Judy Pietrobono and Mark Krieger, who are serving currently in interim board positions have both taken on critical roles as Chair of the Personnel and Communications Committee and Chair of Finance respectively.
Judy Pietrobono, who has twenty years of experience as a librarian and is now Department Head, also serves on the curriculum committee. She generously shares her knowledge about literacy, digital learning, personnel, management, policy, and community relations to the work of the board. Judy is a vocal advocate for the needs of our students with disabilities, a strong supporter of the arts in schools, and an advocate for equity in access to educational opportunities. On the personnel committee, Judy asks tough questions, reviews candidates earnestly, and pushes for accountable hiring practices in our district. She is one of the most respectful, kind, and conscientious colleagues I could ask for as a board member.
Mark Krieger has served three terms on the Highland Park Board of Education as Vice President of the Board, Chair of the Finance Committee and a member of the Negotiations Committee. He and his wife, Nora, raised two children in Highland Park who both graduated from Highland Park High School. When Mark interviewed to serve in an interim seat on the board from February 2016 until December 2016, his knowledge of school board function, finance, technology, policy, personnel, and negotiations deeply impressed me. Stepping into a board with members with three or fewer years of experience, Mark immediately became an asset. A natural “teacher”, he has been happy to impart the nuances of past district practices, explain the intricacies of budgets, and sit with the district technology coordinator to review our schools needs and plans. His tenure has been marked by excellence. Working closely with our District Business Administrator, Superintendent, Board President, and building principals, as well as the Finance committee members, he led the effort to develop an accessible, transparent budget process, where community members had ample opportunity to review documents, ask questions, and get answers. Mark brings leadership, expertise, and institutional memory to the Highland Park Board of Education.
An ideal school board works cooperatively and taps into the talents of each of its members, drawing upon their strengths to build strong relationships with the superintendent, administrators, and teachers; maintains transparency and communication with the public; makes fiscally responsible decisions; ensures the curriculum is rich, culturally responsive, and academically challenging; plans for both short term needs and long term goals; and ensures that personnel hiring and retention practices reflect the needs of our district. In 2016 the Highland Park School Board, under the leadership of Board President Darcie Cimarusti, has fulfilled all of these critical roles at a time. While we all may have different opinions or points of view, we are clear that our primary goal is to provide our students, teachers, administration, and community with the highest quality public schools possible.
On November 8th, I urge the Highland Park community to stand with me and vote for Darcie Cimarusti (Ballot Position #1), Judy Pietrobono (Ballot Position #2), and Mark Krieger (Ballot Position #3).
Highland Park Board of Education
Chair, Equity and Excellence Committee