Lake Michigan, world class museums and universities, the arts, ethnic and economic diversity – all reasons I’ve chosen to move back to the South Loop, the neighborhood where I was born. I am a proud CPS grandparent and it is important to me that all students have the opportunities to succeed that I want for my grandchildren. In service to my neighborhood I am running as a community member for the South Loop Elementary School local school council as an investment in every child in the South Loop.

As an IT Director for Discover Financial Services, the founder and Executive Director of Life Quilt Foundation and the first African American woman elected to the  Waukegan, Illinois school board, I know that creating an environment for everyone’s voices to be heard is critical to success. Success is defined by more than test scores and school ratings.  While those measures of success are certainly important, most important is that our students and the adults that care for them know that South Loop Elementary is a warm, open, inclusive, nurturing environment, focused on their educational, social and emotional well-being.  

Change is in the air in the South Loop.  As our school celebrates its 30th anniversary we stand on the brink of new opportunities and challenges.  To ensure that we seize those opportunities and address those challenges, new leadership styles are required.  We need transparent leadership. The potential merger with NTA has brought with it significant attention to how our community manages change.  Our change management process must be open and inclusive to ensure that everyone affected feels as if they’re a valued member of the South Loop Elementary family.  In this same vein, our work must measurable. We have to be able to demonstrate to our stakeholders that we have a plan and that we are making progress on that plan. Additionally, our leadership style must be built on the notion of equity with each member of the South Loop Elementary family receiving what they need to be successful.

From my time as an elected school board member I have experience in handling school mergers.  I have experience establishing and working with school foundations. I have experience in engaging the community to support the goals of public education.  The children of the South Loop deserve to have my experience at this time in our history.

I ask that you vote for me, Kim Holmes on April 18 and support our slate – TIME for Excellence. You can learn more about out me and our slate at and join the conversation at TIME for Excellence on Facebook.

Thank you, in advance, for your support of me, of our slate and of an excellent South Loop Elementary!