Riverside Elementary School District 96 board

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John M. Allegretti

Age: 39

Profession: Attorney, Cook County State's Attorney

Education: Fenwick High School, University of Illinois (BA), St. Thomas University School of Law (law degree).

Political/community experience: Vice president/member, Galewood Montclare Community Organization.

Other experience: Hearing officer for the Illinois Property Tax Appeals Board; former associate in a private law firm that concentrated in real estate property tax appeals; Cook County Assistant State's Attorney, Real Estate Tax Division.

Top three concerns: Ensure revenue and financial viability for District 96 by monitoring and intervening in the real estate assessment process; maximize facility space to serve growing student population; facilitate open communication between parents, teachers and students through scheduled forums and workshops.

Linda Bade

Profession: Nurse anesthetist

Education: DePaul University (BS in nursing; MS in nurse anesthesia), Ravenswood School of Nurse Anesthesia.

Political/community experience: current member of the District 96 board; youth soccer and basketball coach for Riverside Recreation.

Other experience: Pediatric life support instructor; provide anesthesia to children on medical missions in the Philippines and Guatemala.

Top three concerns: Target children who do not meet state test score standards and develop programs to improve their scores; design a program that tracks the academic progress all children from kindergarten through eighth grade and have it be accessible to parents; examine population growth trends to plan for future facility use/expansion.

Cheryl Berdelle

Age: 49

Profession: Attorney

Education: Northwestern University (BA); IIT/Chicago-Kent College of Law (law degree).

Political/community experience: District 96 School board member (1997-present), school board president (2003-05); co-chair, District 96 1997 referendum committee.

Other experience: Admitted to the Illinois Bar in 1982; practice concentrated in family law.

Top three concerns: Facilitating the transition of a new district superintendent/management team; guiding and implementing a new long-range plan; continuing the challenge of maintaining differentiated instruction.

Nancy Jensen

Age: 51

Profession: Homemaker

Education: Iowa State University (BS geology); University of Iowa (MS computer science).

Political/community experience: District 96 school board member (Nov. 2001-present); president Blythe Park PTA (2000-01); active member of the Hauser PTA and Riverside Garden Club.

Top three concerns: Seek out improvements in all areas of District 96 to nurture and challenge every student; monitor growing school enrollment and identify options for facilities; continue fiscal responsibility to make sure every dollar spent is focused on district goals.

Ben Sells

Age: 50

Profession: Writer and owner of Fairwind Sail Charters

Education: University of North Carolina-Greensboro (BA history), Southern Methodist University (MA philosophical psychology), IIT-Chicago-Kent College of Law (law degree).

Political/community experience: Treasurer of 2004 District 96 referendum committee.

Other experience: Teaches sailing; writes and lectures on psychological aspects of contemporary life and culture; has written numerous articles and two books related to the field of psychology; practiced law at Jenner & Block and operated a private psychotherapy practice in Chicago.

Top three concerns: Maintain educational excellence within appropriate fiscal constraints; reform the current tax appeals system; oversee hiring of new teachers and staff.

Richard Volpe

Age: 49

Profession: Attorney

Education: Riverside-Brookfield High School; Eastern Illinois University (BS history, teaching certificate); DePaul University College of Law (law degree).

Political/community experience: District 96 school board member (2001-present), chair of the Finance Committee and member of the Education Committee; former member of the District 96 Long Range Planning Committee; current member, Village of Brookfield Personnel Board; past member, Brookfield Plan Commission; past member, board member Brookfield Kiwanis.

Other experience: Commercial arbitrator for the American Arbitration Association; chair-qualified arbitrator for the Circuit Court of Cook County; active member, Hollywood PTA and Hollywood House Association.

Top three concerns: Provide quality education while supporting small class sizes, cultural experience, character building, fine arts and music; negotiate a fair, fiscally responsible teacher contract; try to impact legislation relating to property tax appeals to ensure fiscal stability.

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