Four Grayslake and Hainesville residents announce their candidacies for the 2013 Community Consolidated School District #46 school board election.
Jill N. Alfrejd, Robert Roop, Jr., Steven Strack, and James Weidman will run as “Focus on Education” for four open seats in the district; each unpaid seat holds a four-year term. The election is Tuesday, April 9, 2013.
The four individuals from varying backgrounds have stepped forward with the intent to bring reasonable, rational and dedicated voices back to public education for the area’s children and community at-large. Together their children attend five of the district’s seven elementary, intermediate and middle schools.
“All of us are concerned about the state of affairs in the district. We have a common interest to help our schools and the communities in which they reside.” said Roop, Jr. “We didn’t all know each other at the outset, but a sense of doing the right thing brought us together through neighbors, friends and colleagues – something akin to ‘kitchen table’ meetings. We know we don’t agree on everything, but we respect each other and have the capacity to listen to ideas.”
With professional backgrounds ranging in finance, economics, sociology, community and public service, and the arts, the group hopes to take their collective experience to navigate the district through current and long-term issues, many of which have been at an impasse.
“First and foremost we have agreed to have civil discussions as board members even in times of disagreement. The responsibility of any school board member is far too great to allow personal agendas and lack of diligence at meetings,” said Alfrejd.
Focus on Education’s platform includes:
Excellence in Education
Community Collaboration and Advocacy
“Leadership comes from within,” said Weidman, “I think the district needs to be able to move forward in a meaningful way, and I think there are some positive things we can accomplish. If we involve the community and try to work with village leaders, we hope to improve the image of the district in addition to improving the financial position of the district and maintain the quality of education offered.”
Strack has attended many of the district board meetings during the past two years and hopes to add more direction, definition and focus.
“I believe it is important to look at the district with a long view. Short-term solutions – or no solutions at all -- have long-term effects. This is a problem not just for the district, but for our entire community,” said Strack. “With the financial conditions in disarray, it is critical now to have a working group of individuals willing to thoughtfully look at the district’s issues through a new lens.”
Jill Alfrejd has lived in Grayslake since 1998. Married 24 years, she has three children at Woodview Elementary. She holds a BA in Sociology from Michigan State University. Alfrejd has more than 10 years of work experience in the non-profit sector, with extensive experience working with professional boards at the local, state, and national level. She is currently the Public Relations Coordinator at the Grayslake Area Public Library. Alfrejd also serves as Co-President of the D46 Education Foundation. Additionally, with another Woodview parent, she spearheaded the efforts to bring Destination Imagination to students of D46 schools. Email: email@example.com
Rob Roop has lived in Grayslake since 2006. Married for 12 years, he has two children at Meadowview Elementary. Roop has a BS degree in Economics from Radford University and an MBA from the University of Miami. He has 15 years of private-sector experience managing large customer operation projects and information technology for companies like AT&T, Wells Fargo and Citibank. He is currently a Sales Engineer for Salesforce.com. Roop is a member of the Grayslake Exchange Club and is on the Board of Directors of the D46 Education Foundation. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Steven Strack holds a BA from Augustana College (IL) and an MBA from Keller Graduate School of Management. He has more than 17 years experience in the automotive financing industry ranging from contract funding to process improvement. He is the business continuity manager at VW Credit, Inc. He is a member of Augustana’s Chicago Advisory Group for strategic planning. Strack volunteer coached Science Olympiad and for five years participated in the Grayslake/Round Lake Area’s Relay for Life. Married for 18 years and a Hainesville resident since 1999, his two children attend Prairieview Elementary and Grayslake Middle School. Email: email@example.com
Jim Weidman is a lifelong Grayslake resident and has served more than 23 years with the Grayslake Fire Protection District. He is currently the battalion chief at Station One in downtown Grayslake. He has a BA in fire science management from Southern Illinois University. He is married with three children at Grayslake Middle School, Frederick and Woodview. Weidman has volunteered for the American Youth Soccer Organization and has organized Troop Care Package drives to support overseas military in 2011 and 2013. He has also sold pink fire department T-shirts as part of the “Real Men Wear Pink” fundraiser for the Susan G. Komen Foundation. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Post submitted by Jill Alfrejd
Editor's Note: Resident Paul J. Sprenger is also seeking election to the D46 School Board, running as an independent candidate.