PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) – There is a new chairman of the Peoria Public School Board.
During Thursday afternoon’s meeting, members elected former Vice President Gregory Wilson to replace former President Doug Shaw. In addition, Martha Ross became vice-president.
Murphy, a father of two Peoria public schools, said he was working to make Peoria public schools a better place for all children.
“We have to make sure that we take care of all of our students in our district, it just isn’t about a race or a culture,” Wilson said. “We have almost 14,000 students and we need to make sure they have all the tools they need to be successful. “
Wilson said it was a “great feeling” to have the support of his fellow board members. He said his goal is to open communication between the board and the students.
“One of the main goals is to make sure that we are always in communication with our families; by making sure that we reimagine education, we bring innovative elements to PPS, ”Wilson said.
Thursday’s meeting was also the last for board member Dan Walther. Mike Murphy will take his seat on the board after defeating him in the April general election.
“I do it for my kids, but I also do it for all of PPS’s families, whether it’s students or faculty,” Murphy said.
Murphy, a father of three, is a past president of PTO and will represent District 3. He said he wanted to bring the perspective of a parent with young students to the board.
“I have a lot of experience with faculty in schools and I just listen to their concerns and questions and bring them to the administration, which has always worked with me,” Murphy said.
Walther has served on the board of directors for five years.
“It’s hard to leave. I enjoyed the work, it took a lot longer for me than when I first got into it, ”said Walther.
Walther said his biggest achievement had been negotiating a deal with the teachers’ union during his first year on the board, as well as advancing improvements to the track at Richwoods High School.
“It was essential for us to get this half-cent tax, the county-wide tax and I think this adoption is really essential for the district because it is sustainable,” Walther said.
Wilson joined the Board of Education in 2017 after the April election for the District 2 open seat.