Broderick Booth D153_web
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Voters Guide 2021: Homewood School District 153

Review the candidates who will be on the ballot in the March elections for the Homewood School District 153 Board of Education.

(Three 4-year terms)

Review the candidates who will be on the ballot in the March elections for the Homewood School District 153 Board of Education.

(Three 4-year terms)

Broderick L. Booth, Homewood, age 38

Education: B.S. Business Management / Human Resources, Minor in Sociology, Millikin
University; M.A. School Counseling & Guidance, Lewis University; M.Ed. School Leadership, Lewis University; Doctoral Candidate 2021-2022, Lewis University
Occupation: High school counselor and administrator for 16 years, including two years as Dean of Students and Homewood-Flossmoor High School

Current employer: District 233-Homewood-Flossmoor High School as Student Support Counselor
Family: Two sons: Broderick, 9, in 4th grade at Churchill, and Braylon, 7, in 1st grade at Willow
Incumbent? No
Other elected positions? No
Most important issues

  1. Ensure that we have safe, high performing, equitable schools whereby all students learn and grow. Our schools should continue to be responsive to and a destination for families seeking an excellent, supportive environment for their children, while fostering the belief that ALL students are capable of excellence in some capacity.
  2. Assist in the retention and recruitment of the best possible teachers that would allow our students to flourish. Equity has to be the goal in every building and should be evident in curriculum delivery, recruitment of staff, allocation of resources, and treatment of all students.

Goals: I will work to support our teachers and our administrators with their needs for maintaining safe, rigorous and equitable schools.  I will work with all necessary stakeholders to improve our ratings and support opportunities to ensure excellence is the standard for all students, supporting them to reach their optimum and individual highest level of success. Equity has to be the lens by which we make all of our decisions.

Shelly Farber Marks, Homewood, age 65

Education: Indiana University-Bloomington M.A. College Student Personnel Administration, 1978; University of Arizona B.A. Speech Communication & Marketing, 1977
Occupation: Co-owner of Distinctive Jewelers in Homewood; fitness instructor at Intense Conditioning, Homewood.
Current employer: Distinctive Jewelers and Intense Conditioning, Homewood
Family: Married to Steve; four children, Aaron, Kristen, Jeffrey, Lora
Incumbent? Yes, 28 years
Other elected positions? none
Most important issues

  1. Learning recovery due to COVID. We will need to pay special attention to the social- emotional and learning needs as students return to the classroom.
  2. Addressing the impact of the teacher shortage. As a district we need to ensure that we are a place that the most outstanding teachers want to be. This will help us retain and attract new staff members.
  3. Student Achievement. All students need resources, including interventions and enrichment to succeed at the highest academic levels. We need to continue to offer our rich program of music, art, STEM, PE, and extracurriculars for all students to enhance their education.
  4. School Funding. We will continue to find responsible ways to bridge the gap between our underfunded schools and what is needed to provide our students with the education they both need and deserve.
  5. Diversity. One of the strengths of our district is the diversity of our school community.  We will continue to focus on a school environment that celebrates diversity and equity for all.

Goals: My goal is to continue to provide the leadership that our district needs in order to meet our mission statement. All children will learn; all children will be served. I have great faith in our professional staff and want to give them all of the tools they need to ensure that our students’ learning and social-emotional needs are met. We will continue to put students first in all of the decisions we make and to continue to find ways to challenge our students on a daily basis.

Deborah Smith Havighorst, age 53 
Education: B.S., Bradley University; M.S., St. Thomas University
Occupation: Executive Director, Institutional Advancement & Foundation
Current Employer: Prairie State College
Family: Peter, husband; Michael, son, 2012 James Hart graduate, and 2016 Homewood-Flossmoor High School graduate; Katie, daughter, 2009 James Hart graduate, 2013 Illinois Math & Science Academy graduate.
Incumbent: Yes
Other elected positions: Elected to this position 2017, 2013 and 2009. Appointed in 2008.
Important Issues

  1. District finances 
  2. Post-pandemic education 
  3. Social Emotional Learning (SEL)
  4. Transition to new superintendent


  1. The Board of Education is committed to continued fiscal responsibility and transparency.  I have served on the Finance & Property Committee nearly as long as I have served on the Board and will continue to ensure the commitment to mitigate the structural deficit and manage costs while maintaining quality of our schools.
  2. Homewood School District is committed to the promise that “All Children Will Learn. All Children Will Be Served.”  As students return to school the Board will continue to work with administration, teachers, staff and families to address learning loss and remediation post-pandemic.
  3. In the 2018-2023 strategic planning process the committee identified “Social and Emotional Learning” as a goal for the Strategic Plan.  I fully support the district’s work to continue to raise awareness/educate about mental health issues and promote good citizenship and core values in order to help students develop mentally and emotionally and prepare them to be world citizens. 
  4. The district will bid farewell to Dr. Mitchell and thank him for his service as he retires this year and I look forward to supporting Dr. Scott McAlister as he transitions to the new superintendent of HSD 153.

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