The Delegate Assembly of District 102 has slated three excellent candidates for the LaGrange District 102 school board and fully endorses their candidacy. Based upon the candidates’ qualifications, experience, and commitment to District 102, all as described below, the Delegate Assembly recommends that you vote for each of them – either during early voting or on April 6.

Michael Melendez: Michael was elected by the District 102 school board as its president and has deftly steered District 102 through the challenges of opening the schools and creating a remote school program in one summer without a road-map. Michael began his career as an educator, and is now an attorney for the University of Illinois, where he advises the University on a variety of matters including student affairs, Title IX, contracts and real estate. 

The Delegate Assembly is very excited that after such a challenging summer, he has decided to continue leading the District 102 board. Michael’s calm and measured process to solve issues in District 102 was demonstrated long before the challenges presented by a pandemic, and we believe he will continue to be an outstanding leader of our district. 

Jessica Mandra: Jessica is a fresh voice to District 102, and the Delegate Assembly is pleased that she decided to take on the challenges that face our district. Jessica holds a master’s degree in management of higher education and has worked in education for the past 12 years in communications. 

She is currently the multimedia designer and has taught as an adjunct professor at Harper College. Her education and teaching experience have given her a deep understanding of how planning, instruction and assessment work together to educate and support our students. 

Through her extensive communication experience, Jessica was instrumental in quickly publicizing and organizing volunteers for the COVID surveillance program allowing our schools to open. She is also the vice chair of Harper College’s equity committee and brings with her extensive knowledge and experience with promoting new methods to make our schools more equitable and accessible to all of our students. 

Ed Campbell: Ed has been on the District 102 board for one-term and the Delegate Assembly could not be more pleased that he has decided on another term. Ed has a Ph.D. in microbiology and immunology, and is a professor at Loyola University. 

Ed spear-headed District 102’s first in the nation surveillance program for COVID, which has allowed early detection of COVID before it can become widespread. Before COVID, Ed was already a valuable member of the board. Ed was the curriculum liaison advocating for the adoption of next generation science standards for our classrooms. 

Ed also assisted in the evaluation and initiation of installing solar panels on the District 102 building, which will be completed this summer. Installation of solar panels will not only reduce the district’s electricity costs, but also further fulfills the board’s goal to operate more sustainably.

The District 102 Delegate Assembly is a nonpartisan, citizens’ caucus that seeks out qualified candidates, reviews applications, conducts interviews and offers endorsements for the District 102 school board.