Endorsements: Trustees of Rock Valley Community College District

By Frank Schier
Editor & Publisher

For RVC Trustee serving 6-year terms, voters may choose between the following candidates(Vote for 2):
MARUICE A. WEST II
JOSEPH T. FANARA
BOB TROJAN
ASHLEY BURKS
JOSEPH M. ARCO
WLADIMIRO T. AGUIRRE

And for RVC Trustee serving a 2-year term, voters may choose between the following candidates (vote for 1):
KATHERINE M. KELLEY
DAVID F. BLACK,

All candidates are very impressive and this is the best group of  citizens willing to serve the public I have seen in quite sometime. Their diversity, talent and intelligence is outstanding, and they offer hope for our future. Too many times, voters are just presented with the usual political hacks. These choices are difficult

As a teacher of mine suggests, outreach, vision, the ability to bring that vision to reality and inclusion stand as criteria for the following recommendations

Vote for Maurice A. West II. He is a Jefferson High School graduate with a Master’s degree from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology.  He is the Director of Career Services and as an Adjunct Professor of Psychology at Rockford University. He knows RVC because he worked for the college’s Dislocated Workers Program as a Career Counselor from 2010 – 2013.

His community service is impressive. To see his amazing involvement in the community go to his website: citizensformauricewest.org.

He is more than qualified to serve as a trustee, and he is offers stellar qualities as a role model to African American Youth.

As he noted in the candidate forum, perception is important for RVC, and its declining enrollment must be countered by outreach and partnership. His position at RU can link RVC’s student bodies and hopefully counter the ivory tower with no windows syndrome where the educational institution is captive to its own campus and fails to draw and invite the community to its expertise and events. He believes “education should not be intimidating to anyone.” Vote for West.

Vote for Ashley Burks as communityforburks.com states, she is an “Auburn High School and RVC graduate. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Public Relations from Southern Illinois University Carbondale and a Master’s degree in Digital Media Design for Learning from New York University.”

She is employed at United Way of Rock River Valley as a Community Impact Manager. Teaming up with West’s partnership vision, she has the ability to reach young people and speaks the new language so popular with them–digital media. She says we must be aware of the “chaotic” set of many young people’s lives and she will go to them and be accessible. Vote for Burks.

Bob  Trojan was impressive as a champion of technology and manufacturing training, and I like his comments about enrollment for traditional and non-traditional students and actual outreach.

Joe Arco has a great business background and was very hard not to endorse. I found his comments on environment and reaching out to Afro-American community insightful. He did his homework and had great statistics on GED failure, noting tuition rates were up 36 percent and enrollment declined 16 percent. The board should call upon him as a consultant.

Wladimiro Aguirre, a very level-headed, small business owner was also very difficult not to endorse, especially considering the ever-growing Latino population in Belvidere and Rockford. He, like Arco, needs to stay available as a candidate for other offices.

David Black was the 2005, 2010 and 2014 Green Party’s candidate for Illinois Attorney General. He has a law degree from DePaul University College of Law and a Ph.D in Political Science from the University of Michigan.

His experience of 34 years as attorney and social awareness is very strong. He asserts students need greater financial service, better public transportation to RVC.

Kelly is an incumbent trustee with 3 degrees from RVC. She obviously loves the college. She is a financial conservative and an advocate for adult learners. She is also working to improve transportation to RVC and champions strengthening vocational development courses.

Black is a progressive that we need in these right-wing swinging political times. We need more education, not less funding for it. He would be a very good candidate to send to Springfield to fight for our college dollars. He has the state-wide connections, and we need an education advocate in our state capital. Vote for Black.

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