Philip Palmer


Below are candidate-submitted answers to a survey Landmark sent out to all candidates running in this year’s elections.

Age:  53

Office sought:  School Board District #204

Previous political experience: 

  • I currently serve on the LTHS #204 School Board, 2011 – 2015. 
  • I have also served on the LaGrange Highlands #106 School Board, 2007 – 2011.

Previous community involvement: 

  • District #106 Educational Foundation, 1999 – 2007 (2 years as President). 
  • Helping Hand Center Foundation Board, 2003 – 2009.  Prairie Trail Federation Indian Guides & Princesses, 1995 – 2008 (Nation Chief 12 years). LaGrange Business Association. LTCAC member (Lyons Township Community Advisory Council) 2010-2011.


  • LTHS class of 1979
  • University of Denver  1979 – 1983

Occupation:  Co-owner Palmer Place Restaurant & Biergarten in LaGrange


Why do you want to be a school board member? 

I wish to continue as a District #204 School Board member for many reasons, first and foremost I really enjoy it.  Education is dynamic, exciting, sometimes frustrating but never boring.  The LT community is very special and I enjoy working to preserve and enhance it for our students, staff and taxpayers. 


How many school board meetings have you attended in the past year?  I have missed 1 LT school board meeting in the past 4 years.

What is the most important issue facing the next school board, and what should the solution be?  The Board and LT teachers are beginning to bargain a new contract.  In the short term, this new contract is the most important item on the Board’s agenda.  There have been difficult negotiations in neighboring districts recently.  I’m certain we won’t have that acrimony in our negotiations.


If elected, what changes would you like to have accomplished by the end of your term? 

If re-elected I look forward to seeing our district separate from the Lyons Township Treasurers Office.  LT can perform all the duties of the TTO in house, more efficiently and at a greater savings to the taxpayers. 

I also look forward to seeing student achievement increase as a result of programs such as PLC’s which are now fully implemented.  We will also see a 25 minute study hall for every student next year.  The study hall will be used for directed enrichment for students.


If elected, what changes would you most strongly resist? 

The new movement in Illinois to move state testing away from the ACT to PARCC is not in the best interest of the students at LT.  PARCC is not used by colleges and requires students to spend more time out of class for testing. 


What other issues facing the school district are of interest to you?  Why? 

I look forward to continuing the process of improving the technology available to students.  There have been many behind the scene improvements to the district’s technology backbone in the last several years.  We are now testing a “learning management system” and will look at curricular implementation of increased technology in the classroom.  Any curricular or technology changes will only be moved forward if it’s best for student learning.