Equity Slate Wood, Stennett, Durr, incumbent Ko win Board of Education election

Photo accredited to District 219

Photo accredited to District 219

On Tuesday, April 2, Equity Slate candidates Amber Wood, Celia Stennett and Ken Durr, along with Board incumbent David Ko, won the 2023 District 219 Board of Education election.

According to a Tweet made by the Niles Township Federation of Teachers and Staff (@NTFT219), Wood won the most, with 17.94% of all votes, followed by Stennett with 15.46%, Ko with 13.94% and Durr with 13.74%.

“We are honored that our platform of inclusion, diversity and integrity spoke to the voters and that this election had the highest turnout we’ve seen in the last three board election cycles. We could not have done this without the deep support of our volunteers, supporters and of course the voters of D219. We are humbled that you chose us to represent your voices on the D219 school board. We all look forward to a new season of hope, equity and safety on the Niles Township High School District 219 Board of Education,” the Equity Slate said in a statement written to North Star News

Wood, according to D219 Equity, promises to foster more community in the district, emphasizing the importance of high school students feeling represented in their schools. She believes that her nonprofit work with the Sisterhood Board of Temple Beth Israel helped her learn how to be a better listener and also how to solve complex issues facing a group. She currently has two kids in Skokie District 69.

Stennett, according to D219 Equity, first began her work in the district as a Parent Mentor in 2019, and later, became a Special Education paraprofessional. She moved from Chicago to Skokie 10 years ago because of the diversity and “quality schools” found within the district. She promises to create a policy with a more “equitable lens,” stressing the importance of “open communication” and empathy to help foster mutual understanding. 

Equity Slate celebrating their win at Sketchbook Brewery. Durr (center left in black “Vote Equity” sweatshirt), Wood (center in white shirt) and Stennett (center right in “Gap” sweatshirt) all pictured. Photo accredited to D219 Equity Candidates

Durr, according to D219 Equity, has lived in Skokie for 10 years and also has a son attending Niles West High School. He works as an enterprise advisor and has also served as an Evanston pastor along with serving on the Skokie/Morton Grove District 69 board. Durr promises to create pathways between elementary schools and District 219 and commits to promoting diversity and inclusion. 

“As we have always affirmed, we are here for all students, families and community members of D219. We look forward to hearing from across the community how we can best serve your students and families to make D219 a truly equitable institution of quality education. We look forward to constructive dialogue and hard work with our fellow D219 board members. 

This election has shown us the power and impact of student voices. From student comments during board meetings, to the student-led forum, we have seen the amazing students of D219 in action and we are looking forward to working with and for all of you,” the Equity Slate said.

Incumbent Ko, according to District 219, has served on the Board of Education for 10 years. Ko grew up in Skokie and attended Niles North. According to Ko, he works to “give back to the community,” by volunteering at Francis and Rush North Shore Hospital and co-founding the We Help Others (W.H.O) Club. According to the Board of Education Candidate Forum, he has balanced the budget, allowing funding for extracurriculars to remain consistent.