BRIDGEPORT — It’s been a tumultuous few years for the city’s neighborhood schools, with the teachers strike, budget cuts, school closings and layoffs all forcing communities to grapple with challenges of financing reliable public education.
Within the schools, the Local School Councils have helped weather the storms, offering parents and residents greater input into how community schools are run. An LSC's major responsibilities include approving the use of school funds, hiring and evaluating the school's principal and developing and monitoring the annual school improvement plan.
Beginning Monday, residents will again have the chance to elect parents and community members to Local School Councils.
You don’t need to have kids enrolled in a particular school — or kids at all — to cast a ballot. You just need to be at least 18 years old and live within the boundaries of the school where you're planning to vote. Need help determining the boundaries? Check the CPS school locator.
Each LSC consists of six parent representatives and two community representatives, who are elected by the public. Teacher reps and one non-teacher staff member are appointed by the school board, and the principal of a school is automatically an LSC member. High school LSC's also have a student representative.
Council members serve two-year terms, beginning July 1.
Elections are scheduled to take place Monday for elementary schools. For high schools, it’s Tuesday.
Here’s a look at who’s running for election this week. Many of the elections will be uncontested because of low interest from school parents and community members.
Velma Thomas Early Childhood Center, 3625 S. Hoyne Ave.
Parent candidates: Heather Breems, Mario Diaz, Teresa Jimenez, Griselda Martinez, Maria Ortega.
Community candidate: Manjiri Cabrera
Greene Elementary, 3525 S. Honore St.
Parent candidates: Andrea Aldaba, Martha Alfaro, Martha Arroyo, Maria Estrella, Mario Estrella, Christina Hernandez, Karina Macedo, Maria Zuno
Community candidates: Alicia Krok, Maria Suarez
Everett Elementary, 3419 S. Bell Ave.
Parent candidates: Sandra De la Cruz, Claudia Ganem, Karla Jaramillo, Maria Ramirez, Maria Renteria, Mara del Rocio Reyes, Angelica Uribe
Community candidates: Bill Drew and Martha Mendoza
Evergreen Academy Middle School, 3537 S. Paulina Ave.
Parent candidates: Anna Espinosa, Mariselda Garza, Melissa Munoz, Robert Munoz, Ninfa Santillan, Mandi Smith
Community candidates: William Cruz, Suzanne Pletsch
Armour Elementary, 950 W. 33rd Place
Parent candidates: Krissy Guzman, Maria Ibarra, Guadalupe Perez
Community candidates: Jennifer L. Barnett, Mary Cantore, Veronica Heitz, Joe Trutin
Graham Elementary, 4436 S. Union Ave.
Parent candidates: Megan Bracken, Dawn Brewer, Christine Campos, Jacqueline Gibson-Barrett, Donella Hall, Allen Havelka, Jolene Trentz, Dana Valdez
Community candidates: Adam Campbell and Ray Carey
McClellan Elementary, 3527 S. Wallace Ave.
Parent candidates: Rita Cheatham, James Gallas, Katrina Goodman, Josephine Norwood, Melissa Parks, Noribel Rodriguez, Eva Spicka
Community candidates: Ivy Ortiz-Gaston and Maureen Sullivan
Holden Elementary, 1104 SW. 31st St.
Parent Candidates: Luz Flores, Lily Lin, Lillian Renteria
Community candidate: Celeste Pedziwiatr
Healy Elementary, 3010 S. Parnell Ave.
Parent candidates: Jennifer Macchione, Jillian Mai, Miguel Prieto, John Salzman, Simon Shiu,
Community candidates: Americo Calderon, DeGaris Laurence, Jie Liu
Haines Elementary, 247 W. 23rd Place
Parent Candidates: Su Jung Cheng, Kazidi Feng, Kun Li, Natasha McClain, John Wiley, YluWen Zhou
Community candidates: June Coutre, Paul Yee
Sheridan Math and Science Academy, 533 W. 27th St.
Parent candidates: Sharon Arrigo, Jennie Biggs, Barbara Clemens, Tara Henderson-Delgado, Michael Mancine, Amy Ng
Community candidates: Joe Fratto and Mark Munizz
James Ward Elementary, 2701 S. Shields Ave.
Parent candidates: Melissa Burtner, Micky Choi, Elaine Chow, Kathleen Hobbins, Winnie Huang, Carmen Johnson, Dianna Kwan, Anita Lewis, Caili Li, Michelle McGruder, Christopher Rewers, Wanda Roberts-McGee, Lovetta Spencer
Community candidates: Joyce Hiu and Yanfeng Li
Hendricks Elementary, 4316 S. Princeton Ave
Parent candidates: Debra Aldridge, Rhonda Anderson, Valeria Kelly-Harris, Naumbi Mangun
Community candidates: None
Air Force Academy High School, 3630 S. Wells St.
Parent candidates: Carina Chacon, Michele Crump, Mary Jo Eiber, Tamara Helst, Teresa Moore, Georgina Salgado-Chavez, Robert Stegmiller, Vanessa Westley
Community candidates: None yet, but the district says military academies will have their elections wrapped up by April 23.