

Running for Community Representative | Currently on LSC: No | School: Audubon
Having lived in the neighborhood for over 8 years, I have witnessed the dramatic student gains that have been achieved by Audubon Elementary over the past several years. The faculty, staff, students and families have much to be proud of and I have no doubt that the new administration will continue the improvement process. As an educator, I have spent nearly twenty years in leadership positions in K-12, higher education, and philanthropy. I would like to contribute to my community by participating on the Audubon Local School Council. I believe the role of an LSC member is to give voice to the constituency represented, but ultimately all decisions should be determined based on what is in the best interest of the students. If selected to serve the Audubon LSC, I promise to keep the students’ interests at heart and continue the tremendous progress that has been made through the dedicated efforts of the Audubon staff, faculty, students and families. Thank you for giving me this opportunity.
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Angela Wells

Running for Parent Representative | Currently on LSC: Yes | School: Lakeview
I've lived in the Lakeview community since 1974. I served on the LSC at LeMoyne Elementary before its closing, and also at Greeley Elementary. As a pro-active parent, I have had amazing success with CPS as my daughter graduated from Walter Payton High School in 2007 and from Stanford University in June 2011. My son has high functioning autism, and has done very well at Lakeview, and I am looking forward to working with the staff to take Lakeview High School to the next level. I'm impressed with the curriculum at Lakeview, and would like to see more parental involvement so that our children will get the quality education they deserve.
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Dawn Guerra

Running for Parent Representative | Currently on LSC: Yes | School: Waters
These days I am a Parent first and an LSC member second. My Husband and I have been Married for 16 years and have been blessed with an exceptional child. He is all of 11 and we love him. I am a seasoned seamstress and have a degree in Fashion Design. Currently I am organizing a summer sewing camp. This project has been in the works for quite sometime and I am excited to see it come to fruition. I am a lover of nature which is one of the reasons we are at Waters Elementary. I am forever thinking of ways to make things work better thru common sense. It seems the most difficult challenges are solved by the simplest means. I am creative by nature. I am honest, caring and believe everyone should be treated fairly. I feel that growth does not come without compromise.
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Scott Kalmus

Running for Parent Representative | Currently on LSC: No | School: Hamilton
As a parent with a son entering kindergarten in the fall and a daughter that can enroll in Hamilton’s preschool program in the fall of 2014, I have a vested interest in fostering both the short and long term success at Hamilton. I believe we are all very fortunate to already have a fantastic principal and dedicated staff, so if elected to the LSC I will make it my goal to do whatever I can to support their mission of providing our children with the best education that we possibly can. Even in these times of tightened budgets and reduced school funding, I firmly believe that with the dedication of parents and the school administration we can achieve a balance between putting the educational needs of our children first while still providing our teachers with the respect they deserve and the right tools and resources to be successful in the classroom.
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Joseph Tollefson

Running for Community Representative | Currently on LSC: No | School: Ravenswood
Already working with so many students in the Chicago Public Schools, Joseph Tollefson is continuing his commitment to affect his community a little closer to home. A graduate of Columbia College, Joseph works in the non-profit sector for Genesys Works – Chicago, a community based organization that works with high school seniors in some of Chicago’s most challenging neighborhoods on the South and West sides. The impact of Joseph’s work is staggering, training and providing his students with the tools and opportunities needed to find success in life through meaningful internships at some of Chicago’s largest corporations. Joseph works with youth, inspiring them to excel not just in school, but also in college and in their careers. Joseph believes that the basis for improvements in any
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Jennifer Jackson

Running for Parent Representative | Currently on LSC: No | School: Lane Tech
20 Years Strong...DST!
As a proud parent of a 7th grade Lane Tech Academic Center student, I am excited about running for parent representative for the 2012 local school council.  I have previous LSC experience, having been the Vice-President of the LSC at Nettelhorst Elementary during the last two-year term. I am asking for you support in the current LSC election at Lane Tech.  It is important to have diverse representation on the LSC, which includes representation from LTAC. Having moved here from Ohio, I didn’t know much about the school system.  I had no idea how competitive the high school selection process was.   I was amazed at the efforts parents had to go thru to ensure their child gets into a quality school. Fortunately, I learned about the Academic Center in time to consider it as an option.  And as we are midway through the first year for LTAC, I am thoroughly impressed with the program and school as a whole.  Lane Tech offers challenging academics, has a diverse student population, qualified teachers with low turnover and great extra-curricular activities and sports programming.  And the rich history of the school speaks volumes.
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Jay Hoffman

Running for Community Representative | Currently on LSC: No | School: Waters
My wife and I have lived in Lincoln Square for 7 years. For over 15 years, I have taught adult literacy through Literacy Chicago and the Tibetan Resettlement Project. I have been a litigation attorney for 25 years and, after a public school upbringing, graduated from Northwestern Univ. and Georgetown Law School. I am an active outdoorsperson, and my wife and I enjoying kayaking on the getting-cleaner Chicago River.
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Allison Freedman

Running for Parent Representative | Currently on LSC: No | School: Coonley
My name is Allison Freedman, and I am running for parent representative on the LSC. I have two boys currently at Coonley, one in kindergarten and one in second grade. I am a product of public education and I have a deep commitment to public school - it was that commitment that compelled my family to move into the Coonley district prior to my eldest starting kindergarten. Since moving into the neighborhood, I have been active with the Friends of Coonley, the Extended Day Committee, and volunteering whenever I can. As an attorney, my strengths lie in focusing on problems, finding solutions, and negotiating through different viewpoints to come up with the solution that best suits the situation. I hope to do the same at Coonley on the LSC.
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Doug Mulderink

Running for Parent Representative | Currently on LSC: Yes | School: Coonley
I am running for Parent Representative for the Local School Council (LSC) of Coonley School. I am the parent of two Coonley students, a local business owner, and a North Center resident. My children have attended Coonley for four years. Matthew is a third grader and Anna is in first grade. I first got involved with Coonley School over five years ago helping with the redesign of the outdoor space including the field, playground and green space. Since I first became involved, I have continued to work on the school facilities. I currently serve on the LSC as the Chair of the Grounds & Facilities committee. I have worked with CPS representatives on the 2008 Renovation Project and the 2010 ADA/Elevator Project.
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Brandee Tavano

Running for Parent Representative | Currently on LSC: Yes | School: Chappell
I have been on the LSC at Chappell for 2 years and have been the President since July of 2011. I am a stay-at-home mom and hold a bachelor's degree from Northwestern University. My son is a second grader and has been at Chappell since Kindergarten. I am very active at the school where I help out in the library, computer lab, and in my son's class. I am also on hand for picture days, book fair days, and field trips. Last year I organized a fundraiser that raised money for Chappell and brought our school community closer together. My daily involvement with the parents and students of Chappell helps me understand their concerns and the issues our students face, and in turn I bring those concerns to the LSC to be addressed.
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Thomas Evans

Running for Parent Representative | Currently on LSC: Yes | School: Coonley
My name is Tom Evans and I am currently serving as parent representative on the Coonley Local School Council. My wife (Meg) and I have two daughters who attend Coonley. Our oldest is in the fourth grade Options program and our youngest is in the first grade neighborhood program. Three years ago we move into the Coonley district so both of our daughter’s could attend Coonley together. I am licensed by the State of Illinois as a Certified Public Accountant and have my Masters of Taxation. I have spent the last 23 years advising clients on financial, tax and legislative matters. I also serve at tax council for two public charities.
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Heidi Kafka

Running for Community Representative | Currently on LSC: Yes | School: Chappell
I have lived in the neighborhood for 18 years and have two sons that will be attending CPS high schools this fall. I have served on the Chappell LSC for eight years, and seven of those years I been the LSC secretary. I take my responsibilities very seriously, and my attendance record over 8 years is a testament to my dedication. The Chappell LSC has made great strides in recent years, most notably the hiring of Joseph Peila as principal. Under Mr. Peila, Chappell has bloomed into a vibrant learning community that the students, parents and teacher are proud of. Test scores have risen, and the academic rigor has increased. I am excited to have the opportunity to run for another two year term and continue to help Chappell grow and improve.
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Steven Bines

Running for Community Representative | Currently on LSC: Yes | School: Lakeview
Steven Bines MD attended the University of Wisconsin where he received a Bachelor of Arts-General degree. He then attended Rush Medical College in Chicago Illinois. He did his internship in surgery at the Mayo Clinic, Rochester Minnesota. He completed his general surgery training at Rush-Presbyterian St. Luke’s Medical Center in Chicago Illinois (now known as Rush University Medical Center, RUMC). During his surgical residency, he completed a Masters in Surgery at the University of Illinois, Medical Center Campus. After finishing his general surgery residency and master’s degree, he completed a two year fellow ship in surgical oncology at MD Anderson Hospital and tumor institute, Houston, Texas. He then became an attending at RUMC where he served as director of surgical research.
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William Helm

Running for Community Representative | Currently on LSC: Yes | School: Amundsen
William A. Helm has been an active and dedicated member of the community for over twenty five years. His deep sense of responsibility to the community, coupled with his belief that civic engagement can effect positive change, has led him to volunteer his time and talents to many organizations and projects in the neighborhood. Mr. Helm was the former Deputy Superintendent of the Cook County Forest Preserve District. As Deputy Superintendent of the Forest Preserve District, Mr. Helm was responsible for balancing the yearly budgets and after his tenure left the FPDCC with a budget surplus, one of the only local government units to have a surplus rather than a deficit. He is now a Director of Operations for the Illinois Department of Transportation.
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William Baker

Running for Community Representative | Currently on LSC: No | School: Waters
I am a seven-year resident of the neighborhood. My wife, Angela, and I are expecting our first child in late summer, and we are excited to raise our little one in such an engaged, thoughtful community. Professionally, I am a curriculum developer for the Center for Elementary Math and Science Education at the University of Chicago. We apply the latest research in education and psychology to develop new instructional designs for math and science. We then work with teachers and administrators to test and implement these new approaches in the classroom.
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