School Board Candidate Profiles for April 2019 Consolidated Election

Oak Lawn-Hometown School District 123 will have three school board seats to be filled at the April 2, 2019 Consolidated Election. Candidates who are elected will fill four-year terms expiring in April 2023.

Six individuals have filled as candidates for three District 123 school board seats. District 123 has requested a candidate statement from all six candidates, and they can be found in alphabetical order on the page below. As we receive additional candidate statements, we will share them on this page.

John Byrne Robert Charles Crosby, II Jennifer Fortier
Julie Misner
Beverly ‘Becky’ L. Pacetti Theresa M. Roche

John Byrne

My name is John Byrne. I would like to be part of the District 123 Board of Education. My educational experience spans teaching pre-school through graduate school over the past 48 years. I spent sixteen years in elementary schools working with both regular and special education students. The remaining 32 years were spent in high school special education and administrative positions. I grew up in Mount Greenwood and met my wife at Chicago State University. Soon after we began teaching, we bought our first home in Alsip. Several years later, we moved to Oak Lawn where have lived for 30 years. We have three married children and eight grandchildren. One of our grandchildren is an eighth grader at OLMS. We will soon have a preschooler at Kolmar. We both continued our educations, basically taking turns going back to school. I earned a masters in special education, a certificate in special education administration and finally a doctorate from Loyola University in 1999. I have served in several administrative positions including Superintendent of District 218. I am aware of the great accomplishments of District 123 in academics, professional development and facilities. The BOE, Administration and Staff should be commended for all of these accomplishments and for maintaining the District’s financial stability. My granddaughter’s experiences at Kolmar and OLMS have allowed me to become aware of all of the District’s programs, assistance, and collaboration with other Oak Lawn organizations. I have been especially impressed with the level of communication the teachers of District 123 provide for parents. I would like to join the District 123 team and contribute to their efforts to continue its tradition of educational excellence for students, parents and our community.

Jennifer Fortier

(Incumbent) Spending four more years devoting my time to serving the students, families, teachers and community members of District 123 would be an honor. With my first term coming to an end, I’m proud of our current board for so many reasons: continuously earning the ASBO Meritorious Budget Award, adding more coaches to support teachers and promote individualized learning, continuously working to engage the whole community in district affairs and our ability (as one board) to respectfully and fully dedicate to working together for the success of the whole district, the community and each child.

Moving forward, the school district will inevitably be presented with challenges. I am fully committed to offering my time, experience and knowledge to meetings, on-going professional development and representing the district at conferences.
Currently, in addition to our regular meetings, I also serve as the board’s representative for the South Cooperative Organization for Public Education (SCOPE) and the D123 EL Counsel. I am a member of the Friends of the Education Foundation. Plus in October of 2018, I reached Master Board Level Status through my commitment to professional development.

Furthermore, I have been a resident of Oak Lawn, within D123 boundaries for 16 years now. I have 2 children who attend Kolmar and one more will begin in the Fall 2019. Professionally, I taught secondary education in CPS for 10 years. During this time, in addition to being a classroom teacher, I was a member of the Instructional Leadership Team, I was Co-Department Chair, a Small Learning Community Lead and I achieved National Board Teaching status. Then after my 3rd child was born I transitioned to be at home.

I consider myself lucky to be apart of this community. My commitment to the district is strong and I would like nothing more than to continue to serve you. I would appreciate your support on April 2, 2019.

Julie Misner

(Incumbent) My name is Julie Misner. I am a lifelong resident and a proud graduate of D123. I’ve been married to my husband Mike for 31 years and we have 4 wonderful daughters that attended Covington School and are proud graduates of OLHMS.

Throughout my service on the Board, I’ve had the pleasure of working with many amazing people that have been dedicated to maintaining the high quality education that D123 offers. I have developed a strong rapport within the district that continues today. I served as the board secretary from 2009-2013, was involved in 2 successful superintendent searches, took part in 3 union contract negotiations, helped with the development of 2 strategic plans, and was part of the team that introduced 1:1 technology in D123. Together, we helped redefine technology, transparency and trust within the district and the community.

Our district has 5 elementary schools. Currently, 3 BOE members represent the Sward area and 3 BOE members represent the Kolmar area. Although I no longer have a student at Covington, I still have strong relationships in the area and feel that it is important to receive representation from all areas of the district whenever possible.

As a lifelong resident and graduate of D123, I am committed to the students and community that we serve as volunteer members of the Board of Education. Serving on the D123 BOE has been both challenging and rewarding. I am proud to be a part of it and look forward to the possibility of another 4 years of service.

I ask that you offer me your vote on April 2nd and in return, you have my continued commitment to this amazing district and the community that I have the privilege to serve. Thank You! Julie


Beverly “Becky” Pacetti

My name is Becky Pacetti, and I would like to serve as a member of the Oak Lawn-Hometown School District 123 Board of Education. I am a 47 year resident of Oak Lawn and attended Gasteyer SchooI, graduated from Sward School in 1975 and OLCHS in 1979. We bought our house in St. Germaine Parish in 1986, and I still reside in the same home today.

I decided later in life that I wanted to teach. My inspiration to teach English came from my 8th grade English teacher at Sward, Mrs. Mary Ellen Archer. A 42-year teacher in District 123, Mrs. Archer made every lesson interesting and challenged us to do our best. She was the kind of teacher I wanted to be.

I received my degree in education in 2002 and was hired to teach English at Brother Rice High School. Currently, I teach freshman and senior English and I am the Director of Student Activities. I serve on the Principal’s Advisory Committee, the President’s Administrative Team, and the Technology Committee, which introduced a 1:1 Chromebook initiative four years ago. I am also a Google-certified educator and an AdvancED “eleot” certified observer. I am proud of the work I have done at Brother Rice, and I look forward to continuing a very satisfying career.

So why do I, as a Catholic school educator, want to be a member of the District 123 School Board? The answer is simple – good schools = good community.

A strong, dynamic public school district is of benefit to everyone in our community, no matter what educational choices we make for our children. A dynamic District 123 is attractive to young families looking for a new home. A dynamic District 123 assures current homeowners high values on their properties. As a 47-year resident who would like to enjoy my home for at least 20 years more, I want Oak Lawn to remain vibrant for all of us, and a well-managed, dynamic District 123 will help contribute to that end. I hope I can count on your vote on April 2; I welcome the opportunity to serve.

Theresa Roche

(Incumbent) My name is Theresa Roche and I am running for re-election. I have served on the school Board for the past 10 years, and I am extremely proud of the collaborative goals the School Board, administration, and staff have accomplished during my tenure. I would be honored to represent you on the Board for four more years and continue building on this positive momentum.

I was born and raised in Oak Lawn, and I chose to raise my 3 children in Oak Lawn and send them to District 123 schools. Through my involvement in the D123 Educational Foundation, PTA, Religious Education at St. Linus, Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, and many other programs, I have learned what is important to our community members.

My education and experience as a lawyer, as well as my experience with District 123 programs and other community initiatives, allows me to bring a unique perspective to the Board. It is crucial for Board Members to remember that they represent the entire community, not just the families with children attending our schools. The Board’s commitment to operating with a balanced budget, as opposed to deficit spending like many other school Boards, allowed us to achieve stability in our programs. Together with other community members, we developed multi-year plans to ensure our funds would last and our children would be taken care of without having to ask the community for additional funding.

In addition to financial challenges, our Board faces many difficult decisions in the coming years. My extensive Board experience, dedication to education, and passion for our community will help position our district to make sound decisions. I welcome the challenges that lie ahead and would appreciate your support on April 2nd.