3 candidates battle it out for 2 school board seats in Peoria

Published: May. 23, 2022 at 10:08 PM CDT
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PEORIA (Heart of Illinois ABC) - Elections are around the corner and three people are hoping to be on the board for Peoria Public Schools, but only two of them will be elected to represent District 2.

One candidate running currently serves as the board president.

“I want to continue being an advocate and a mentor to Peoria Public Schools students and families. And also want to spearhead the future of education in this city,” said PPS board president, Gregory Wilson.

Wilson see himself continuing the direction of the board, working on programs like financial literacy and learning loss recovery.

“It’s important to keep that positive energy, and communication and feedback amongst the board,” said Wilson.

Paris McConnell is a new face on the ballot.

“I care. I’m very passionate about students, I’m very passionate about teachers and the public school system,” said McConnell.

McConnell has donated her time to PPS serving as president to different PTO’s and other academic boards. She also has a focus on ramping up current programs, building relationships with parents and combating learning loss from the pandemic.

“I’d like to see the intervention planning that is happening now so that we can close that 18 month gap,” said McConnell.

Daniel Walther is a familiar face having lost his bid for re-election last year in District 3, but is now seeking election in District 2.

“I had already 5 years experience on the board, I’ve had 25 years experience dealing with schools, I know school budgets and I think I bring a perspective of leadership other people don’t have,” said Walther.

Walther is also focused on closing the learning loss gap, but wants to see the board head in a different direction he says by challenging current administration.

“I think we’ve taken some votes on some things that really distract from what we should be doing which was trying to get these kids caught back up from COVID-19,” said Walther.

All three candidates are expected to be answering questions at a Women’s League forum later this week. Election day is June 28th.

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