CALUMET CITY | A 16-year Calumet City resident who has three children attending Thornton Fractional North High School will fill a vacancy on the District 215 School Board and serve until 2015.
Board members voted 6-0 to appoint Miacole Nelson to complete the term of Joe del Real, who resigned because of a job transfer that required him to move from the Chicago area.
Nelson, according to School Board President Richard Dust, was one of six people who responded to advertisements posted on the district’s website. All were interviewed by the School Board at a special meeting held in closed session earlier this month, and the board decided informally on Nelson at that time.
A vote to formally put her on the board did not occur, however, until Tuesday. School Board members had little to say publicly about the move.
“There’s no discussion, because the six of us chose this person together,” Dust said.
Nelson, a native of the Pill Hill neighborhood in Chicago, moved to Calumet City 16 years ago, saying she wanted to have a nice house in which to raise her children, one of whom is now a junior at T.F. North and two others are sophomores.
She attended Olive-Harvey College in Chicago, received an associate degree from South Suburban College in South Holland, and works for the Cook County Circuit Court clerk’s office at the Sixth District Cook County Circuit Courthouse in Markham.
Nelson has never held an elected office before, although she said she made one unsuccessful bid several years ago for the Hoover-Schrum Memorial School District 157 School Board.
She said she hopes to learn more about the education process by serving on the School Board.
“I want to learn a lot about all different aspects of what schools do,” Nelson said.
Dust said Nelson was preferred by the rest of the School Board because she has “enthusiasm” and children currently attending school in the district, and also because she is a Calumet City resident.
“We did want a Calumet City person because the other six of us all live in Lansing,” he said. “We’d like to have some balance,” while adding that he believes Nelson is fully qualified for the post regardless of her residency.
“We would not have appointed anyone from Calumet City if they were not qualified,” he said.
In other business, the School Board voted 6-0 to approve a budget for the current school year that calls for total expenses of just under $60 million, and revenues of $55.08 million for the current academic year plus about $5 million left over from the previous school year.
Superintendent Creg Williams said this is the sixth straight school year the district has had a balanced budget without having to tap into reserve funds. He also said that no educational programs were cut in order to balance the budget.
Nelson, who previously was provided a copy of the budget for her own review, abstained from Tuesday’s vote.