Plodding along as the electoral roller coaster spins out of control

  Camiella Williams

Six candidates are running for three six-year terms on the Prairie State Community College District 515 Board of Trustees: Christopher J. Baikauskas, Brunetta Hill-Corley, Marc A. Wiley, Jay Readey, Andre Lewis and Camiella D. Williams. One candidate is running for a single two-year term: John N. Stanfa.

Camiella D. Williams
Education: Associates, applied science, 2012; B.A. interdisciplinary studies, 2015; M.A. political and justice studies, 2017
Occupation: Student support staff
Current employer: Speed S.E.J.A 802
Incumbent: No

Most important issues: Student Community Engagement: Provide opportunities for students to engage the  community using the skills they have learned. Make PSC an integral part of the community. Provide space at PSC for the community to come together. Student operational Excellence: A school administration that works promptly. A school administration that is responsive to student feedback. A school administration that is constantly and fully committed to the well being of the students.

Goals: Fighting to keep Prairie State an affordable community college for people who want to pursue a higher education. Ensure community tax dollars are spent on the student population. Work to include the communities in decision-making processes.

Christopher Baikauskas
Education: M.A. school leadership/principal preparation, Concordia University Chicago, 2015; B.S. marketing, University of Illinois at Chicago, 2007
Occupation: REACH Director
Current employer: Chicago Heights School District 170
Incumbent: Yes. Presently serving as a Trustee at Prairie State Community College District 515 since August, 2015
Other elected positions: Chicago Heights Police and Fire Board, 2015 — present, Chicago Heights Park District 4th Ward Park Commissioner, 2013 — 2015

Most important issues: The important issues I expect to address serving on the Board of Trustees at Prairie State College includes access of education for all students, educational programming for tomorrow’s careers, and fiscal management. First, it is my goal to enhance the access of education for all of our diverse learners of Prairie State Community College District 515 by advocating that every decision that is made is thoughtful and meaningful for all the students that we serve.  Prairie State Community College District 515 is a large district that consists of many people that are from a wide variety of demographical backgrounds.  It is absolutely critical that my representation on the board takes into account the inclusiveness of all the different diverse learners that reside within our district.
     Secondly, ensuring that Prairie State College continues to develop and enhance it’s programming to meet the needs of tomorrow’s industry today by preparing, educating, and developing the workforce of tomorrow with the proper skills and training to make them highly marketable in an ever changing competitive marketplace.
     Finally, fiscal management is a third issue I expect to address on the board. In today’s rocky waters of the state financial crisis, local community college leaders need to be savvy and creative when providing financial solutions to complex financial issues that plague our state-wide community college system.  I will work diligently to advocate for the college’s financial solvency so that our vital service will be provided for future generations of students.

Goals: A goal I have set for being a Trustee at Prairie State College includes being a servant leader for the students, residents, businesses, and school community of Prairie State Community College District 515.  A servant leader in the field education displays an understanding that him/her are a servant first and leader second.  This represents a commitment to serving the best interest of Prairie State Community College District 515’s stakeholders first and foremost. Servant leadership is a promise that the decisions I advocate for are not self-serving, but yet good for the greater good of our community college district.  I will take an honest and objective look at the successes and challenges of our local community college system and work collaboratively with all parties to be solution oriented. I am willing to work together with my fellow board members to keep the future bright for Prairie State College and all of its stakeholders.

  Jay Readey

Jay Readey
Education: B.A. African-American studies/American Studies (dual major), Yale College, 1994; J.D. Yale Law School, 2004; M.B.A. Yale School of Management, 2004.
Occupation/current employers: Real Estate Finance Attorney, Ginsberg Jacobs LLC President & CEO, The MetroAlliance, Inc. (Neighborhood development firm), Board President, NeighborScapes NFP (Youth & Neighborhood Nonprofit), Board Member, South-Southwest Suburban United Way Board Chair, Centers for New Horizons Board Vice-Chair, Healthcare Consortium of Illinois.
Incumbent: No.

Most important issues: The Prairie State College district covers both Rich and Bloom Townships, plus additional parts of other areas.  For many years Rich Township has been underrepresented on the Board.  As an active resident of Rich Township, I seek to add a Rich Township voice to the Board.  And as a participant in several collaborative efforts encompassing all of the South Suburbs for youth development, juvenile justice, and human services, I am well-positioned to represent evenly the interests of all residents of the Prairie State College District.
     Additionally, I want to be an ambassador and advocate on the board for principles that represent good government and cutting-edge community college education practice, including fiscal prudence and ethical governance. Moving more young people from the District into a college opportunity, since the majority of new jobs created require at least an associate’s degree. Keeping college affordable. Matching PSC technical skills offerings with the needs of local employers in fields like radiation therapy, dental hygiene, advanced manufacturing, green manufacturing, and engine repair. Creating employment apprenticeships that make our workforce development system more robust. Managing flexible schedules for working students and older adults seeking career re-training. Expanding and tailoring programs for special-needs populations, including working parents, veterans, high school dropouts, and returning citizens. Expanding PSC’s partnership with One Million Degrees, a revolutionary program encouraging students from disadvantaged backgrounds and low-income families to enroll and complete their educations.

Goals: Preserve fiscal prudence and governing integrity. Strengthen systems for evidence-based decision making and transparent budget accountability. Attend to technology infrastructure and facilities management to maintain a cutting-edge learning environment. Help increase enrollment. Help make connections between career education/pathways and employers in the community. Help increase the availability of student internships and work apprenticeships. Work toward fulfillment of 2013-2017 strategic plan document, and participate in next strategic planning process. Help increase matriculation of PSC grads to 4-year colleges. Increase participation in PSC’s partnership with 1 Million Degrees. Help increase enrollment of veterans, dropouts, returning citizens and special-needs populations. Increase community awareness of educational opportunities and events programming at Prairie State College.

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