Proviso 209 United is an inclusive group of community stakeholders made up of parents, teachers, taxpayers, alumni, students who are dedicated to positively affecting the academic achievement outcomes and wellness of our township's children. We believe D209 needs sustainable change for generations to come. Building a foundation for success requires change at the very roots. Our goal is to enact and enforce positive pro-student policies by way of electing board of education members that will bring forth and hold accountable policies and implementation strategies that will drive our district forward.
Kathleen Franzwa is a proud resident of Westchester, IL, where she has lived with her husband and two children since 2004. Kathleen has a BSW from Indiana University and a Masters Degree in Family Counseling from Northeastern Illinois. She spent over a decade working in Indianapolis and Chicago with children and families, tackling child abuse/neglect prevention, mentoring, poverty, and mental health. From 2015 to 2018 she served as co-director of the Westchester Food Pantry, and was active in lobby efforts for the Greater Chicago Food Depository in both Washington DC and Springfield. Kathleen hopes that spearheading Proviso 209 United is the beginning of sustainable positive change in our district that impacts our children and our communities for generations to come. She believes that providing an inclusive and an equally accessible education for all includes looking at the “whole child” and their needs, not just test scores. Her favorite quote from the great late Shirley Chisholm: “If they don’t give you a seat at the table, bring in a folding chair.”
Maria Maxham has lived in Forest Park since 2002 and currently serves as the village’s Commissioner of Public Health and Safety. Previously, editor of the Forest Park Review, she has won awards for both fiction and nonfiction writing. Maxham grew up in Chicago, where she attended St. Ignatius High School. She went on to receive a bachelor’s degree in accounting, then a master’s degree in creative writing from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. She recently participated in the Oak Park-River Forest Community Foundation’s Leadership Lab. She is a member of the Forest Park Arts Alliance, the Des Plaines River Trail Steering Committee, Kiwanis, and other local organizations. With husband Jason, she is raising her three children in Forest Park, where they have attended or are attending public schools, including District 91 and District 209.
Carissa Gillespie is a proud product, parent, and teacher in District 209. In addition to being a member of Proviso 209 United, she is also an active member of Grace Central Church in Westchester, an educational liaison for PLCCA, and a sponsor for a variety of programs within the Proviso West school building. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Columbia College Chicago (Liberal Arts), a master’s from RooseveltLUniversity(Secondary Education/English), and a master’s from Concordia University Chicago (Educational Leadership) and is currently in her 24th year as an educator. Through her work with Proviso 209 United, Carissa hopes that she can help to educate and engage parents, students, and the community in how to build and sustain a school district dedicated to exposing and resolving the root causes of what is causing failure within our schools. She is dedicated to making sure that all stakeholders have a voice in how our schools are run, what policies and procedures are needed, and how resources are allocated to support our students. She also hopes that as a result of her involvement with Proviso 209 United future school board members will practice honesty, respect, and accountability and truly put students and staff first.
Eileen Olivier is a proviso area parent, Maywood resident, former PTO President of Washington School, former Parent Advisory Council member for D89, and past Economic Development Commissioner for the Village of Maywood, Vice President of the Government Affairs Committee West Mainstreet Association of Realtors. Eileen knows that the youth are the future. She feels that if the schools are secure, stable, and safe that's what's needed to ensure success so that the Proviso communities can continue to prosper. As a Realtor, she knows the importance that families place on coming into a community with a healthy school district. She feels we all absolutely have to work together to make sure the district has the best it can offer the students and families of Proviso. Eileen believes we have all the right resources we just need the right people that are focused directly on getting that work done.