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Thumbnail Profile:  40-year Evanston resident; mother of four college educated Dewey/Nichols/ETHS graduates; Montessori Certified preschool educator at Evanston’s Chiaravalle Montessori School for 31 years and its Interim Head of School for a year; graduate of Fisk University; graduate studies in theater at Universtiy of Illinois in Urbana.

Civic activities: District 202 Board member for the past 20 years, currently as its vice president and previously its president; previous president of Dewey and Nichols PTAs and co-president of ETHS PTSA; co-founder of the Parent Advisory Network (PAN) at ETHS; current board member of the North Cook Intermediate Service Center (Safe Schools Program); previous member of Evanston’s Community Development Block Grant Committee; co-founder and 17-year volunteer with the Picture-book Project, a literacy initiative to encourage teen moms to read to their babies; member and former president of the North Shore Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., a public service sorority.

The importance of preparing students to be on track for college and career readiness, what the Board should do to ensure that is done:

“We prepare strong learners well for colleges and careers.  That’s because we’ve recruited an excellent teaching faculty; promoted its further professional development; engaged a top flight superintendent; regularly reviewed, revised and enriched both curriculum and pedagogical methods to conform to current best practices; and continuously striven to provide an environ in which learning can occur safely and without distraction.” 

“However, for some, mostly minority students our approach to readiness hasn’t worked as well notwithstanding a growing number of success stories.  Because I believe every student counts and deserves to have real access to effective readiness training, I am committed to persisting in our efforts to find equitable means to make readiness a reality for all students.”

A summary of two or three top priorities as a Board member:

“Reducing the achievement disparity, among other ways by fashioning strategies to apply the rigorous and relevant national Common Core Standards to our under achievers and by testing out and closely evaluating the restructuring of Freshman Humanities scheduled for next fall.”

“Learning and teaching more about how we learn since one size doesn’t fit all. Students more aware of their personal pathways of learning will be stronger learners and teachers who can teach within those pathways will be more effective teachers.”

“Improving communications with the Evanston/Skokie community about new ideas, theories and best practices in education as we examine and implement them.  This will lead to better understanding and acceptance of board initiatives and, in turn, better student outcomes.”

What Ms. Colleton says she brings to the table that would make her an effective Board member:

“Experience in the field of education, especially invaluable understanding of educational policy development at ETHS through 20 years of intense service on the ETHS Board.”

“Leadership as current Board vice president and previous Board president, including the ability to judge well what’s doable and to get it done through consensus.”

“Fiscal responsibility, most recently evidenced by four years of balanced District budgets in challenging financial times.”

 “Readiness to listen carefully to the community and thought leaders, to study the merits of issues rigorously and to cast my vote in what I see to be the best interest of the students of our District.”

Jane Colleton’s website is

These profiles were compiled by theRoundTable based on information provided by the five candidates for the District 202 School Board. The RoundTable asked each candidate to provide background information and to respond to three questions: 1) What is your view on the importance of preparing students to be on track for college and career readiness, and what the Board should do, if anything, to ensure that is done?; 2) Provide a summary of two or three or your top priorities as a Board member; and 3) what do you bring to the table that would make you an effective Board member? The RoundTable set a word limit for these three questions, so the candidates’ responses should be regarded as only a summary of their views. For a more complete exposition of their views, the RoundTable encourages readers to visit the candidates’ websites (listed below), attend one or more of the candidate forums, or attend a coffee.