My name is Deanna Zalas and I am asking for your support of my candidacy for District 208 school board. District 208 and RBHS have a strong tradition of excellence and I am looking forward to contributing to both their continued success and continuous improvement.

As a member of the District 208 board, I would support a strategic planning effort to address operational and capital priorities and allow for an informed discussion between students, parents, residents, educators and other stakeholders. Residents of Brookfield and Riverside should be proud of the school in our community, and actively engaged in making decisions around its future success.

With a 20-plus year career in the public sector, I understand the need to balance competing priorities using limited resources. I graduated from Illinois Wesleyan University in 1994 and have a master’s degree from University of Illinois-Springfield. 

I have worked in a number of compliance, operations and human resource positions and am currently employed as the director of risk management for Cook County government. 

In this position I manage employee benefits, workers compensation and insurance matters, prepare budgets including the self-insurance budget for all of Cook County, and assist with labor negotiations and the implementation of various strategic initiatives. 

My background and experience in effectively managing public resources and promoting sound public policy will allow me to quickly become an asset to the District 208 board.

My husband, Michael Marrs, and I have lived in Riverside for the last 13 years. Before that we lived in Chicago and Berwyn but chose to make District 208 our home. I have served on the Riverside Little League Board, the Riverside Economic Development Commission and have volunteered regularly across classrooms and in our community. 

Our three sons are attending or will attend RBHS, and I firmly believe that varied opportunities to engage in service to these communities as well as participate in music, arts and athletics are as important as the academic skills they need to succeed in this rapidly changing world.

With your support, I look forward to being part of a board that prioritizes the hiring of strong educators, dedicated administrators and qualified support staff in support of the shared goal of allowing all students to fulfill their potential.

Deanna Zalas is a candidate for the Riverside-Brookfield High School District 208 Board of Education.