During its regularly scheduled meeting May 9, the District 97 Board of Education seated five recently elected members and selected new board officers to serve for the next year.
Newcomer Colleen Burns and incumbents Gavin Kearney, Jung Kim, Cheree Moore and Holly Spurlock were officially sworn in following their election on April 4. Burns was elected to a two-year term, while the incumbents will each serve four-year terms.
Additionally, the board voted unanimously to elect Kearney as its new president and Nancy Ross Dribin as the new vice president. They replace Jung Kim and Venus Hurd Johnson, respectively. Kearney and Ross Dribin will both hold their positions through 2024.
District 97 recognizes and thanks outgoing board member Shyla Kinhal, who provided invaluable leadership during her time on the board.
Get to Know Our Newest Board Member, Colleen Burns
Colleen Burns serves as the chief of staff for the Division of Developmental Disabilities at the Illinois Department of Human Services, overseeing an effective statewide system of person-centered supports and services to individuals with developmental disabilities. She has a long career in public service, most recently leading the work of the Illinois Commission to End Hunger, bringing together the public and private sectors to develop recommendations for ending hunger in Illinois. Prior to this, she helped create the Governor’s Office of Health Innovation and Transformation under the Quinn administration, where she served as policy director supporting the development and design of the state’s health policy agenda. She also served as the special counsel for health policy to the Illinois Department of Insurance and the Governor’s Office, where she was responsible for the state’s efforts to implement the Affordable Care Act including establishing a Health Insurance Marketplace.
In addition to recently completing a four-year term on the Board of Trustees for the Oak Park Public Library, Burns has served on the Village of Oak Park Disability Access Commission and the Board of the Beye Elementary School PTO. She has four children—three at Beye and one joining them in the fall.