New faces on the Rockford School board after 3 contested races in the district

Published: Apr. 4, 2023 at 10:16 PM CDT
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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - Tight races and new faces for the Rockford Public School Board. RPS 205′s Subdistricts A, D and F were all contested. Some incumbents successfully defended their seats, including Subdistrict A incumbent Denise Pearson.

Pearson ran against former board member Lisa Jackson. Jackson had been a board member for 8 years, ending in 2018, but made a return this year. Pearson is currently leading the race by a score of 58% to 42%, with 99% of precincts reporting. Pearson says she wants more transparency between the board and parents going forward.

“Transparency, making ourselves available, responding in a reasonable time frame, letting our parents and families know that they’re heard and things will be done,” she told 23 News.

In Subdistrict D, it looks like there could be a new face in town. Newcomer Nicole Bennett beats out current board President Jude Makulec by a score of 55% to 45%. Bennet is a social worker and a mom. She thinks she can bring a unique perspective to the board position, and it looks like voters agree. She wants to use RPS experts to help make the best decisions for the county.

“I know behavior is a huge concern in the buildings currently so I really wanna get to the people who work in the buildings and who are the experts in the field and really see how the board can support them,” she said.

Subdistrict F featured another incumbent successfully defending her seat. Kim Haley beat out Juan Reyes, 64% to 36%. Haley is relatively new to the position herself, having taken over from Michael Connor after his resignation in November of 2022.

In subdistricts B, C E and G, candidates ran uncontested, with two new faces in districts B and E. This means out of the seven subdistricts, there will tentatively be 3 new faces on the board.

These results are unofficial until certified by the State Board of Elections.