Rezin’s Educational Advisory Committee discusses major issues

In an effort to encourage more dialogue about education issues between State Sen. Sue Rezin (R-Peru), school districts, teachers, and students, Rezin hosted her first Educational Advisory Committee April 3 in Peru at Parkside School. The group is comprised of education leaders and students from the 38th Senate District.

“This Educational Advisory Committee has a unique knowledge of what’s best for our schools,” Rezin said. “This committee will not only help me better understand education issues, but the group will be an important resource for me when it comes to crafting, negotiating, and debating education policy that benefits our students and schools.”

The Educational Advisory Committee will meet twice a year in the 38th Senate District to discuss issues such as education funding, the funding formula, school mandates, transportation, extracurricular activities, sports, and other topics. A big focus of this meeting was on the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). Representatives from the Illinois State Board of Education briefed committee members on this issue.

“Our students are the future,” Rezin said. “Giving them the best chance to learn and succeed must be a priority. Anything lawmakers can do to help better understand the issues facing our schools will only help our state in the long run. I am proud of the strides Springfield has made in the past year when it comes to making students a priority, but Springfield still has a long way to go in making things better. I look forward to working with this committee and coming up with new ideas to make Illinois an even better place for kids to learn.”

Recently retired Putnam County C.U.S.D. 535 Superintendent Jay McCracken helped Sen. Rezin organize her committee.

“I was truly honored to assist Senator Rezin and her fine staff with the creation of this advisory committee,” McCracken said. “It is very exciting to have Senator Rezin recognize the need to seek input and advice from experts in all facets of education throughout her district. Through the formation of this committee, Senator Rezin once again demonstrates her dedication to finding practical solutions to the issues facing our schools today.”

Members of Rezin’s Educational Advisory Committee are:


Kent Bugg (Coal City School District)

Kenny Lee (Minooka School District)

Mark Cross (Peru Elementary District #124)

Steven Wrobleski (LaSalle-Peru Township High School)

Pat Halloran (Morris Community H.S.)

Jay McCraken (Retired Putnam County C.U.S.D 535)


Tim Ricketts (Reed-Custer H.S.)

Courtney Balestri (Putnam County Elementary)


Brian Pett (Lincoln Jr. High School)

Lori Tipton (Northwest Elementary School)

Kristine DeGraaf (Lisbon Grade School)

Student Representatives:

Owen Mallery (Putnam County C.U.S.D. 535)

Alexa Dawson (LaSalle-Peru Township H.S.)

Parent Representative:

John Reinert (Ottawa)

School Board:

Barbara Ehling (Streator Elementary District)

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