Austin LSCs elect new members, some schools citywide still looking to fill vacant seats

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About 6,500 Chicagoans ran for their CPS’ Local School Council last week, but according to Chicago Public Schools, 31 schools across the city, and at least one in Austin, don’t have a full elected council.

CPS announced Friday that supplemental elections for the 31 schools with remaining vacant seats will take place May 18.

Michele Clark High School, 5101 W. Harrison St., is the only Austin school slated for a supplemental election. Just two parents ran for the six slots, and none of the teacher, student or non-teacher positions are filled.

Piccolo Elementary, just outside Austin’s borders at 1040 N. Keeler Ave., will also have another election. Not one candidate ran for the council.

Other schools in Austin have vacant seats but are not on CPS’ list for a supplemental election.

Some of those schools include Louis Armstrong Elementary, which is short one community representative; Frederick Douglass Community Academy, short two parents and one teacher; Horatio May Elementary, short one parent;  and McNair Elementary; short a parent and non-teaching school staff member.

At these schools, the elected LSC, which will take over July 1, will have to appoint candidates to fill the spots, said Don Moore, executive director of Designs for Change, an organization that works to improve urban public schools. Designs for Change also helped recruit candidates for this year’s LSC elections.

“That’s the way it’s always been,” Moore said.

He said this procedure is not only used to fill vacant seats during an election year, but also in situations where elected LSC members move or say they are no longer interested in serving on the council. The LSC will appoint a candidate, then vote the candidate to the council, Moore said.

Although some schools have vacant seats, Moore considers the turnout of candidates a “tenacity test” of the people who want to serve on the councils despite CPS’ “uncoordinated” recruitment process this election cycle.

“The fact that we have just as many candidates as we did in the last election is a testament to the fact that people are really determined to use the democratic powers that they were given by the legislation in 1988,” he said.

Moore said that of the 11 LSC elections he’s been involved in, he’s never waited so long to receive candidate information from CPS that could potentially help with his and other organizations’ LSC recruitment process.

He said that after the election was extended this year from March 8 to March 23, the Office of LSC Relations was supposed to send out to the public a full list of all the schools that had LSCs and whether they had candidates.

But the first list Designs for Change and other organizations received was for the schools that already had registered candidates.

“We said this is critical that we have all the schools that have a LSC,” Moore said. “The ones that have no candidates are the ones we want to focus on most.”

Designs for Change complained to CPS that the list was not accurate.

“That also raises the question of how much effort the Office of LSC Relations had put into recruit at that point when they only produced 2,000 candidates before the deadline, and they didn’t have an accurate list of schools with LSCs,” More said.

AustinTalks also experienced difficulties in receiving information from CPS. While communications staff denied any delays in conversations with AustinTalks, they said they’re working on improving communication and processes to get information to the public, including providing an interactive map that will soon show election results.

CPS CEO Jean-Claude Brizard said in a press release that CPS “worked very hard this year on candidate recruitment.” And CPS communications staff agree.

“The district held four rallies across the city and raised awareness of the LSC candidate filings through parent letters, calls and e-mails, school meetings, principal and network trainings, the CPS web site, and social media outreach on Facebook and Twitter,”spokeswoman Jamila Johnson said.

At least one candidate, who ran for re-election April 19 but lost her community representative position on Douglass Academy High School’s LSC, is charging election wrong-doing at the school. Catherine Jones said electioneering took place within the polling place. Electioneering, such as promoting a candidate or passing out flyers, is only allowed outside of the polling place.

Jones, who said she believes she lost her community representative seat to candidate John Oliver because of the alleged electioneering, filed an election petition shortly after the results were announced to CPS’ law department.

“They cheated,” she said in a phone interview on April 20.

“I was told staff was saying to vote for Mr. Oliver … that’s electioneering. You can’t do that.”

She’s also calling on CPS to look into the election results at Emmet Elementary School, 5500 W. Madison St., where she suspects voter fraud took place.

Jones said she voted for parent candidate Latrice Parnell– and knows Parnell also voted for herself. Jones said there should have been at least two votes for Parnell, but the results summary posted at the school says the candidate received zero votes.

“We have received these complaints in our legal department,” said CPS spokeswman Robyn Ziegler. “We are processing them and will — as we do with all complaints and challenges – carefully review them to determine whether they warrant a Post-Election Challenge hearing.”

Candidates interested in applying for one of Clark’s or Piccolo’s vacant seats, or vacancies at other schools CPS identified, must submit nominating forms at the school of the LSC they are running for between April 25 to May 9, according to a CPS press release.

Schools will hold candidate forums on May 14th and 16th, with the election on May 18th. The nominating forms, along with additional information, can be found on the Local School Council’s election page, and at schools holding supplemental elections.

LSC election results

*Not all Austin-Area schools are represented. Please visit the individual school or call the CPS Office of LSC Relations to find the elected candidates for schools not listed.

Louis Armstrong Elementary

  • Parents
  • Althea Barr
  • Margaret Berry
  • Kimberly Cooper
  • Sujuan Deanes
  • Helen Ford
  • Tamme Norwood
  • Community Representatives (SHORT ONE SPOT)
  • Sharon Jones
  • Teachers
  • David Abed
  • Nicole Shere
  • Non-Teacher
  • Jesse Rooks

Milton Brunson Elementary School

  • Parents
  • Nivea Coulter- 10 votes
  • Jerome Cox- 30 votes
  • Michelle Hood- 20 votes
  • Cassandra Johnson- 16 votes
  • Alisha Lindsey- 12 votes
  • Akeeyasha Rodgers- 16 votes
  • Community Representatives
  • James Ruffin- 32 votes
  • Brandon Johnson- 19
  • Teachers
  • DeeDra Perry- 18 votes
  • Cozette Wendemu- 17 votes
  • Non-Teacher
  • Irma Archibald- 16 votes

Michele Clark High School

  • Parents (SHORT FOUR SPOTS)
  • Sherrie Blumingberg- 7 votes
  • Flanella Lindsey- 6 votes
  • Community Representatives
  • Paul Boyce- 8 votes
  • Anita Jackson-Johnson- 6 votes

Fredrick Douglass Academy High School

  • Parents (SHORT TWO SPOTS)
  • Harold Washington- 40 votes
  • Shanta Brown- 27 votes
  • Evelene Gordon- 25 votes
  • Misty Brown- 24 votes
  • Community Representatives
  • John Oliver- 43 votes
  • Betty Robinson- 42 votes
  • Teachers (SHORT ONE SPOT)
  • Gerald Roberson- 26 votes
  • Non-Teacher
  • Carolyn Randle- 26 votes

Leland Elementary

  • Parents
  • Tonik Dockery- 16 votes
  • Tashunda Cooper- 15 votes
  • Alvinia Johnson- 10 votes
  • Margaret Berry- 22 votes
  • Marlene Collins- 21 votes
  • Angela Holman- 17 votes
  • Community Representatives
  • Jacqueline Carter- 18 votes
  • Emmaretta Poole- 13 votes
  • Sherri Blumingberg- 13 votes
  • Teacher Representatives
  • Susan Lee Warner- 15
  • Althea Poole- 8 votes
  • Non-Teacher
  • Mary Woods- 17 votes

Leslie Lewis Elementary

  • Parents
  • Lashonda Williams- 31 votes
  • Christine Edwards- 31 votes
  • Tatrice Green- 21 votes
  • Adanelle Gozzola- 19 votes
  • Lashonda Edwards- 25 votes
  • Leola Smith- 27 votes
  • Community Representatives
  • Janice Holmes- 34 votes
  • Wanda Hopkins- 32 votes
  • Teachers
  • Marci Haynes- 31 votes
  • Shontrece Wilson- 17 votes
  • Non-Teacher
  • Leon Burch- 23 votes

Horatio May Elementary

  • Parents (ONE PARENT SHORT)
  • Michelle Harris- 18 votes
  • Brenda Tyler- 13 votes
  • Lori Caples- 10 votes
  • Tondrea James- 9 votes
  • Grady Griffin- 8 votes
  • Community Representatives
  • Michelle Young- 17 votes
  • Anita Hayes- 12 votes
  • Teachers
  • Brandy Bolden- 23 votes
  • Jeffrey Hetrick- 19 votes
  • Non-teacher
  • Gloria Jones- 20

McNair Elementary

  • Parents (ONE PARENT SHORT)
  • Mary Moore- 24 votes
  • Brittanya Griffin- 17 votes
  • Monique Riley- 15 votes
  • Sheena Watkins- 15 votes
  • Iesha Walker- 10 votes
  • Community Representatives
  • Maxine Wilson- 21 votes
  • Louise Gibbs- 23 votes
  • Teacher
  • Barbara Johnson- 24 votes
  • Deborah McKnuckles- 22 votes

Henry H. Nash Elementary

  • Parents
  • Tammy Alexander – 15 votes
  • Jackie Williams- 18 votes
  • Araceli Salazar- 13 votes
  • Mercie Portis- 8 votes
  • Barbara Hollins- 12 votes
  • Brittany Garner- 5 votes
  • Community Representatives
  • Gloria Moore- 22 votes
  • Barbara Butler- 12 votes
  • Teachers
  • Nathan Clark- 8 votes
  • Thomas Harris- 15 votes
  • Non-Teacher
  • Kevin Cuellar- 6 votes

Ella Flagg Young Elementary

  • Parents (TIE)
  • Melinda Banks- 24 votes
  • Earlean Green- 38 votes
  • Lavette Smith- 18 votes
  • Mary Alexander- 18 votes
  • Faye Edwards- 21 votes
  • Latisha Lee- 19 votes
  • Marvin Sykes- 34 votes
  • Community Representatives
  • Shernet Strawder- 34 votes
  • Cornell Tarmby- 33 votes
  • Teachers
  • Luceal Rogers- 26 votes
  • Geraldine Caho- 29 votes
  • Non-Teacher
  • Charles Dunlap- 12 votes

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