Education, Local News

D161 selects Theartris Childress III to serve on the board

On Monday, board members appointed Theartris Childress III as the newest member of the Flossmoor School District 161 Board of Education.

Childress was not present at the board meeting but provided a statement through a press release from the district. 

Theartris Childress

“I am thrilled to be appointed to the School District 161 Board of Education, where I am eager to contribute as an educator, my passion for fostering family empowerment and my unwavering commitment to the youth in our community,” said Childress. “I am enthusiastic about the opportunity to help cultivate an inclusive, safe and equitable educational environment within our district, where our students can not only learn, but also thrive, inspire one another and have the freedom to showcase their unique gifts and talents, ultimately uncovering new strengths, insights and passions along the way.”

Childress holds a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from Xavier University and a doctorate degree in educational leadership from National Louis University. His professional journey has included roles as a principal, director of curriculum and instruction, director of advisory services and he currently serves as the executive director at Transformations Advisory Group.


Carolyn Griggs, president of the board, expressed the team’s enthusiasm about the new appointment, stating: “Tre brings a wealth of experience to the board as a former teacher, administrator and current educational consultant. The team is excited to begin focusing on the important work in District 161 with him.” 

Childress and his family have been residents of Homewood for the past eight years. He has a personal connection to the district as one of his children currently attends school in Flossmoor School District 161. The family also sent a child to Parker Junior High School who has graduated from Homewood-Flossmoor High School.

Superintendent Dana Smith approved the appointment of Childress to the district board, emphasizing his deep involvement as a parent. 

“The addition of Dr. Childress III to the District 161 Board of Education is a win for our students, staff, and community,” said Smith. “He has been a very involved parent and valuable member of our District Leadership Team, and I know that he will immediately contribute to improving our practices and outcomes for children.”

Childress ran for the board in the April 2023 election but came up just short of winning one of three open seats. He received 1,537 votes, 120 behind the third-place candidate.

The board was required to fill the vacancy after Aracelis Janelle Scharon resigned for personal reasons at the end of August. Voters will choose who fills the seat again in the next consolidated general election, scheduled for Apr. 1, 2025.

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